The M.A.L. is designed for various lay roles in professional leadership in religious or nonprofit contexts, or ordained roles where the M.Div. is not an ordination requirement. The degree provides a broad foundation in wisdom traditions, ethics and leadership, as well as focused study in areas specific to a chosen career path.
Students are prepared for one or more functions of leadership/ministry: e.g. leading social change, leading an organization and providing spiritual care. In the context of a changing society, M.A.L. students gain the capacity to analyze new situations and respond as innovative leaders.
A graduate of the United Master of Arts in Leadership program will be able to:
- Critically and constructively reflect on religious heritage
- Develop his or her spirituality and moral integrity into expressions of and commitment to his or her faith
- Develop competency in a leadership context that is attentive to the diversity in his or her tradition
- Assess his or her leadership both professionally and theologically
The M.A.L. requires 36 credit hours of study. It can be completed on a full-time basis in two years or part time within five years. The specific requirements are:
1. Pass a writing sample within the first year of study.
2. Satisfactory completion of a minimum of 36 semester hours of credit (cr) as follows (A-N):
A. A scripture elective (3 cr)
B. A Theology/Religion (TR) elective (3 cr)
C. One of the following three: TR714 World Religions, TR850 Global Christianities, Non-Christian religions elective course (3 cr)
D. One of the following three: Church Internship, Clinical Pastoral Education (1 unit), Supervised Ministry Practicum (3 cr)
E. TR175 Hermeneutics (3 cr)
F. CL203 Leadership in Religious or Nonprofit Contexts (3 cr)
G. EL400 Ethical Leadership (3 cr)
H. Four electives in concentration of choice (12 cr)
G. Final project (3 cr)
3. Satisfactory completion of Unit I of vocational testing and consultation. These consultations are provided by North Central Ministry Development Center, adjacent to the seminary campus. This unit is to be completed during the first half of the student’s program.
4. Completion of the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) in the first semester of enrollment after matriculation.
5. Recommendation by the faculty, which takes into account academic, personal and professional readiness for ministry.
- Black Church Leadership
- Intercultural and Immigrant Ministries
- Interfaith Chaplaincy
- Methodist Studies
- Pastoral Care and Counseling
- Presbyterian Studies
- Public and Theology
- Social Justice and Reconciliation
- Bachelor’s degree from accredited institution
- Grade point average of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale
- Strong analytical and reflective thinking and writing skills
- Vocational and academic goals compatible with vision and mission of United
- Applicants whose first language is not English must submit scores on the TOEFL (Test Of English as a Foreign Language). A score of 80 on the iBT (internet-based TOEFL) with a minimum score of 20 on Reading and Writing is required for admission.
Mature adults with significant life and vocational experience who have earned at least half of the credits toward a bachelor’s degree may be considered for the M.A.L., particularly if strong exposure to the liberal arts and social sciences can be demonstrated.
How to Apply
- Submit Application. You will need:
- A list of all post-secondary schools, universities and seminaries you have attended
- A list of any committees, positions of leadership or offices you have held
- An up-to-date resume with your employment background, including part-time work, as well as community, volunteer and/or family experience, indicating positions of leadership, offices held, and awards or recognition received
- A one- or two-page vocational statement describing the vocational direction or goals that led you to apply for study at United
- Three references (see #3)
- Submit Immunization Record
- Supply three reference letters:
- one spiritual mentor reference, attesting to your call and/or spiritual discernment
- one employer or professional reference, attesting to your work ethic
- one personal reference (non-relative)
- REFERENCE FORM
- Provide official academic transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended Download a Transcript Request Form (one per institution)
- Contact the admissions office, 651.633.4311, to complete a writing sample
Application deadline: The recommended application due date is September 1. However, United will accept applications up until the second Friday of the start of the term. Keep in mind that financial aid application due dates fall much earlier.