General Requirements

The M.A. with major in spiritual care is a degree that, along with an additional ministerial formation component, can lead to Certification as a deaconess and becoming rostered in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. The curriculum requires 60 quarter hours of credit for the degree and an additional 18 hours for certification. The program is designed so that ordinarily the degree plus professional training can be completed in three years, including the internship, while the degree alone can be completed in two years.

Curricular Practical Training

Resident Field Education

Each deaconess student seeking certification will participate in Resident Field Education (RFE) during six academic quarters: for eight hours a week during the first three quarters and 10 hours a week during the next three quarters. Assignments will be made in congregational and institutional ministry settings in order to develop diaconal skills under the supervision of an experienced pastor or deaconess. Submission of regular reports by the student and the supervisor are required elements for satisfactory performance of field education assignments. Students seeking the M.A. with major in spiritual care without certification are strongly encouraged, but not required, to participate in RFE.


A 12-month internship is required of all deaconess students seeking certification. The internship ordinarily follows the completion of all class work and field education requirements except for P2031, 2032 and 2033 which are taken during the internship year.

Master of Arts (M.A.), Major in Spiritual Care – (60 credit hours)

Exegetical Theology (15 credit hours)
E102 Biblical Hermeneutics (3)
EO105 Exodus and the Torah (3)
EO106 Psalms and Writings (3)
EN105 Synoptic Gospels (3)
EN107 Pauline Epistles and Acts (3)

Historical Theology (3 credit hours)
H100 Introduction to Historical Theology (3)

Systematic Theology (15 credit hours)
S100 Lutheran Mind (3)
S124 Lutheran Confessions I (3)
S125 Lutheran Confessions II (3)
S115 or S116 Systematics I or II (3)
S116 or S117 Systematics II or III (3)

Practical Theology (12 credit hours)
P103 Pastor as Counselor
P120 Pastor as Educator (3)
P180 Foundations of Deaconess Ministry (3)
P185 Spiritual Care of Women (3)
P467 Theology of Compassion & Human Care (3)
S444 Theological Ethics (3)

Exam Option (15 credit hours)
Comprehensive Exam at conclusion of course (-)
Free Electives (15)

Thesis Option (15 credit hours)
Thesis (6)
Free Electives (9)


MA with Deaconess Certification – (78 credit hours)

Master of Arts (Major: Spiritual Care) (60 credit hours)

Requirements for Deaconess Certification (18 credit hours)
Residential Field Education (two years, prior to P300) (-)
P300 Internship (4 Quarters Required) (15)
P2031 Internship Seminar I (1)
P2032 Internship Seminar II (1)
P2033 Internship Seminar III (1)