Students in class

M.A. in Human Development

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota’s unique Master of Arts in Human Development program allows you to design a customized course structure that best matches your interests and career goals.

Choose Classes That Match Your Goals

By selecting from more than 25 elective courses that are grouped in three distinct learning categories—personal development, professional and organizational development, and spirituality and holistic thought—graduate students are given the opportunity to explore the development of children and adults of all ages as broadly or as in-depth as they’d like. Students can choose to:

  • Study a narrow topic not available elsewhere
  • Combine two or more topics or disciplines
  • Learn a unique topic at an individual pace
  • Combine an academic interest with specific career goals

In order to graduate, 35 credits are needed, but only four credits are required. The other 31 credits are electives. Most students take a mix of traditional courses and independent studies.

The breadth of courses is substantial. Throughout the M.A. in Human Development program, a rigorous learning experience places an emphasis on applying critical thinking and evaluation skills to better understand how various theories of development provide a context for an individual’s life situation. Graduates of the Saint Mary’s M.A. in Human Development program have gone on to have successful careers as educators, caregivers, counselors, advocates for social justice, leadership coaches, and more.

Program Options

Because the M.A. in Human Development program is so flexible, there are lots of options to choose from.

Students design a unique program based on their own personal interests, goals, and learning styles. There is a remarkable amount of freedom to build a program that fits the unique needs of every student.

Initial Required Course

The program begins with a required two-credit course, HD690 The Process of Human Development, offered every semester. This course teaches students how to construct their program, and explores how to create independent studies that are engaging and academically rigorous.

Pursuing Your Custom Degree

After the initial required course, students proceed in a way that meets their needs. Students can take Human Development courses (some courses are online, though most are face-to-face or blended), construct independent studies, transfer in up to six credits from another university’s master’s program (provided they are less than five years old), or take courses from other master’s programs at Saint Mary’s University (some restrictions apply).

Students take traditional courses and independent studies during the semester (there is a three-credit minimum if the student desires financial aid). A faculty adviser help students plan their program, design independent studies, and will evaluate student work throughout the program. At the end of the program, students write and present a position paper. This is both a scholarly and creative work—a synthesis of the educational journey they have taken in the program.

There's almost no limit to what can be studied in this program.

Current students are studying:

  • Child-life
  • Leadership
  • Holistic Health and Wellness
  • Adult Education
  • Human Resources Training and Consulting
  • Career Coaching
  • Legislative Action for Human Trafficking
  • Environmental Renewal
  • Spirituality in Counseling
  • Social Justice
  • Writing
  • Career Counseling and the Psychology of the Unemployed
  • Philanthropy
  • Addiction and Mental Health
  • Leadership Skills Needed in Non-management Fields
  • Youth Development
  • Higher Education
  • Gerontology
  • Ethics in the Workplace
  • Creative Arts in Trauma Recovery
  • Online Teaching Methodology
  • Mythology in Art

Below is a detailed example of one student, John.

John’s Program Goal

To develop an employee benefit and assistance program that addresses the needs of employees who must care for elderly parents and family members.

Spring Semester
  • HD690 The Process of Human Development, 2 credits (required course)
  • HDIS1G Schools of Leadership Thought, 3 credits (independent study)
Summer Semester
  • HD708 Mid-life Career Makeover, 2 credits
  • HDIS2G Changes in Health Care Operations, 2 credits (independent study)
  • HD719 Building a Consulting Practice, 2 credits
Fall Semester
  • HD573 Creative Leadership Development, 2 credits
  • HD691 Ethics and Social Responsibility, 1 credit (required course)
  • HD693 Psychological Transformation and the Spiritual Journey, 1 credit
  • HDIS3G Strategic Partnerships in Health Care, 2 credits (independent study)
Spring Semester
  • HDIS4G Mission in Health Care, 1 credit (independent study)
  • HD709 The Art and Science of Problem-solving, 2 credits
  • HDIS4G Followership, 2 credits (independent study)
Summer Semester
  • MG335 Organizational Behavior, 3 credits (course from another Saint Mary’s program)
Fall Semester
  • HD511 Courageous and Authentic Leadership, 2 credits
  • HDIS1G Leadership in Health Care, 2 credits (independent study)
  • HDIS4G Building a Leadership Model, 2 credits (independent study)
Fall Semester
  • HDIS2G Organizational Leadership, 3 credits (independent study)
  • HD698 Writing the Position Paper, 1 credit (required course)

Total: 35 credits

What will your program look like?

From Start to Finish

  • You can earn your M.A. in Human Development degree in a little more than one year.
  • Cohorts begin each spring, summer, and fall.

Apply Now

Applicants must submit the following:

  1. Completed application form with the nonrefundable application fee (fee not required for alumni or students seeking readmission or veterans and active military personnel), and
  2. An official transcript issued to Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota from the institution posting the applicant’s completed bachelor degree and other relevant transcripts documenting program prerequisites and potential transfer credits. (An official transcript is one that is sent to the university by the credit-granting institution. Transcripts from countries other than the U.S. must be evaluated by a university accepted evaluation source, such as World Education Services, Educational Credential Evaluators, Educational Perspectives, or One Earth International Credential Evaluators and be deemed equivalent to accredited U.S. university standards).
  3. A reflective essay which includes the following:
    • brief description of the applicant’s background, training, and experience; and
    • statement indicating the career goals of the applicant and his or her reasons for seeking admission to the program; and
    • description of the areas the applicant considers to be his or her strengths and areas in which the applicant wishes to develop greater strengths and abilities; and
    • personal information the applicant wishes to share.
  4. Two letters of recommendation that verify professional and/or volunteer experience and academic ability; and
  5. A current résumé listing educational background and work experience.
  6. Applicants with international transcripts may require an English language proficiency exam (TOEFL, IELTS, PTE or MELAB accepted.)

Please Note: Application materials should be sent to the attention of the Office of Admission on the Twin Cities campus.

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Office of Admission
2500 Park Avenue
Minneapolis, MN  55404


This program is offered at our Twin Cities, Rochester, and Winona locations.

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirements

Required Human Development Courses 4 cr.
Elective/Contract Courses 31 cr.
Total 35 cr.

Required Human Development Courses: 4 cr.

HD690 The Process of Human Development (2 cr.)

This course is the first in a series of three required courses that provides a touchstone for students to meet in community as they progress through their individualized programs. This first course covers the history, Lasallian charism, philosophy, ethical expectations, and design of the program; the structure of learning contracts; the delineation and evaluation of learning objectives; the use of appropriate graduate level resources; guidelines for graduate level work and credits; reflective writing; and the establishment of professional, educational, and personal goals/vocation. This course is a prerequisite for all other courses.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Write learning objectives.
  2. Design contract learning assessments.
  3. Identify how the learning assessments address the contract learning objectives and the program outcomes.
  4. Structure a learning contract that reflects the SMU policies and procedures.
  5. Use basic technology and other supports for conducting scholarly research and writing.
  6. Reflect upon Lasallian charism and philosophy and its relationship to the student’s personal goals.
  7. Create a schedule for submitting and completing the first learning contract.
  8. Complete a learning contract, and be prepared to complete a portfolio and integration paper.

HD691 Ethics and Social Responsibility (1 cr.)

This course is the second in a series of three required courses that provides a touchstone for students to meet in community as they progress through their individualized programs. This course integrates a deeper examination of the Lasallian philosophy, ethics, and social responsibility into an application to the student's field. This course environment fosters a renewal of meaning and purpose in the student's graduate work along with a further articulation of vocation and service to the community.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate the nature and power of principles of ethics of social responsibility and moral philosophy as applied in our daily lives, work, and service to community.
  2. Analyze Lasallian philosophy and how it applies to the student's individualized program.
  3. Create a statement of meaning and purpose based on an analysis of the student's sense of vocation.

HD698 The Process of Writing a Position Paper (1 cr.)

This is the final course in a required series of three courses that provides a touchstone for students to meet in a community as they progress through their individualized programs. This course addresses the elements of writing a position paper. The course provides the student with a review of APA style and skill development in stating and defending a position, conducting research, and professional writing. The course emphasizes applied ethics as an essential component of the position paper. Planning the student's own position paper and colloquium are featured.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Incorporate the elements of writing a position paper into their paper.
  2. Use correct APA (or program standards) style.
  3. Create a scholarly literature review using APA (or program) standard style.
  4. Create a position statement.
  5. Create a strategy for integrating and synthesizing scholarly research conducted throughout one's program in support of the position.
  6. Identify the ethical issues related to their position and be able to apply ethics as social responsibility.
  7. Integrate and reflect on one's personal and professional growth throughout the program.

Elective/Contract Courses: 31 cr.

The Human Development program offers courses in the following key areas, as identified through student interest and trends among the general population. As described above, students may arrange other courses as part of a contract, in addition to those listed below.

Electives: Personal Development

HD511 Authentic and Courageous Leadership (2 cr.)

In this course, students learn leadership development strategies that guide them to become more authentic and courageous leaders.  Students synthesize a cohesive body of knowledge so they can lead from the future as it emerges.  The leadership development concepts taught in this class allow students to more effectively lead, transform, engage, and influence organizations, communities, and the world around them.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze and reflect on how they have been formed as leaders, and develop increased self-awareness and their personal directions for leadership.
  2. Synthesize theory and research to make better use of emotions, the wisdom of our intuition, and the power to connect and influence at a fundamental level.
  3. Synthesize their own personal strengths and motivations as related to leadership.
  4. Create unique leadership development principles and practices that guide them to authentic, bold, and visionary leadership for the future.

HD513 Confronting Personal Morality (2 cr.)

This course explores the reality of one's finite existence in the physical dimension, focusing on reconciling participants to the inevitability of their own death, and instilling a personal plan for living lives of purpose, meaning, vibrancy and fulfillment.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify beliefs, fears, experiences and attitudes that influence the equanimity and anxiety surrounding their own mortality. 
  2. Synthesize selected cultural, historical, and religious perspectives and practices surrounding death.
  3. Conceptualize their ideal death with a greater sense of control, input and appreciation.
  4. Implement a plan to ultimately assure congruency with their unique vision of a life well lived.
  5. Explore the impact of one's lifetime relative to legacy and contribution.

HD604 Telling Our Story: Memoir (1 cr.)

This course examines the memoir as narrative that captures and communicates one's own specific life experience and its individual, social, personal, and communal significance. It studies the myriad forms of techniques for composing a memoir.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate works of memoir by various authors.
  2. Employ memoir for the purpose of personal understanding and growth.
  3. Write memoir in the form of poetry or prose, employing principles of literary variety, sensuous description, and suitable metaphor.
  4. Identify techniques for sharing your story with others to enhance mutual understanding and interconnection.

HD635 Getting Published (1 cr.)

This course explains the basics of getting published and helps participants define possible projects, identify publications and publishers, and prepare a draft of a proposal that might be submitted to a publisher.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the most common publishing markets and standards for author submissions.
  2. Describe the steps for getting published.
  3. Identify the elements of a query letter and a book proposal.
  4. Evaluate and select appropriate markets for written works.
  5. Develop a submission or query package for a written piece.

HD695 Children of Addiction (1 cr.)

This course explores issues related to counseling the child of addiction. It offers a preliminary overview of some of the current effects experienced by many adults who have been raised in such a setting. It also considers strategies for fostering a path of recovery for those who find themselves suffering the lingering effects of an addiction-based childhood.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe what it can mean to be a child of an addictive family.
  2. Identify the complexities of dynamics in a family with addictions.
  3. Describe the impact of addictions on the developmental stages of children's maturation into adulthood.
  4. Identify the adverse effects of addiction on all family members, individually and collectively.

HD702 Knowing What You Know (1 cr.)

This course examines the foundational philosophies of Western culture and the effects on individual action and thought. Students are challenged to examine assumptions around knowing and understanding truth through a focus on cultures of inquiry or methods of research and their philosophical bases. Students explore how information becomes bodies of knowledge, how knowledge can improve understanding, and the value of seeking wisdom.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Relate recognized Western philosophical approaches to current beliefs and social mores.
  2. Evaluate operating philosophies and use critical thinking to examine the basis for their own beliefs and approaches.
  3. Compare and contrast alternatives to standard Western philosophical approaches, and engage in reasoned discussion of different cultures of inquiry.
  4. Explore how people know what they know.
  5. Discern the difference among various types of information sources, and describe the relative merits of each for determining the veracity or truth of resulting conclusions or philosophical stance.


HD707 The Versatile Image: Imagery for Symptom Reduction, Personality Integration, and Spiritual Development (2 cr.)

This course examines the theory and practice of imagery as a technique for psychological and spiritual growth and incorporates opportunities for practice and personal experience. An overview of the therapeutic use of imagery is presented, highlighting the philosophical framework, history, and general features. Comparing imagery approaches used in Cognitive-Behavioral, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral, Existential/Humanistic/Transpersonal, and Psychodynamic orientations is a main focus of study, with applications to specific therapeutic issues and spiritual practices demonstrated.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Construct a therapeutic and philosophical framework that incorporates the imagery approach.
  2. Assemble the significant developments in the history of the therapeutic use of imagery.
  3. Synthesize the important general features of therapeutic imagery and contraindications for its use.
  4. Analyze the differences in theory and intent of imagery interventions used in the main psychotherapeutic orientations.
  5. Apply several specific imagery procedures and applications in therapeutic situations and for students' personal growth.
  6. Identify the importance of therapist "presence" (interpersonal neurobiology) and how imagery can facilitate this.

HD708 Mid-life Career Makeover (2 cr.)

This course provides a comprehensive, creative exploration of how to identify core values and transferable work skills, and market for success as a mature worker in today's highly competitive job market. Students consider their core values, professional skills, and self-care practices in addressing the challenges and questions of midlife.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate core values, beliefs, leadership style, transferable skills and identity/difference markers used to date and those needed to move forward with their career aspirations and plans.
  2. Create job search tools: resume, elevator speech, and interviewing skills.
  3. Market themselves in person and via online networking tools.
  4. Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of mid-life career changers.

HD717 Grief and Loss (2 cr.)

This course offers a multidimensional approach to the spirituality of suffering, death, grief, and bereavement in the context of participant's own experience of profound loss. Participants focus on their assumptions, beliefs, and experiences in the context of their own spiritual and healing processes as well as those of other cultures.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Describe their own history of loss and grief.
  2. Identify the common experiences of grief and loss and the theoretical and cross cultural elements of suffering and bereavement.
  3. Describe the social, psychological, spiritual, and physical needs of dying persons and their loved ones.
  4. Prepare one to experience times of loss and grief as times of potential for meaning and self development and assist others in their search for meaning from loss.
  5. Design a plan for using new understanding in their work or participation practices as consultants, counselors, supervisors, members, and leaders in their organizations.

HD732 Human Development and Spirituality in Coaching and Teambuilding (2 cr.)

This course explores the human development process in development of the organizational leader or consultant. It addresses techniques for acting as effective facilitators of employee growth and development in organizational settings, with particular focus on coaching and team building in organizations.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify practices for enhancing their self-awareness and their capacity to bring a spiritual basis.
  2. To their work in organizations.
  3. Know and apply team building and coaching principles and techniques.
  4. Describe how team member and leader beliefs and experiences affect team interactions and development.
  5. Apply coaching and teambuilding models as well as their own personal attributes as coaches, leaders, and facilitators to individual and organizational development situations.

Electives: Professional and Organizational Development

HD512 Engagement and Motivation in the Workplace (2 cr.)

In this course, students learn how sustainable change in organizations is linked to strategies to increase engagement and motivation in the workplace. Students synthesize a cohesive body of knowledge and research in business strategy, organizational leadership, change management, team building, and motivational practices relating to employee engagement. Students are encouraged to apply course frameworks and strategies to real life situations.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Design ways for organizations to build their best future possibilities.
  2. Design opportunities for meaningful dialogue, deep listening, and difficult conversations.
  3. Strategize how organizations can shift awareness and broaden their field of attention.
  4. Synthesize common mistakes and failures of traditional engagement efforts, and create more effective tactics for engagement.
  5. Analyze engagement tools from the academic literature, and demonstrate a working knowledge of those tools.

HD573 Creative Leadership Development (2 cr.)

This course addresses the role of human development, the arts, and the creative process for enhancing leadership in intrapersonal, community and organizational contexts. The course draws upon brain-compatible learning research. This course explores student's internal development and creative leadership competencies such as attention, presence, collaborative inquiry, and applies these competencies to complex challenges.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify six creative leadership competencies as defined by researchers and faculty at the Center for Creative Leadership.
  2. Assess their own individual creative leadership strengths and human development needs well enough to design an individual vision statement.
  3. Explain how creative processes and arts-based learning can be used to develop essential qualities of personal leadership such as comfort with ambiguity, flexible thinking, risk-taking, and presence.
  4. Apply creative leadership principles and competencies to complex challenges.
  5. Synthesize their understanding into a creative presentation.

HD709 The Art and Science of Problem Solving (2 cr.)

This course explores the process of making effective decisions at both the personal and organizational level. Students apply models of problem solving, examining the interrelationship among intuition, collaboration, innovation, and emotion. The normal, and sometimes counterintuitive, processes of decision making are investigated.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze decision-making styles and processes.
  2. Evaluate constructs in the discipline of decision making.
  3. Build capacity to see unintended consequences of decisions and solutions.
  4. Evaluate the power of cues and patterns in the decision-making processes.
  5. Explore the processes that lead to failure or success in problem solving.

HD719 Building a Consulting Practice (2 cr.)

This course explores the advantages, disadvantages, and critical success factors involved in building a business. It explores accounting, marketing, and strategic positioning for a solo practitioner.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:



  1. Identify critical success factors in building a dynamic consulting practice.
  2. Analyze the marketing environment in order to position a business for optimal strategic benefit.
  3. Evaluate the internal and external resources and constraints to understand the risks and rewards for a startup business.
  4. Analyze the steps and markers to guide a business plan.


HD723 Igniting Innovation in Your Organization (1 cr.)

This course helps the learner understand innovation—the creative process that leads to new procedures or products that are useful and marketable. Students learn how to build an organizational culture that supports innovation, as well as improve their own skills for creative vision.  

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify and develop their personal capacity for innovation.
  2. Construct ways to build an organization's capacity and culture of innovation.
  3. Diagnose blocks, impediments, and processes that hinder innovation, and apply appropriate interventions.
  4. Access and synthesize critical resources that help to foster a culture of innovation.

Electives: Spirituality and Holistic Thought

HD596 Creating Optimal Healing Environments (1 cr.)

This course focuses on those factors that facilitate the healing process within the individual. It explores the states of individual consciousness that contribute to or detract from the healing experience and the approaches that create these states. It examines relationship patterns that support healing and the qualities in the environment that contribute to health, balance, and well-being.

Upon completion of this course, the student is expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Identify the components of an optimal healing environment and assess various types of environments in terms of how effective they are in creating healing and change.
  2. Analyze important states of consciousness that contribute to personal change and healing.
  3. Relate personal experiences to states of consciousness.
  4. Identify the components of relational connections that facilitate healing and personal change.
  5. Create an example of an optimal healing environment for themselves, their families, or co-workers.

HD633 Many Faces of Art: A Psychological Perspective (2 cr.)

This course focuses on psychological aspects of the visual arts. Topics include the normative development of artistic ability, the impact of developmental and environmental challenges, mental illness, and health related issues on the production of visual art. Relevant theory and artistic production are examined.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand the systematic nature of normative artistic development in all human beings.
  2. Understand the developmental art tasks which the individual must master at each stage of his or her life span.
  3. Explain the effects of developmental challenges (e.g., disabilities), environmental insults (e.g., abuse, exposure to violence, family stressors), mental illness, and health-related issues on the individual production of art.
  4. Understand theoretical input in these areas of art and psychology
  5. Evaluate visual art as an informal means of psychological assessment.

HD671 Women's Self-Esteem and Spirituality (2 cr.)

This course focuses on the effects of the religious traditions and contemporary culture on women's self-esteem and spirituality. Issues surrounding women's development of adequate self-esteem and spiritual maturity are addressed. Alternative visions for women's self affirmation, full human development, and spirituality are investigated in theoretical and practical ways.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate the relationships between women's self-esteem and women's life experiences.
  2. Understand the forces (psychological, political, economic and religious) of the American culture that impact women's self-esteem.
  3. Develop a model or alternative for positive cultural change.
  4. Understand how one's spirituality has been influenced by culture.
  5. Evaluate the relationship between one's spirituality and one's self-esteem.

HD681 Creativity and Holistic Health (2 cr.)

This course explores the relationship between creativity, holistic health, and artistic expression. Elements of the creative process are articulated and compared to that of an holistic lifestyle. Impediments to creative expression are identified along with methods that free creativity for expression in one's personal and professional life.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Define creativity, art, healing, health, self-realization, and human development.
  2. Practice several simple forms of creative expression and reflect on the experiences.
  3. Understand the history of how healing and art are connected.
  4. Differentiate between creative expression used to promote holistic health and art therapy.
  5. Identify what may block creativity and what may support a free flow of creativity.
  6. Analyze and describe ways in which the course content might be integrated with their professional lives.

HD693 Psychological Transformation and the Spiritual Journey (1 cr.)

The tradition of depth psychology describes a pattern of individual interior evolution that is reflected in changes in our external life. This course explores the interior process of making significant changes in one's life, direction, career, or relationships and resonance between our exterior lives and interior development.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Understand the process of change.
  2. Write a spiritual autobiography.
  3. Explain special issues which arise in times of change and spiritual growth.

HD703 The Energy of Conflict Resolution (1 cr.)

This course uses the principles of aikido to view conflict as a block to the natural flow of energy between people, and examines individual power to keep energy flowing. This class examines and critiques cultural beliefs and assumptions relating to conflict and explores more effective ways to respond to personal, family, workplace, community, and world conflict. Students learn numerous strategies for resolving conflict at physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Evaluate current attitudes and habitual responses to conflict.
  2. Create new frameworks for thinking about conflict.
  3. Analyze strategies for resolving conflict, including strategies for resolving conflict on physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.
  4. Analyze how different strategies for resolving conflict impact human relationships.
  5. Evaluate select options for addressing specific conflict situations.

HD704 Creating Ceremonies to Celebrate Life--at Home and at Work (1 cr.)

In this course students explore ceremonies' structure and purpose that add mindfulness, gratitude, healing, and beauty to life and connect to values and goals, nature, others, and the sacred. Students experience and evaluate ceremony in class, consider the myriad ways ceremony and ritual can be used in personal and professional life, and begin to create their own rituals and ceremony.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the purposes and effects of ritual/ceremony and the relevance and importance in today's world.
  2. Evaluate personal and professional rituals and ceremonies.
  3. Apply the basic building blocks of ceremony to create new rituals.

HD706 The Spiritual Life of Family (2 cr.)

This course focuses on the theoretical and personal aspects of spiritual development through examining primary relationships within the family unit. Through use of poetry, autobiography and small group discussion students explore these earliest sacred connections.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Discern spiritual expressions between family relationships through themes such as gratitude, wisdom, compassion, grace and connection.
  2. Analyze how family rituals, traditions and sense of belonging affect ones spirituality.
  3. Explore and synthesis spiritual development stages from early childhood through adulthood within a theoretical and personal context.
  4. Synthesize life cycle events such as birth and death within the role of family.
  5. Create a personal practice of attending to the family's soul.

HD715 Cross-Cultural Ritual (2 cr.)

This course focuses on cross-cultural patterns of ritual and their religious as well as spiritual implications. Participants consider Greco-European, Asian-Buddhist (esp. Tibetan), American Plains and Woodland Indian, African (Bemba), Hispanic, and Hmong cultural patterns of ritual.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Analyze the cultural context for ritual.
  2. Apprehend the elements and structures constituting ritual.
  3. Understand the human dimension to ritual, that is, its content.
  4. Compare ritual activity among various cultures.
  5. Articulate an understanding of the effectiveness of ritual, both personally and culturally.

HD725 Transpersonal Bodywork (2 cr.)

This course introduces the student to transpersonal bodywork, an holistic approach which integrates physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual processes. The course includes such concepts as the holistic paradigm of health and healing, models of transformation, the new science, and the body as an energy system. Students are introduced to techniques including therapeutic touch, imagery, and the expressive therapies as related to transpersonal bodywork. The experiential component of the course gives students an opportunity for personal exploration in relation to course topics.

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Discuss a theoretical basis for transpersonal bodywork.
  2. Describe how the following techniques may be used in transpersonal bodywork: therapeutic touch, imagery, body dialog, intuitive process, and expressive therapies.
  3. Use therapeutic touch for self-care.
  4. Compare and contrast major forms of bodywork with transpersonal body work.
  5. Describe the use of transpersonal bodywork in the professional community.
  6. Identify resources for further study in this area.

HD730 Eastern Movement and Philosophy (2 cr.)

This course explores the holistic wisdom embedded in Eastern movement forms such as Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Akido, or Yoga. Students are introduced to several different forms with a focus on the beginning practice of depending on the instructor's expertise. The Eastern philosophy underlying the movement form is discussed as well as health benefits and the translation of Eastern movement forms into a Western lifestyle.

Upon completion of this course, students are expected to be able to do the following:

  1. Articulate the major philosophical ideas contained in Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, and Buddhism.
  2. Compare and contrast the major ideas Eastern and Western culture.
  3. Compare and contrast Eastern and Western approaches to healing.
  4. Describe "Chi" in the context of Western ideas of mind-body-spirit connection.
  5. Discuss the philosophy and historical development of T'ai chi and how they fit into today's culture.
  6. Explain obstacles to the acceptance of Chi as a healing force in the Western culture.

Professor smiling with students

Tuition & Financial Aid ›

Learn about tuition and financial aid options to reach your educational goals.

Woman meeting man

Information Sessions ›

Meet with Saint Mary’s faculty and staff and get your questions answered at an upcoming information session.

Students smiling in class

Request More Info ›

Learn more about the convenient doctoral and master’s programs that Saint Mary’s offers to help advance you in your career.

Connect With Us

James Callinan, M.A.

Director of Admission, SGPP

LaSalle Hall-TC Campus, LSH120

Campus Box: # 28

(612) 728-5158

James Callinan M.A.