United Theological Seminary

Master of Arts in Leadership in Humanist Studies

The Master’s of Leadership in Humanistic Studies concentration fosters leadership that is ethically grounded, informed, skillful, globally responsible, personally sustainable, and committed to meeting the needs of the Humanist community. This program is designed for students interested in becoming leaders who intend to work in humanist settings and/or interreligious settings that include Humanists. The Humanistic Studies concentration offers a nondogmatic and nondoctrinal approach to learning leadership within an interreligious and ecumenical seminary community.

This MAL program may be a good fit for you if you are interested in pursuing a career in community, chapter-based, regional, or national organizational leadership. If you wish to receive training for ministerial competencies with a Humanist focus, check out the MDiv in Humanist Studies program.



In addition to achieving the core MAL degree learning outcomes, a graduate of the MAL in Humanist Studies program will be able to:

  • articulate the core values of Humanism and how these values have been expressed in multiple historical and cultural contexts;
  • articulate a personal Humanist philosophy that is informed by a critical interpretation and analysis of the perspectives of multiple Humanist philosophers;
  • articulate opportunities for practicing Humanist values in the world that incorporate their expressed personal beliefs derived from those values as well as critical reflection on their social position and past experiences; and
  • articulate strategies for effective organizational leadership in multiple Humanist-oriented non-profit contexts.


United’s MAL at a Glance

  • 48 credits
  • Sixteen 3-credit courses, including one field experience and a final project
  • Can be completed in two years if you take a full-time course load (24 credits per year)
  • All MAL concentrations, including Humanist Studies, can be completed entirely via distance learning

Program Course Guide Sheet for Academic Year 2023–2024

Religious Texts 2
Introduction to Religious Texts
One 2000-level Religious Texts course
Theological Tradition 2
Invitation to Theology: Truth, Goodness, and Beauty
Choose one:
History of Christian Theologies
History of Modern Theologies
Ethics/Justice 2
Comparative Religious Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 1 Intro to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Cultural Contextualization 1
World Religions
Arts and Theology 1
Choose one:
History of Arts and Theology
Art, Religion, and Contemporary Culture
Social Transformation 1 Leadership and Strategies for Social Change
Vocational Contextualization & Skills 6
Humanist Worldviews: Then and Now*
Humanist Philosophies A Journey Through All the Big Questions*
Humanist Aesthetics and Practices*
Humanist Leadership: How to Run Organizations*
One United elective course
MAL Final Project
* United courses offered online in affiliation with the American Humanist Association Center for Education


Learn More

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