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College of Graduate, Online & Adult Learning

Ministry Leadership


  • Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership
  • Graduate

36 credits

required for program

On campus, online, or blended

36 credits

36 credits

required for program

On campus, online, or blended

Be prepared for leadership in churches, nonprofits, and other faith-based organizations. Our fully online or blended master’s in Ministry Leadership degree prepares you with the spiritual and leadership tools you need to lead organizations, communicate effectively, and impact your organization, local community and world for Christ. Select from seven distinct emphasis tracks to shape this degree to meet your unique professional and ministry goals.

7 Emphasis Tracks
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The program provides seven 12-credit emphasis tracks.

36 credits
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This is a focused 36 credit hour practical ministry degree.

MAML + MDiv Option

Apply toward a Master of Divinity degree. Graduate with both degrees in as few as 76 credits.

The Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership (MAML) is an accelerated online and blended program designed to equip local church, non-profit, and parachurch leaders with tools for spiritual formation, biblical interpretation, and organizational leadership. In order to fit your unique needs and interests, the M. A. in Ministry Leadership also includes emphasis tracks in Pastoral Leadership, Organizational Leadership, Biblical Studies, Theological Studies, Human Services, Educational Studies, and Clinical Pastoral Education.

Whether you are a pastor, associate pastor, nonprofit or lay leader, this flexible program can help you take the next step in your leadership journey. The fully online or blended program can be completed in just 18-22 months. If you have completed previous graduate work, you may be able to apply up to nine credits of previous coursework toward this transfer-friendly degree. In addition, student may continue on from this MA degree to pursue the Master of Divinity or other graduate degree offerings including the MBA.

During this program, you will experience dynamic discussions in a rich, non-denominational setting and be involved in ministry through internships with the option to apply to an outside Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program to be trained for chaplaincy work.

Why study Ministry Leadership at Northwestern?

Personal and spiritual formation for leadership provides a foundation for growing skills in strategic planning, communication, and cultural impact. Faculty are practitioner scholars who have a personal vision to help you grow as a ministry leader.

This is a practical ministry degree program designed to prepare you to make an impact in your world.

What will you learn?

You will be challenged to grow in your own spiritual life and pursuit of your calling. You will also discuss contemporary theological issues while maintaining a commitment to the authority of God’s Word. You will develop strategies for reproducing leaders in a diverse and increasingly global world.

Core degree classes

  • Spiritual Formation for Leadership
  • Leading and Organizing Ministry
  • Effective Communication and Leadership
  • Ministering Culturally and Globally
View Course Catalog
The School of Theology and Ministry is excited to launch this new MA in Ministry Leadership so that we can prepare a new generation of leaders to make an impact in their churches, communities, and world. We look forward to seeing how Christ will use the graduates of this program to make an impact for his Kingdom.
Dale Lemke
Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries

Program Highlights

This degree prepares students for careers in Pastoral ministry, Church administration, Nonprofit leadership, Executive Leadership, Human Services, Youth and family ministry, Children’s ministry, Church planting, Chaplaincy, Mission work, Christian education, Higher education, and Bi-vocational ministry.

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Related Programs

Meet your professors


Professors at Northwestern are focused on their students first. Our faculty include experts in their respective fields who want to help you grow in your faith while you earn your degree.


Meet the entire department

Dale Lemke, Ph.D.(c)

Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Christian Ministries

Prior to teaching at Northwestern, Dr. Lemke was an Assistant Professor of Ministry Leadership at Crown...

Megan Brown, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Christian Ministries

Dr. Brown earned her Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Talbot School of Theology, Biola University in La...

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Nazareth Hall, N2122
3003 Snelling Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55113

651-631-5200

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