About the MA Program

The MA in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion emphasizes an embodied, engaged approach, in which contemplative practice and career exploration complement rigorous study. Students earning an MA in Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion will be at the forefront of an interdisciplinary field that has grown rapidly over the past decade. Graduates will be well prepared to engage environmental issues in multiple spheres, or to pursue doctoral-level study.

Master's Curriculum

The Ecology, Spirituality, and Religion Master's program explore the role of worldviews, philosophies, and religion in the interconnected global ecological crises through 36 units of coursework.  The curriculum progression includes two introductory courses; coursework in religion, philosophy, spirituality, and ecological issues; a fieldwork practicum; electives; and a capstone experience.

Students will:

  • Develop familiarity with one (or more) religious tradition(s);
  • Gain facility with some approaches to the philosophy of religion;
  • Acquire thorough knowledge of at least one ecological issue;
  • Understand and navigate the epistemological challenges in studying religion and ecology together; and
  • Integrate their insights from their coursework into a coherent final capstone experience.

Admission to the Program

Applicants must meet the general admissions requirements of the Institute. ESR Master's students are motivated by their deep concern for the state of the Earth and their determination to find healing solutions for the future. Prospective students should be committed to examining ecological issues from a variety of interdisciplinary perspectives, and to an appreciation of diverse perspectives.  Applicants with a variety of backgrounds will be considered, provided the applicant possesses demonstrated interest in the subject matter of the concentration, and strong writing, analytical, and critical thinking skills developed during undergraduate study at an accredited institution The application materials required are an autobiography, a statement of goals (ideally several pages), a writing sample, and transcripts.

Master's Curriculum Progression

Year 1 (18 Units)Year 2 (18 Units)
Theory and Method in the Integrative Study of Religion and Ecology (3 Units)

Practicum Course (3 Units / 100 Hours of Service):

Touch the Earth

Religion (3 Units) - Options include*:

  • Christianity and Ecology
  • Buddhism and Ecology
Religion (3 Units, must be same tradition as year 1)
Core Ecology course: Ecology in a Time of Planetary Crisis (3 Units)

Ecology Elective (3 Units) - Options include:

  • Environmental Ethics
  • Science, Ecology & Contested Knowledge(s)
  • The Epic of The Universe
  • Toward an Integral Ecological Consciousness

Philosophy (3 Units) - Options include:

  • History of Western World Views
  • Philosophy and Ecology
  • Whitehead's Philosophy

Feminism, Globalization and Justice (3 Units) - Options include:

  • Ecofeminist Philosophy and Activism
  • The Ecosocial Vision
Electives (3 Units)

Integrative Seminar (2 Units) OR

Thesis proposal writing (0 Unit) + Thesis research and writing (0 Unit)

Elective (3 Units) Elective (4 Units)

*Note that options are dependent on faculty availability.

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