Taught course

Mystical Theology

Heythrop College · Pastoral and Social Studies

Entry requirements

An honours degree (normally 2.1 or above) or equivalent, in an appropriate subject. It is not essential for the first degree to be in theology. For applicants without an undergraduate degree, academic ability to undertake the programme may be considered on the basis of other evidence, including learning from experience, evidence of prior study or work at an appropriate level, references and interview.

Months of entry


Course content

The PGCert Mystical Theology looks at the origins and development of mystical theology in the wider context of the Christian spiritual tradition. It focuses on major figures in the history of mystical theology, from Origen and Augustine to Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross. The aim is to examine the texts closely, against the historical, cultural and spiritual background of their time, understanding mystical theology as a key element in Christian thought.

Questions relevant to the wider study of spirituality are central, such as how the human person is understood in relation to God, how the person is transformed on the mystical journey, what is involved in the mystical journey and what the goal of the journey is. The approach is theological, with attention to the role of scripture and doctrine as well as to related topics in the study of Christian spirituality.

The programme is designed for those seeking in-depth reflection on the traditions of mystical theology in all Christian thought and practice, in two modules taught and assessed at Masters level. The programme supports practical engagement in Christian spirituality, such as in pastoral teaching or retreat work, but is open to any suitably qualified student with an interest in the topic.

The programme consists of two taught modules; Foundations for the Study of Christian Spirituality will examine the theorectical issues surrounding religious experience and spirituality as an academic field which studies these experiences. History of Christian Mysticism to the Reformation focuses on the writings of the major writers including Augustine, Meister Eckhart, Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross to show how Christian mysticism emerged and developed.

Successful completion of this programme may allow students to enrol for the full MA in Christian Spirituality at Heythrop College with advanced standing.

Information for international students

IELTS (taken within two years of the start of your studies at Heythrop) - 6.5 With no less than 6.5 in each of Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing. Find out more about language requirements and other tests.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

The College has established a new Bursary Fund which is open to postgraduate students starting their studies in September 2013. Bursaries will be awarded to students on the basis of financial need and motivation to study at Heythrop and will be used to reduce the tuition fees charged to students by the College. College bursaries reducing the cost of tuition are also available for New Qualified Teachers, Alumni, and Academic Excellence.

There will be a limited number of bursaries available and applicants should refer to the College website for details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0) 20 7795 4202
+44 (0) 20 7795 4200