Master of Arts in Consciousness and Transformative Studies

1

First Accredited Consciousness MA in the United States

40+

Year Old Program

88%

Student Satisfaction Rate

74%

Program Alumni with Right Livelihood

Ways to Learn

  • Online
  • Hybrid
  • In-Person

Program Length

  • 2 Years Full-Time
  • 3 Years Part-Time
  • 58 Units

Overview

Delve deeper into your own consciousness and gain the knowledge to help transform self and world with a Master of Arts in Consciousness and Transformative Studies.

Drawing from psychology, philosophy, religion, and the new sciences, consciousness studies bridges the divide between science and spirituality to empower transformative leaders. Leading students on a journey of self-discovery, the MA in Consciousness and Transformative Studies program links personal transformation to professional development and service of the greater good. The program is designed not only to galvanize your wisdom, courage, love, joy, and vitality, but also to enrich your sense of meaning, passion, and purpose. This program is offered on campus and online in a structured format with weekly deadlines across each quarter-long course.

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Highlights

  • Attain greater self-knowledge and growth through a multidisciplinary approach drawing from psychology, philosophy, and religion
  • Clarify your life purpose and develop professional expertise
  • Gain creative competencies applicable to a wide range of fields

PROGRAM LEARNING OUTCOMES

Students earning a Master’s in Consciousness and Transformative Studies will be able to do the following:

  • Articulate and apply a holistic and developmental view of consciousness and human evolution.
  • Demonstrate awareness and accountability for one’s subjective states and stage development using integrative psychological and spiritual principles and practices.
  • Communicate and apply systems theory principles to individual, community, and organizational transformation.
  • Apply leadership and Participatory Action Research skills to a creative leadership project in service of consciousness growth and systems change.

Sound like you? Make it real.

Why JFKU

Turn Your Degree into Your Work

Acknowledging that the journey of identifying our authentic purpose would not be complete without the practical skills necessary to make that vision a reality, our program devotes a portion of required coursework to professional development topics such as writing, teaching, publishing, entrepreneurship, and coaching. These practical skills aid students in translating their degree into a professional context.

Customize Your Expertise

Graduates of the Program go on to work in a range of fields where their new skills allow them to effectively guide individuals, organizations, and even entire communities through transformational change. Depending on their objectives, students may choose from a variety of specializations:

  • Consciousness and Healing
  • Culture and Community
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Dream Studies
  • Coaching (Coming soon!)

Come Home to a Program that Recognizes Your Experience

In existence since the late 1970s, our program was one of the first of its kind in the country. We were built on the understanding that there are those of us out there whose experience is not yet recognized by the culture at large. In joining us, many of our students feel that they have found their tribe. By discovering a shared recognition of their unique experience, they also come home to themselves.

Curriculum

The Master’s in Consciousness and Transformative Studies requires completion of 58 quarter units. Specializations are completed within the 58 units through completion of four “core” courses and 6-7 elective units, all of which are part of the degree requirements.

Undergraduate Prerequisites [1]
COR 3145 – Research Writing (4 units)

Fall - First Year
Units
CNS 5049 Intro to Consciousness Studies
0 (All New Students)
This course introduces new students to the Consciousness and Transformative Studies program.
CNS 5012 Emotional Intelligence
3
This course introduces basic principles and practices of effective communication. Since emotional intelligence is a cornerstone of effective communication, students learn about affect theory and emotional scripts, and learn to apply these theories personally in service of greater self-awareness. Topics include emotional intelligence, affect theory, emotional scripts, emotional triggering and reactivity, presence, centering, listening skills, and discriminating between content and process.
CNS 5015 Body Consciousness/ Body Wisdom
2
This experiential course gives students the opportunity to explore their own body sensations, and in so doing, to make contact with its wisdom and power. We explore various areas and systems of the body, listening to their messages about what makes us feel supported, trusting, and strong; what makes us feel alive and passionate; what is right for us; what makes us feel satisfied; what do we care for and what do we want to give; what are our boundaries and what do we want to express; and what makes us feel protected and safe. Along the way, we consider messages that signal stress, anxiety, hunger, fear, and vulnerability.
Winter - First Year
Units
CNS 5030 Consciousness of Sleep and Dreams
2
Students will examine recent scientific research in sleep and dreams and explore varieties of techniques in working with dreams. The course focuses on the states of consciousness within sleep and different phenomena of the dreaming mind. Students will also explore their own dreams through different experiential and creative explorations.
CNS 5013 Interpersonal Intelligence
3
(prereq: CNS 5012 Emotional) This course continues to practice skills and principles of effective communication with a focus on intersubjective contexts. Students explore the use of communication in day-to-day life, relationships, counseling, teaching, employment settings, and other contexts. Topics include emotional dynamics, conflict resolution, and the importance of communication in social and global issues.
Spring - First Year
Units
CNS 5010 Paradigms of Consciousness
3
A paradigm is a model of reality, or aspects of reality, held by a community, and affirmed and enacted through communal behavior. Society today is shaped by past paradigms of consciousness as well as those which are newly emerging. This class explores the nature of paradigms, how they emerge, and how they are sustained and changed. We give particular attention to the evolution of various paradigms of consciousness and reality – from indigenous to modern, postmodern, holistic, and integral – and examine the potential of each to contribute to personal, social, and global transformation.
CNS 5125 Transpersonal Psychology
3
Summer - First Year
Units
CNS 5349 Integral Life Spiritual Practice
2
The complex challenges of our time demand that we give the best of ourselves to the world, yet many of these challenges leave us with little time for self-care or self-cultivation. An integral life practice, which draws on both ancient and modern insights and techniques as well as the principles of cross-training to maximize the effectiveness of our efforts, offers a stream-lined approach to transformative practice and thriving. Through this course, students engage in individual and collective self-assessment exercises, and learn to design and implement an integrative program of practices to promote physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, and spiritual awakening.
CNS 5275 Living Systems & Creative Potential
2
This course introduces the basic principles of Living Systems Theory using theoretical and experiential components. Students apply these principles and practices to a selected area of interest (ecology, psychological development, community/cultural development, education, business or spiritual leadership, etc). We also explore feedback processes, the interdependence of all life, creative emergence, individual development, family systems and the impact of systems thinking on organizational transformation and social change.
Fall - Second Year
Units
CNS 5017 Human Development and Evolution of Consciousness
2
This course imparts a meta-perspective on human development and on the evolution of human consciousness. Developmental models assist us in perceiving the growth potentials across the human life span, which include conscious leadership. The course introduces various models of human development, such as Erikson’s psychosocial development, Kohlberg and Gilligan’s moral development, Fowler’s faith development and Kegan’s adult development. The course also explores basic elements of Ken Wilber’s integral theory, including the four quadrants, the difference between states and stages, and premodern, modern, and postmodern altitudes. Topics include models of consciousness, the relationship of Self/self, and the potential of integral psychology to deepen our understanding of and help bring about personal psycho-spiritual development as well as social/global change.
ELECTIVES OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
3
Winter - Second Year
Units
CNS 5023 Shamanic Traditions
2
Shamanic practices and rituals that acknowledge and strengthen relationship to family, community, and the earth are sorely lacking in our modern culture, yet with each person’s ancestral lineages can be found evidence of earth-based spirituality, nurtured and supported through shamanic traditions. In this class, students will research shamanic practices within their ancestral lineages with the intention of integrating these practices with present-day knowledge.
CNS 5120 Diversity, Community & Leadership
3
(prereq: CNS 5013 Interpersonal) This course explores the question: Who am I, who are we, and who do we want to be as leaders of a new paradigm of interrelationship, interconnection, compassion and global citizenship? Students explore diversity, community development, leadership skills and professional development possibilities for expressing their highest and deepest values as agents of transformative change in their personal lives, families, and communities.
Spring - Second Year
Units
CNS 5025 Cosmology & Consciousness
3
(Prerequisite: CNS 5010 Paradigms). Cosmology is the study of the origin, structure, evolution, and eventual fate of the universe. Perhaps the most mysterious and intriguing aspect of the universe is the fact that it has evolved to include living beings with experience and even self-consciousness. Using the principles of systems theory, we can view the evolution and development of human consciousness not as separate from the rest of the cosmos, as is usually thought, but as integral parts of the experiential expansion of the cosmos. In this view, experience is as fundamental a feature of the universe as is space, time, energy, and matter. This participatory cosmology asks us all to become aware of our subjective states as causal elements in the continuing unfolding of the cosmos.
ELECTIVES OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
2
Summer - Second Year
Units
CNS 5455 Professional Identity: Life Purpose
3
This course presents the Enneagram system through the lens of professional identity (e.g. as team members, leaders, entrepreneurs). The Enneagram is a spiritual and psychological personality system comprised of 9 interrelated personality types with distinct unconscious emotional motivations that drive behavior and are expressed in 9 unique styles of speaking, communicating, body language and world view. The course examines the Enneagram Centers, Wings and Levels of Development, to identify differences between people of the same Type and levels of constriction (i.e. healthy to unhealthy). Throughout the course, students are expected to create and maintain a developmental practice designed to bring awareness to subjective reactions and perceptions and improve self-awareness, self-management and personal accountability.
CNS 5020 Archetypal Mythology
3
(Prerequisite: CNS 5125 Transpersonal). This course explores the role, weight, and significance of life's mythic dimension from the standpoint of depth psychologists who have claimed that mythic presences, events, and situations are not dead or extinct, but alive and addressing us continually. Archetypes and myths address us every day in our dreams, relationships, conflicts, and mishaps. We explore this claim through discussions, dream work, film, and other media that disclose deep myth-making layers of the psyche. Understanding the archetypal layer of consciousness deepens awareness of our subjectivity, and restores to us the archaic roots of our evolutionary heritage.
CNS 5126 Qualitative Research A
1
This course provides students with an introduction to research paradigms, and an overview of qualitative research methodologies. Discussion and exercises in class are geared toward defining and developing a research topic, question and project, in preparation for designing and conducting a creative leadership project.
Winter - First Year
Units
CNS 5030 Consciousness of Sleep and Dreams
2
Students will examine recent scientific research in sleep and dreams and explore varieties of techniques in working with dreams. The course focuses on the states of consciousness within sleep and different phenomena of the dreaming mind. Students will also explore their own dreams through different experiential and creative explorations.
CNS 5013 Interpersonal Intelligence
3
(prereq: CNS 5012 Emotional) This course continues to practice skills and principles of effective communication with a focus on intersubjective contexts. Students explore the use of communication in day-to-day life, relationships, counseling, teaching, employment settings, and other contexts. Topics include emotional dynamics, conflict resolution, and the importance of communication in social and global issues.
Summer - First Year
Units
CNS 5349 Integral Life Spiritual Practice
2
The complex challenges of our time demand that we give the best of ourselves to the world, yet many of these challenges leave us with little time for self-care or self-cultivation. An integral life practice, which draws on both ancient and modern insights and techniques as well as the principles of cross-training to maximize the effectiveness of our efforts, offers a stream-lined approach to transformative practice and thriving. Through this course, students engage in individual and collective self-assessment exercises, and learn to design and implement an integrative program of practices to promote physical health, emotional balance, mental clarity, and spiritual awakening.
CNS 5275 Living Systems & Creative Potential
2
This course introduces the basic principles of Living Systems Theory using theoretical and experiential components. Students apply these principles and practices to a selected area of interest (ecology, psychological development, community/cultural development, education, business or spiritual leadership, etc). We also explore feedback processes, the interdependence of all life, creative emergence, individual development, family systems and the impact of systems thinking on organizational transformation and social change.
Winter - Second Year
Units
CNS 5023 Shamanic Traditions
2
Shamanic practices and rituals that acknowledge and strengthen relationship to family, community, and the earth are sorely lacking in our modern culture, yet with each person’s ancestral lineages can be found evidence of earth-based spirituality, nurtured and supported through shamanic traditions. In this class, students will research shamanic practices within their ancestral lineages with the intention of integrating these practices with present-day knowledge.
CNS 5120 Diversity, Community & Leadership
3
(prereq: CNS 5013 Interpersonal) This course explores the question: Who am I, who are we, and who do we want to be as leaders of a new paradigm of interrelationship, interconnection, compassion and global citizenship? Students explore diversity, community development, leadership skills and professional development possibilities for expressing their highest and deepest values as agents of transformative change in their personal lives, families, and communities.
Summer - Second Year
Units
CNS 5455 Professional Identity: Life Purpose
3
This course presents the Enneagram system through the lens of professional identity (e.g. as team members, leaders, entrepreneurs). The Enneagram is a spiritual and psychological personality system comprised of 9 interrelated personality types with distinct unconscious emotional motivations that drive behavior and are expressed in 9 unique styles of speaking, communicating, body language and world view. The course examines the Enneagram Centers, Wings and Levels of Development, to identify differences between people of the same Type and levels of constriction (i.e. healthy to unhealthy). Throughout the course, students are expected to create and maintain a developmental practice designed to bring awareness to subjective reactions and perceptions and improve self-awareness, self-management and personal accountability.
CNS 5020 Archetypal Mythology
3
(Prerequisite: CNS 5125 Transpersonal). This course explores the role, weight, and significance of life's mythic dimension from the standpoint of depth psychologists who have claimed that mythic presences, events, and situations are not dead or extinct, but alive and addressing us continually. Archetypes and myths address us every day in our dreams, relationships, conflicts, and mishaps. We explore this claim through discussions, dream work, film, and other media that disclose deep myth-making layers of the psyche. Understanding the archetypal layer of consciousness deepens awareness of our subjectivity, and restores to us the archaic roots of our evolutionary heritage.
CNS 5126 Qualitative Research A
1
This course provides students with an introduction to research paradigms, and an overview of qualitative research methodologies. Discussion and exercises in class are geared toward defining and developing a research topic, question and project, in preparation for designing and conducting a creative leadership project.

Faculty

Fall - Third Year
Units
CNS 5127 Qualitative Research B (OR)
1
(prereq: CNS 5126 Qualitative Research A) Continuing the approach of CNS 5126, this course provides students with an in-depth exposure to participatory action research methods. Students apply one of these methods to their own creative leadership project by creating a research design using Action Research, Collaborative Inquiry or Appreciative Inquiry. They also complete a literature review focused on their topic and project.
CNS 5600 Planning a Thesis
1
(prereq: CNS 5126 Qualitative Research A) In this course, students will explore their thesis topics and clarify the major questions to be addressed.
ELECTIVES OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
4
Winter - Third Year
Units
CNS 5610 MA Integrative Project A (OR)
1
(prereq: CNS 5127 Qualitative Research B) Students implement participatory action research methods in service of consciousness growth and systems change. Students conduct research for their creative leadership project designed in CNS 5127. Projects typically engage in four cycles of action and reflection, plus a final meaning-making meeting.
CNS 5602 Thesis
1
(prereq: CNS 5600 Planning a Thesis)
ELECTIVES OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
4
Spring - Third Year
Units
CNS 5611 MA Integrative Project B (OR)
1
In this class, students assimilate the learnings from their creative leadership project conducted in service of consciousness growth and systems change. They prepare their final integrative paper, reporting on their learnings from their creative leadership project conducted in CNS 5610. They also present their project and learnings in class. The creative leadership project offers a bridge to post-graduation work and right livelihood.
CNS 5602 Thesis
1
(prereq: CNS 5600 Planning a Thesis)
CNS 5613 Consciousness Studies Integration
1
This course, taken at the conclusion of the program, offers students the opportunity to integrate their cumulative learnings from the Consciousness and Transformative Studies curriculum, both personally and conceptually. The course includes a review of key concepts and major principles from the core curriculum, gathered through student presentations and then evaluated through a cumulative learning assessment. Additionally, students apply these concepts and principles in a personal essay exploring their own transformation of consciousness throughout the program.
ELECTIVES OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
4
Summer - Third Year
Units
CNS 5602 Thesis
1
Winter - Third Year
Units
CNS 5610 MA Integrative Project A (OR)
1
(prereq: CNS 5127 Qualitative Research B) Students implement participatory action research methods in service of consciousness growth and systems change. Students conduct research for their creative leadership project designed in CNS 5127. Projects typically engage in four cycles of action and reflection, plus a final meaning-making meeting.
CNS 5602 Thesis
1
(prereq: CNS 5600 Planning a Thesis)
ELECTIVES OR PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
4
Summer - Third Year
Units
CNS 5602 Thesis
1

You found the door. So open it.