Good news from SpIRE

May 18, 2022 in Featured News, News

For the first time in Ireland, MA and PhD studies in Applied Spirituality are being offered in a technological university, through the work of SpIRE, the Spirituality Institute for Research and Education of Ireland founded by Drs Bernadette Flanagan PBVM and Michael O’Sullivan SJ, and the accreditation of such studies by what was the Waterford Institute of Technology.

Simon Harris, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation, and Science, officially signed the order under the Technological Universities Act 2018, to establish South East Technological University (SETU) on the first day of May 2022.

This is the first university to be established in the South East of the country in what was formerly the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) (see photo) and the Institute of Technology Carlow. SpIRE, as a
Registered Charity, was an independent but associated entity of WIT and is now in the same relationship with SETU.

Commenting on the new university status for SpIRE, Michael O’Sullivan SJ, Director of SpIRE, says, “SpIRE is delighted to have played a major role in bringing these studies to the new South East Technological University (SETU) and to provide a first-class specialist library in the discipline, in Milltown Park, Dublin, where it hosts and supports such university studies. It is also delighted to have played an innovative role in the Spirituality in Society and Professions (SpirSoP) Research Group, which is the first group of its kind in an Irish university.”


On Thursday, June 9th, at the invitation of heads of the new university, the Director of SpIRE, Dr Michael O’Sullivan, will give a public lecture in SETU, entitled, ‘Spirituality in the University. The lecture will take place in SETU, Waterford Campus, Cork Road, main auditorium at 12.30 pm and will be preceded by a reception at 12 noon.

SpIRE recently also co-sponsored a conference hosted by Princeton Theological Seminary, New Jersey, on the theme of ‘Prayer as Resistance: Contemplative Practices for Liberative Justice.’ The inaugural conference aligned with the formation of a Contemplative Leadership Programme at the Princeton seminary.

Meanwhile, all SETU staff, and colleagues in Applied Spirituality studies, are invited to a lunchtime talk with Prof Tove Giske on Thursday 12 May, 1-2 pm. Tove Giske is a Professor in Nursing and works as a teacher and researcher at VID Specialized University, Faculty of Health Studies, Bergen, Norway, where she also serves as the Director of Research and Development. Her talk will focus on ways to overcome the challenges of integrating spirituality into health care.

Professor Giske has researched and published internationally about spiritual care for many years. She has collaborated with Professor Pamela Cone for almost 20 years, and they have published a handbook on the subject together, in Norwegian and an English version will be published later this year.

Michael O’Sullivan says he has heard her lecture before and highly recommends her research in the area of spiritual care which is a rapidly developing area of academic interest.

The Spirituality Institute for Research and Education (SpIRE) is also inviting the wider public to the launch
of Spiritual Accompaniment and Marginalization in the Vincentian Tradition by Dr Éibhlís NicUaithuas, DC on Thursday, 16 June from 7.00-8:15 p.m Ireland (GMT + 1).

Dr Paul Houston Blankenship will launch the book, and responses will be given by Dr Eddie Cosgrove and Dr NicUaithuas, a Daughter of Charity sister.

Dr Blankenship obtained his PhD from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He teaches spirituality at the University of Seattle, does ministry with homeless people, and will graduate with a Spiritual Accompaniment qualification this year. He serves in a leadership role in the International Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.

Dr Cosgrove is a graduate of the MA in Applied Spirituality and Director and Men’s Team Co-ordinator of the Ignatian Spirituality Project (ISP) in Dublin.

This event will take place on Zoom. To register and receive the link, click here ».
If you encounter any difficulty, contact Dr Noel Keating at [email protected].