M.A. in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality

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  • General information
  • Teaching staff
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  • Program requirements
  • Courses
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The Program at a Glance

The first program of its kind in Canada, the MA in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality offers a progressive, multidisciplinary approach to help you build your capacity as a leader for positive change.

In this Master’s program, you will engage with the latest research on the intellectual, spiritual, personal and professional dimensions of leadership. Combining a focus on self-reflection and critical thought, you will develop your leadership capacity to mobilize resources to address contemporary systemic challenges and to enact holistic, inclusive and meaningful change.

You will work with a mentor to enhance your skills in transformative principles applicable to your professional and personal contexts. The sequence of courses is designed to enable you to successfully navigate the dynamic interplay between your inner life and the social world around you and to engage your intellect, imagination, emotions and values for sustainable change. Your work culminates in a Major Research Paper which allows you to integrate and articulate what you’ve learned on a topic related to transformative leadership and spirituality.

Who Should Apply?

This program is designed for established and emerging leaders of all professional backgrounds who want to discover and develop their capacity for leadership and to bring positive change.


The program’s three practicums provide you with the opportunity to develop your transformative leadership capabilities for personal, interpersonal and social change in either a local organization or in your own work environment.

In the context of the practicums, you will also be accompanied by an on-site mentor to support your learning and development. Methods and skills for reflective practice and systems thinking will be used to refine your leadership practice with the purpose of personal and social transformation.

Career Opportunities

Whether you’re considering a career change or are seeking to advance in your current role, this program will help you develop effective leadership skills that can be applied in all sectors, including:

  • Business
  • Civil service
  • Community Leadership
  • Education
  • Health care
  • Not-for-profit

Admission Details

Registration: Full-time and part-time
Program length: Full-time over 2 or 3 years; part-time over 4 years.
Program delivery: This program is offered in hybrid mode, using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online classes.
Language: This program is currently only offered in English.

Scholarship Opportunities

Students enrolled in this program may be eligible for a number of scholarships. For more information, please click here.

This degree is jointly offered with the University of Ottawa.

For information regarding academic regulations, please click here.


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 6 units in a curriculum that includes reflection on the spiritual dimensions of human experience grounded in either the Humanities, Spirituality or Religious Studies. Prior learning assessment (professional experience, self-teaching, non-credit courses, workplace training, volunteer work, etc.) may be considered;
  3. Provide a confidential letter of reference : a professional providing evidence of personal and professional maturity;
  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.

Compulsory Courses (21 units)

HUM5101 Leadership Theory, Practices and Approaches (3u)
HUM5102 Research Methods for Transformative Leadership (3u)
HUM5121 Transformative Leadership and Spirituality (3u)
HUM5122 Transformative Leadership and Group Facilitation (3u)
HUM5123 Transformative Leadership and Learning Communities (3u)
HUM5124 Transformative Leadership and Psychology (3u)
HUM5125 Worldview, Religion and Culture (3u)

Practicums (9 units)

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

Research (3 units)

HUM5999 Research Seminar (3u)

Optional Courses (6 units)

6 units from:
HUM5103 Justice, Peace and Ecology (3u)
HUM5104 Indigenous Spiritualties and Transformative Leadership (3u)
HUM5114 Women’s Spiritualties and Transformative Leadership (3u)
HUM5115 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (3u)

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


HUM 5101 - Leadership Theory, Practices and Approaches

Overview of current literature on the theories, practices and approaches to leadership. Exploration of definitions and the dynamics of transformative learning and their implications for the development of effective leadership.

HUM 5102 - Research Methods for Transformative Leadership

Examination of research methods and findings in the field of leadership and spirituality. Critical assessment of the frameworks and orientations of methods and their practical applications.

HUM 5103 - Justice, Peace and Ecology

Study of the interrelationship of justice, peace, and the ecology in the context of what it means to be human. Focus on the challenges that this poses for ethical action in the contemporary global context. Explores current issues in dialogue with social justice frameworks and other relevant sources.

HUM 5104 - Indigenous Spiritualities and Transformative Leadership

Study of Indigenous spiritualities and approaches for inclusive and connected practices of leadership. Examination of the spirituality-based knowledge of Indigenous peoples, including their philosophies, worldviews, sacred ways of knowing and modes of relationship to the natural world.

HUM 5114 - Women’s Spiritualities and Transformative Leadership

Study of the creative connections between women, spirituality and transformative leadership. Biographies of women as transformative leaders. Shifts to new framings about how we think about human society and our collective beliefs, practices and policies. Exploration of how new framings can be put into action for positive social change.

HUM 5115 - Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Overview of the main diversity markers (ex. culture, race, religion, age, social class, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, capacity) and power relations that define people bearing them as “others.” Exploration of strategies to challenge discrimination and foster diversity and inclusion in a transformative way

HUM 5121 - Transformative Leadership and Spirituality

Study of approaches and methods of spirituality as a fundamental experience of lived faith and values for individuals and communities. Learning to lead from an articulated understanding of spirituality consistent with the student’s personally-defined values and the values of the organization in which the student works. The impact of spirituality on the student leader’s’ identity and practice.

HUM 5122 - Transformative Leadership and Group Facilitation

Theoretical perspectives of group dynamics and the development of skills for group facilitation and team leadership, interpersonal communication, and self-understanding in a team context. Methodologies, learning styles, growth processes and approaches tailored to the needs of various groups and settings.

HUM 5123 - Transformative Leadership and Learning Communities

Theoretical frameworks of learning communities that underline systemic and social change. Emphasis on use of language, feedback, vision, inspiration, influence, and creativity as tools for positive change.

HUM 5124 - Transformative Leadership and Psychology

The implications for leadership practice of psychological theories for individual and community dynamics. Impact on competencies, cognitive processes, emotions, behaviours, spirituality, and values. Psychological perspectives on the leader’s practice, role and identity.

HUM 5125 - Worldview, Religion and Culture

Explores secular and religious worldviews considering their formative nature on the development of leadership and communities. Analysis of social milieu, cultural perspectives, social and cultural change and the impact of global issues with reference to, social justice frameworks and socio-historical structures.

HUM 5301 - Practicing Leadership and Professional Ethics: Practicum I

Practice of leadership in a local organization with regular input from an onsite mentor. Introduction to the methods and skills of reflective practice; creation of a learning agreement; professional ethics; structured individual and group reflection and mentoring relationships. Cognitive, behavioural, motivational, ethical, emotional and spiritual elements that are embedded in students’ leadership practices. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite : HUM 5101 Leadership Theory, Practices and Approaches.

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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