Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality

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  • Program requirements

The Faculty of Human Sciences of Saint Paul University offers an interdisciplinary graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality. The Senate of Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa confer the degree jointly.

This degree integrates the spiritual, ethical and transformational dimensions of leadership. It is designed to build leadership capacity for enabling the social, cultural and systemic change required for meeting the challenges of the 21st century.



The first Graduate degree of its kind in Canada!

The Faculty of Human Sciences of Saint Paul University offers a new interdisciplinary graduate program leading to the degree of Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality. The degree highlights personal and social transformation, critical analysis and practice base learning. 

Integrating the spiritual, ethical and transformative dimensions of leadership, this degree is designed to build leadership capacity for animating the personal, social, cultural and systemic change required for meeting the challenges of the 21st century. It allows participants to identify and develop their leadership capacities in order to become transformative agents within their respective environments. 

Leaders and emerging leaders in health care, education, pastoral, government and non-governmental organizations are among those welcome to apply.

*Offered in English only.

To be considered for admission, applicants must:

  1.  Hold an honours bachelor degree (4 years) in Humanities or Social Sciences (minimum admission average of 70% or B), with a minimum of two years of experience in a work environment as a professional or volunteer; or hold an honours bachelor degree (4 years) in another discipline (minimum admission average of 70% or B), with a minimum of five years of experience in a work environment as a professional or volunteer;
  2. Have attained 12 credits of theology or religious studies;
  3. Provide two confidential letters of reference: one professional (providing evidence of personal and professional maturity) and one academic (providing evidence of ability to succeed in a graduate program of study);
  4. Provide a CV and a Statement of Purpose;
  5. Pass an interview with the program coordinators to verify the candidate’s objectives and abilities for the program.

The requirements of the MA program in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality include successful completion of 39 credits of coursework that includes a major research paper (HUM5999).

Compulsory Courses ( 21 credits)

  • HUM5101 Leadership Theory, Practices and Approaches (3cr)
  • HUM5102 Research Methods for Transformative Leadership (3cr)
  • HUM5121 Transformative Leadership and Spirituality (3cr)
  • HUM5122 Transformative Leadership and Group Facilitation (3cr)
  • HUM5123 Transformative Leadership and Learning Communities (3cr)
  • IPA5321 Transformative Leadership and Psychology (3cr)
  • IPA5322 Worldview, Religion and Culture (3cr)

Practicums (9 credits)

  • HUM5301 Practicing Leadership and Professional Ethics: Practicum I (3cr)
  • HUM5302 Practicing Leadership: Practicum II (3cr)
  • HUM5303 Practicing Leadership: Practicum III (3cr)

Research (3 credits)

  • HUM5999 Research Seminar (3cr)

Optional Courses (6 credits)

  • HUM5103 Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation (3cr)
  • HUM5104 Indigenous Spiritualties and Transformative Leadership (3cr)
  • HUM5113 Transformative Leadership, Spirituality and Ecology (3cr)
  • HUM5114 Women’s Spiritualties and Transformative Leadership (3cr)

Under exceptional circumstances, students may select an optional course from another graduate program with permission of both the Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality program director and the director of the other program.


The residence requirement for students admitted on a fulltime-basis is three terms. Part-time students are exempted from this requirement.

Minimum Standards

The passing grade in all courses is C+. Students who fail two courses are withdrawn from the program.

Duration of the program

Students are expected to complete all requirements within two years of full-time study. The maximum time permitted, whether full- or part-time, is four years from the date of initial registration in the program.

HUM 5101 - Leadership and Theories of Change (3u)

Critical analysis of contemporary leadership challenges (shared vision, teamwork, conflicts, etc.) and examination of the role played by leadership in various theories of social change. Exploration of effective leadership practices for achieving social justice in diverse social and organizational contexts.

HUM 5102 - Research Methods in Leadership, Ecology and Equity (3u)

Exploration of research methods in the fields of leadership, ecology and equity. Critical assessment of the frameworks and orientations of methods and their practical applications. Providing students with the tools to develop a thesis project.

HUM 5103 - Nonviolence, Peace and Ecological Movements (3u)

Study of the interrelationship between nonviolence, peace and ecology in various contexts (e.g., creative, grassroots, social, political). Focus on the challenges that conflict, violence and peace pose for ethical action in the world. Explores current issues related to nonviolence, peace and ecological movements in dialogue with social justice frameworks.

HUM 5104 - Indigenous Spiritualities, Decolonization and Leadership (3u)

Study of Indigenous knowledge about spirituality and inclusive and interconnected leadership practices. Exploration of Indigenous ways of knowing, including intellectual and spiritual traditions and relationships to the living world. Implications for decolonizing settler societies.

HUM 5113 - Transformative Leadership, Spirituality and Ecology

Reflecting on deep connections between ecological crises and lack of awareness of the sacred nature of creation, who we are as human beings and our relationships with the natural world. Implications for transformative leadership and ecological crisis.

HUM 5114 - Leadership, Gender and Feminisms (3u)

Study of the role of gender and its intersection with other identities in leadership. Critical and reflexive engagement with power structures through global feminist theories. Creative and democratizing approaches to transform collective beliefs, practices and policies.

HUM 5121 - Transformative Leadership and Spiritualities (3u)

Study of approaches and methods of spirituality as a fundamental experience of lived faith and meaning-making. Exploring spirituality as an important source of activism and social justice. Learning to lead from an articulated understanding of spirituality consistent with the student’s personal values and meaning of their work.

HUM 5122 - Collaborative Leadership and Group Dynamics (3u)

Theoretical perspectives of group dynamics related to the practice of collaborative leadership and the development of skills for group facilitation and team leadership (including interpersonal communication and conflict resolution). Various methods, learning styles, growth processes and approaches explored for a variety of contexts.

HUM 5123 - Integral Ecology (3u)

Study of integral ecology: ecological literacy; interconnected facets of economics, poverty creation, structural injustices and ecological degradation; links between cultural and biological diversity.

HUM 5124 - Equity, Justice and Ecological Issues (3u)

Understanding social justice. Study of the specific links between social and ecological problems with insights from ecojustice, climate justice, environmental racism, ecofeminism and The Earth Charter (2000).

HUM 5125 - Worldviews and Ecology (3u)

Exploration of historical, ecological, cultural and religious worldviews and their implications for the development of leadership and communities. Analysis of social contexts, cultural perspectives, social change in contemporary global settings with reference to social justice frameworks and socio-historical structures.

HUM 5301 - Integration Project (3u)

Individualized learning activity fostering the integrate of theory and practice: research project, research-creation project, internship with report, workplace mentoring with report, etc. Evaluation of course content integration.

Graded S/NS.

Prerequisites: HUM5101, HUM5121, HUM5123 and HUM5124

HUM 5302 - Practicing Leadership: Practicum II

Building on the work of Practicum I, practice of leadership in a local organization with regular input from an onsite mentor. Methods and skills of reflective practice are strengthened for observing and analysing assumptions and issues in student’s practice. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite: HUM 5301 Practicing Leadership and Professional Ethics: Practicum I.

HUM 5303 - Practicing Leadership: Practicum III

Building on previous learning in collaboration with the onsite mentor and practicum professor, students identify specific learning goals emerging from Practicing Leadership I and develop and evaluate action plans to enhance their leadership abilities. Leadership skills that serve transformative processes are emphasized. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisites: HUM 5301 Practicing Leadership and Professional Ethics: Practicum I.

HUM 5999 - Séminaire de recherche / Research Seminar

Un mémoire de recherche où les étudiants démontrent leur capacité à critiquer et à intégrer les connaissances et les compétences qu’ils ont acquises dans une pratique réfléchie et responsable du leadership transformatif. / A graduate level research paper where students demonstrate their ability to critique and integrate the knowledge and skills they have acquired into a reflective and responsible practice of transformative leadership.

Préalables : HUM5702, HUM5703, HUM5502 / Prerequisites: HUM5302, HUM5303, HUM5102.

Contact Us

Office of the Associate Vice-Rector, Strategic Enrolment Management
Room 148
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

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Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please leave your documents in the mailbox in front of room 148 when our offices are closed.

Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4


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