Certificate in Spiritual Entrepreneurship


Ministry comes in many forms. Do you have the business skills for your spiritual calling?

Our Certificate in Spiritual Entrepreneurship blends the tools of spirituality with 21st  century business skills. Apply the rigor of graduate business education to your vocational calling—whether your ministry is inside or outside a traditional religious institution.

We offer a unique and highly integrated business + theology curriculum, designed to create a thriving non-profit or for-profit organization in a variety of spiritual fields. This is a four-course, 12-credit program which helps students develop their theological and spiritual offerings, products, and services as well as develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Test the viability of a business idea, or if you already have a business idea in production, assess and improve your implementation plan toward success. 


  • 4 Courses: 2 in theology and 2 in business
  • 100% online
  • Choose courses based on your area of interest
  • CEs available
  • No application—simply register!


This program is for would-be and current startup founders who seek to serve an aspect of spiritual need within or outside of religious institutions to advance their entrepreneurial ideas, test viability, and learn mindset and skillsets for success.

  • You are a current ministry professional who wants to develop entrepreneurial ventures within your ministry setting or as an additional income stream.
  • You are seeking to develop a product or service that serves the institutional ecosystem of religious institutions, but want to do so as an entrepreneurial self-employed contractor.
  • You are thinking about ministry vocations/business endeavors that serve the spiritual needs of people outside of religious institutions.


  1. Articulate a spiritual need and/or opportunity within or outside of religious institutions and investigate a pathway and related skills to address the need/opportunity through a business venture.
  2. Apply knowledge from theological study and spiritual disciplines related to the business venture being explored.
  3. Use the customer discovery process to develop an empathetic business model that connects the product or service design to real customer needs based on valid and reliable qualitative and quantitative research methods.
  4. Use the tools and frameworks of innovation and entrepreneurship to analyze patterns in various entrepreneurial business cases and apply to their own.


1. Foundational Theology Course –“Practices and Pilgrimages: Event Design and Pedagogy for Spiritual Entrepreneurs”

This course offers an exploration of the role of events (retreats, webinars, courses, community gatherings, conferences, travel expeditions, live, online–a wide variety of formats for various purposes) in the entrepreneurial businesses of those serving the spiritual needs of persons and communities. Special attention will be paid to pedagogy and design concepts in the communication of a theme and message as well as skills and business acumen to carry that out successfully. Readings and case-studies accompany student project development. This course is required for the certificate and offers the chance for the building of a cohort experience, a grounding in the principles of spiritual entrepreneurship as explored in the program, and the honing of a spiritual entrepreneurial project to be explored in the rest of the certificate courses. This course is eligible for transfer to master’s level credit if a student moves on to a master’s level degree program within San Francisco Theological Seminary (SFTS).

2. Theology Elective Course Relevant to Your Vocation

Students will determine a field of theological/spiritual study within the SFTS/Graduate School of Theology offerings that can address Learning Outcome #2: “Apply knowledge from theological study and spiritual disciplines related to the business venture being explored.” In conversation with the Certificate Advisor (a member of the SFTS/GST faculty) and Sponsoring Faculty for the desired course, the Individualized Study Application/Contract will be filled out for approval. Beyond the approved requirements of the course, a Spiritual Entrepreneurship Certificate cohort presentation of the final project may be scheduled.

3 (and 4). Choose 2 of these School of Business & Society Entrepreneurship courses:

  1. Evolving the Entrepreneurial Mindset
  2. Validating a startup’s idea through deep customer discovery (using the “SLAM” diagram)
  3. Executing effectively on the Startup plan (using the “GRAND” diagram)
  4. Pitching for funding to Customers and Investors and maintaining momentum 


If you are interested in learning more, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Marcia McFee, Ford Fellow, Center for Innovation In Ministry, Visiting Professor in Worship.


Students taking these courses may also be eligible for Continuing Education Units (CEs) through our partner Spiritual Competency Academy. SCA is an approved CE provider for the following accreditation agencies:

  1. American Psychological Association: The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
  2. California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for license renewal by LCSWs and MFTs for programs from CE approved sponsors of the American Psychological Association. LCSWs and MFTs from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board for approval.
  3. California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California.
  4. National Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coaches. (CEP Number 100196)