Master of Arts in Church Leadership

This program is designed to provide graduate theological study for persons contemplating specialized leadership roles in congregational, church or community agency settings. It is particularly well-suited for the preparation of persons who will have one primary ministry focus on a congregational leadership team, or in a ministry of the church in the broader community and cross-culturally. The student will receive basic training within foundational, integrative core courses and then will identify further coursework that will allow them to focus on one specialized area of ministry.

Beginning early in their time of study, students will work with an advisor to identify vocational growth goals and to select courses that will prepare them for the specialized role they envision for their ministry. This specialization, while having a clear focus, will be made up of courses that the student and advisor jointly discern will best serve to prepare the student for ministry. Possible areas of specialization given the training opportunities the seminary can provide are these: Christian spiritual formation and direction, the local and global mission of the church, pastoral care and counseling, preaching and teaching, worship leadership, conflict management and peacemaking.

The length of study necessary to complete the program is two years (60 semester hours). Supervised field education or Mentored Ministry is an essential component of this program. The course Formation in Ministry meets this requirement. Students who enter seminary with a significant amount of previous ministry experience may petition to take Clinical Pastoral Education instead of Formation in Ministry. Students without previous ministry experience may be encouraged to take an internship in addition to Formation in Ministry. Students will receive resourcing in writing and research skills early in their seminary studies, during the Christian Tradition course.

The student considering this degree program should bear in mind that it is a terminal-type degree. This means that a person who eventually chooses to enter a more advanced program such as Master of Divinity will need to complete additional studies beyond the one-year difference in the two programs. If a student chooses to complete an MACL degree and then decides to pursue a Master of Divinity degree, consideration may be given to applying up to 45 semester hours of credit from the first degree toward the Master of Divinity degree.

Persons considering advanced academic master or doctoral studies should pursue the Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Religion degree rather than the Master of Arts in Church Leadership.

Normally 30 hours of resident study are required.

Master of Church Leadership Core Curriculum Design

First year

Formation in God’s Story I (2)
Formation in God’s Story II (2)
Old Testament: Text in Context (3)
New Testament: Text in Context (3)
Christian Tradition I (4)
Christian Tradition II (4)
Basics of Biblical Language (3)
Biblical study elective (3)

Second year

Formation in Ministry I (3)
Formation in Ministry II (3)
Interpreting the Biblical Text (3)
Anabaptist course* (3)
Living Theology (3)
Missio Dei in Cultural Context (3)

*Required only for Anabaptist-affiliated students

MACL degree hours:
Core courses: 42 SH
Electives, guided by specialized ministry focus: 18 SH
Total: 60 SH

Possible ministry specializations:

Christian Spiritual Formation and Spiritual Direction
The Local and Global Mission of the Church
Pastoral Care and Counseling
Preaching and Teaching
Worship and Congregational Leadership
Conflict Management and Peacebuilding