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Graduate Certificate in Great Spiritual Books

Program Details

The Great Spiritual Books Certificate program at Seton Hall University studies Christian spiritual literature from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant faith traditions. This program is offered through the Immaculate Conception Seminary School of Theology and takes students through an array of Christian historical themes and experiences found in its literature. Students from a variety of religious and professional backgrounds will explore the literary foundations in the texts as they seek to understand how Christian literature influences people’s lives.

The curriculum begins with exploring the spiritual journey themes found in literature as well as the Old and New Testaments. Texts and sources will include those from folklore, myth, and Christian fiction. Students will then study Christian spirituality in terms of its foundational rules. Next is a course on the themes of Christian forms of love, marriage, family, charity, and other ways of expressing affection. Then students will learn about great Christian leaders and influencers including artists, film-directors, politicians, and musicians who grounded their lives and professions in the Christian faith. The course is completed with a capstone that compares Christian spirituality counsels and modern self-help literature as a means of exploring the therapeutic aspects of spirituality. Examples will be taken from scriptures, mystical writings, religious novels, and other works of the written word.

Upon completion of the program, students should be able to apply various themes and aspects of Christian spirituality to all facets of life including ministry, professional, and family life. Courses in this program may also be applied to an MA in Pastoral Ministry, and most courses can apply to an MA in Theology. While courses can be completed online, students accepted into the program must travel to the main campus for an orientation weekend residency.


  • Official transcript(s) showing successful completion of a baccalaureate degree and any other post graduate degrees from an accredited college or university.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • An originally written 500-word essay 
  • An interview with the Associate Dean of the School of Theology which may be conducted via telephone for those who live outside the immediate area.

Students are required to attend an orientation weekend residency held at the University’s main campus in South Orange, New Jersey.

Accreditation & Licensing

Middle States Commission on Higher Education