SpIRE Spirituality Institute

SpIRE Spirituality Institute

The Spirituality Institute for Research and Education (SpIRE) has been established to serve the spiritual seeking of people, contribute to the academic study of spirituality in higher education colleges, and promote the phenomenon of ‘spirituality and’.

‘Spirituality and’ refers to spirituality and healthcare, spirituality and aging, spirituality and management, spirituality and leadership, spirituality and disability, spirituality and social concern, spirituality and ecology, etc., that are all signs of a new spiritual consciousness across the globe.

This new global spiritual awakening in our time is moving people to seek spiritual resources for issues about the meaning of life that come up in diverse settings. These contexts of lived experience include work, family, relationships, life-transitions, and concerns regarding human, societal and planetary wellbeing.

SpIRE aims to develop contemplative and critically informed spirituality guides, reflective practitioners, and skilled researchers regarding contemporary spiritual issues and the journey of life in its spiritual dimension and connection.  It will give effect to its aims through education, research, training, consultancy, publishing, and networking and collaborating across countries and in Ireland.

Fifth SpIRE public lecture

At the very successful fifth SpIRE public lecture: Prof Michael Howlett (SpIRE Committee), Dr Michael Murray (SpIRE Committee), Prof Fiona Timmins (SpIRE Committee), Prof Bernadette Flanagan (Chair of SpIRE), Prof Stephanie Paulsell (Harvard), Dr Michael O’Sullivan (Director of SpIRE). The lecture was held on 8 March 2016.


A few testimonies regarding the MA in Applied Spirituality in its form as a Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) award at the Jesuit Conference Centre, Dublin in 2016-17

“I had already taken my first steps in a renewed spiritual life when I discovered the MA in Applied Spirituality. It presented itself just when I needed support for my personal journey of renewal and transformation. It was a challenge but I found the balance of academic and experiential learning uplifting, especially the support of tutors, spiritual advisors and classmates”.    

“I can honestly say it is hard to put into words the positive experience this past year on the MA programme has been for me.  It has been a wonderful opportunity for growth and awareness, an opening to explore the meaning of my relational worlds and those around me, family, friends, community. It has expanded my thinking, opening up my listening, widening my view to be more inclusive of all that there may be, with compassion”

“I learnt so much during the year and I enjoyed the course immensely”.

“I did the MA in Applied Spirituality during my sabbatical year and it was a very inspiring and fulfilling experience. The academic input was excellent, enlightening, thought-provoking and challenging. Great support and guidance were given at all times. The course called for personal reflection on lived experience and I have developed new skills and received many new insights for both my personal spiritual life and in my ministry. I have no hesitation in recommending this course to others to help them on the spiritual journey”

“it is an amazing journey”.

I want to acknowledge the inspirational presence of Dr Michael O’Sullivan who made my study of spirituality a transformative gift through the Holy Spirit. I will treasure our time together in Milltown for the rest of my life.

A few testimonies regarding the MA in Applied Spirituality in its form as a Dublin City University (DCU) award at All Hallows College in 2010-15

“It is a gem of a course, combining so well action and contemplation, personal development and academic study and research. I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to be part of it this year”.

“It was truly a remarkable experience and I feel very blessed to have been a small part of it”.

“This course was just what I was looking for. I had just retired (as a school principal) and was looking for a programme that could help me to explore and deepen my spirituality. A wonderful and unique aspect of the programme is that is gave me a solid academic foundation and, at the same time, allowed me to look deeply into the inner landscape of my soul.  The applied, contemplative focus of the course has challenged me to live with greater authenticity”.

“I applied for the MA after many years of restless seeking.  I had been through many life crises and in spite of huge resistance I finally listened to the call of my heart to pursue formal study in the field of spirituality.  I could not have anticipated the gift that this course would become in my life”.

Evaluation of an international external examiner: