MA in Resilient Leadership
Two track options — Sustainable Systems or Climate Justice
The Resilient Leadership program at Naropa University prepares students to address
ecological and social issues within community and organizational settings with insight,
knowledge and compassion. Students build an integrated understanding of systems, sustainability,
and both social and environmental justice; develop deep relationships with self, community,
and nature; and acquire applied leadership skills. Students concentrate in either
Sustainable Systems or Climate Justice. The two-year, 39-credit residential program
is composed of semester-long courses and one summer block where students get hands
on experience within the natural world and in community. In the final year, students
apply their leadership skills to a substantial project in collaboration with a professional
organization or complete a formal written thesis. Most classes are scheduled in the
late afternoon and evening, and on occasional weekends, to accommodate working students.
- Credits and completion time: 39 credits, 2 years
- Format: residential, classes are mostly in the evenings, with some weekends and one summer
- Key components: professional training in leadership skills, ecological, and social justice literacy
and theory, and contemplative as well as nature-based practices. Opportunity to take
a Wilderness solo course. Applied Leadership Project (Sustainable Systems track) project
carried out in collaboration with community partners or formal Thesis (Climate Justice
- Career directions: leadership towards sustainability, environmental policy, and social justice in organizations,
communities, self-designed businesses, further scholarship, and teaching
- Sample of post-degree employment: Founder and owner, Boulder's Best Organics, Resource Conservation Specialist with
the City of Boulder, Board of Directors of Naturally Boulder- a task force of the
Boulder Economic Council, National Outreach Coordinator of Northwest Earth Institute
in Portland, OR, Founder and Director of Community Cycles, Boulder, Education and
Outreach Coordinator, Local Environmental Action Division, City of Boulder, Founder
of Syzygy Community House a nonprofit dedicated to creative sustainability prototyping
and education, Executive Director of Colorado Canyons Association, Special Assistant/Community
Liaison Office of the Mayor of the City and County of Denver and many more great jobs
across the country.
- Program prerequisites: BA with suggested (not required) undergraduate course from the natural sciences and
one undergraduate course from the social sciences.
MA in Ecopsychology
Ecopsychology integrates psychology and ecology in the study of human-nature relationships.
The low-residency MA provides a thorough overview of the intellectual, philosophical
and practical aspects of ecopsychology, deepens our understanding of and connection
with nature, articulates our emerging worldview of the human-nature relationship,
and contributes in some tangible way to the earth and our communities as a result
of our insights, actions and service work.
- Credits and completion time: 38 credits, 2 years
- Format: online with short residential components
- Key components: ecopsychological and transpersonal psychology theory and practice, including contemplative
practice. Wilderness solo course. Service learning placement in the student’s community.
- Career directions: Graduates will apply it in a variety of career areas including education, business,
social services, health care, environmental advocacy, organizational development and
- Sample of post-degree employment: wilderness work with corporate leaders, creating websites and study groups on ecopsychology,
teaching in a Waldorf high school, wilderness rites of passage with teens, teaching
art and ecopsychology at the university level, and guiding ecopsychology retreats
- Program prerequisites: BA and writing sample; some familiarity with transpersonal psychology or ecopsychology.
MA in CLINICAL MENTAL HEALTH COUNSELING – TRANSPERSONAL Wilderness Therapy concentration
The Wilderness Therapy curriculum combines psychological counseling skills with disciplines
such as adventure therapy, ecopsychology and wilderness skills training. The Wilderness
Therapy program prepares students to become professional counselors with the skills
and knowledge needed to work in wilderness settings as well as in traditional clinical
- Credits and completion time: 60 credits, 3 years
- Format: residential
- Key components: professional training in counseling as well as wilderness/nature/ecopsychology-based
therapy. Contemplative practice. Multiple backcountry expeditions, one as a wilderness
- Career directions: LPC licensure in traditional counseling or nature/wilderness-based therapeutic programs.
- Sample of post-degree employment: therapist at a nature/wilderness-based program, therapist at residential program
including nature/wilderness-based therapy, addictions counselor, private practice
in equine-assisted therapy; counselor in school or college setting.
- Program prerequisites: BA courses in human development, abnormal psychology, theories of personality plus
14-day wilderness trip