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Master’s Degree Programs in Christian Leadership Overview

Majors Overview November 17, 2015

Students seeking a solid foundation in theology and principles as a precursor to leadership skills would benefit from enrolling in a master’s degree in Christian leadership program. Those already in a church-related career may want to look into these programs to increase their ministry knowledge and further develop their skills in Christian leadership.

Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Christian Leadership

Many schools offer master’s degree programs in Christian leadership. Full-time students usually take about 18 months to complete these programs. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as the history of the church in America, the New Testament, Christian ethics, and theology in a global context. Schools may allow students to choose concentrations such as educational leadership, youth ministry, or worship leadership. Other courses may cover topic areas such as cross-cultural leadership, creative leadership, and leadership development. Completion of a research project or gaining of hands-on experience through a practicum may be a course requirement.

Master of Arts (M.A.) Programs in Christian Leadership

Program graduates can expect to garner Christian leadership skills to provide them with the chance of leading various organizations and groups. Students examine theological and biblical theories for use in gaining a strong foundational grasp of the church and the Bible. Additionally, the focus of students’ master’s program may be in a specific concentration, such as educational leadership, worship leadership, or youth ministries.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require the successful completion of a bachelor’s degree program. Students with a bachelor’s degree in a major other than religion or a related field, such as the Bible, Christian ministry, or Christian education might have to pass an examination or complete prerequisite courses. Applicants must also submit a pastor’s letter of recommendation, among others.


Core coursework has a focus on leadership, such as transformation leadership and organization leadership. The history of the church and the Christian doctrine are also part of the curriculum. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Practical Ministry
•Servant leadership
•Bible study methods
•Biblical interpretation
•Small church ministry
•Effective church leadership

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek professional leadership positions in numerous settings related to the church, such as parachurch organizations, extension ministries, marketplace ministries, or local churches. They may choose from possible job titles such as:

•Christian education director
•Campus Minister
•Student ministry leader
•Youth Pastor

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates who seek continuing education may earn a doctoral degree program in ministry. Schools also offer doctoral degree programs in theology and biblical studies. Doctoral degree program graduates can seek advanced leadership positions within religious facilities or churches, as well as research or academic positions within universities and colleges.

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