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Sophia Center
Sophia Center for Culture and Spirituality - a wisdom center celebrating Earth, Art and Spirituality

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for your interest in the Sophia Center. The following FAQs may provide answers some of your questions about the program.

Where is Sophia Center located? [ get details see more or less ]

On the campus of Holy Names University, a quiet, natural setting, in the wooded serenity of the Oakland hills with views of San Francisco Bay and the vast Pacific beyond the Golden Gate.

You are invited to visit our campus, attend classes, and meet individually with the program director of the Sophia Center. In addition to full-time students, the Sophia Center welcomes auditors and part-time students.

What accommodations do you offer? [ get details see more or less ]

Many students live in the residence hall. Housing options include having a double room as a single (which most students do) or sharing a double room. A meal plan is mandatory if you live on campus. Off-campus housing is available in areas around the college.

To apply for on-campus housing, complete and return the form that will be sent to you by the Residence Life Office. Women enrolled in the Sophia Center who live on campus reside in a wing designated for their use in Founders Hall.

What financial aid do you offer? [ get details see more or less ]

Holy Names University offers a 35 percent discount on tuition to members of religious orders.

Additional Financial Aid and Scholarships information may be found on Holy Names University's web site.

What are the admission requirements? [ get details see more or less ]

Qualifications for full admission to the Graduate program are as follows:

  • A Bachelor's degree or its equivalent, conferred by an accredited institution of higher education.
  • A cumulative undergraduate of 2.6, and an average of 3.0 in your major and in any subsequent post-graduate work.
  • Students whose GPA falls below the minimum requirements for full acceptance may still be admitted provisionally.

What are the materials Needed for Graduate Application?
[ get details see more or less ]

  1. Send Application for Admission Download a PDF
  2. $65.00 Non-Refundable Application Fee
  3. Send Official Transcripts from all colleges/universities previously attended directly to Holy Names University
  4. Two letters of recommendation

What are the MA Completion Requirements? [ get details see more or less ]

  1. Completion of the Requirements for the MA in Culture and Spirituality — 31 units
  2. Fall Modules 10 units (5 units each fall semester)
  3. Spring Modules 12 units (6 units each spring semester)
  4. Summer Institute 3 units
  5. Field Praxis/Education 3 units
  6. MA Project or Integrative Project

What is a Sophia Certificate? [ get details see more or less ]

A Sophia Certificate is available for students who do not have a B.A. degree prior to entering the program or who choose not to write a final project. Certificate students participate in all curricular and experiential aspects of the Sophia program over the nine-month period.

Completion of the Requirements for the Certificate in Culture and Spirituality — 27 units:

  • Fall Modules 10 units (5 units each fall semester)
  • Spring Modules 12 units (6 units each spring semester)
  • Summer Institute 3 units
  • Field Praxis/Education 3 units

Additional Notes: Additional units can be applied to the degree/certificate requirements by registering for the summer post-institute workshop (2units) or for those living locally by taking one or more of the semester program courses.

Up to 6 units of graduate study from an accredited university or college can be applied as part of the 31-unit MA requirement. These units cannot have been applied as a requirement for a previously earned degree and must have been taken within a 7-year time limit; official transcripts must be requested by the student.

What is a Sophia Sabbatical? [ get details see more or less ]

A four month Sophia Sabbatical, in either the Fall or Spring semester, offers an opportunity to use the resources and setting of the Sophia Center to find rest and rejuvenation. In the wooded serenity of the Oakland hills, with views of San Francisco Bay and the vast Pacific beyond, the Sophia Center offers both the stimulation of lively discourse and the reflection that brings clarity to your personal journey.

Over the years, many religious professionals, people in career transitions, and those seeking new context for their daily lives have found that four months at the Sophia Center brings renewal and new capacities to hear the voice of the Earth.

What is the Field Praxis? [ get details see more or less ]

The Field Praxis involves an Eco-Plunge and an Urban Plunge. This can be the laboratory/research component for your MA Project or Integrative Paper; that is, if you were writing about "single displaced people," you may want to spend time with a project in the inner city. Or, if your topic was "ecology," you may become related to a community supported agricultural project or an earth literacy center.

The Field Praxis component is required for both MA and Certificate students.

Eco plunge: Spend time in the other than human world; develop an intimate relationship with creation. Experience the primary revolutionary dimension of the natural world. Begin to understand and see with new eyes (earth literacy) the language of Creation expressed not in words but in sounds, sights, colors, smells. Notice the particular numinous moments of dawn, dusk and other dramatic aspects, the rhythms of the day, the seasons and the seasons of your life.

Urban Plunge: Take the opportunity to encounter the homeless, displaced people living in the city. Through dialogue,, personal relationship and listening discover the central dignity and authentic value of these people on whom society tends to project stereotypes of laziness, moral judgment, etc. Begin to discover in these "little ones of society" the particular presence of the divine and discover a new level of listening that will provide them with the opportunity to be our teachers and "wisdom bearers" in our lives.

Attendance is highly recommended at the module sessions during the semester you register for the Field Praxis.

What is Sophia Center's accreditation? [ get details see more or less ]

The Sophia Center is a graduate program of Holy Names University and is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Senior Colleges and Universities of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Commission of Recognition of Post secondary Accreditation.

What are Sophia Center's affiliations? [ get details see more or less ]

Sophia Center maintains shared educational arrangements with other institutions, including: Genesis Farm Learning Center in New Jersey, Graduate Theological Union / Pacific School of Religion, California Institute for Integral Studies, Global Education Associations in New York, and Care Through Touch.

Still have questions?

You can call the Sophia Center directly at 510-436-1046 or 800-794-8813, or email Admissions at AdultEd@hnu.edu.

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