Master of Arts in Leadership in Faith Formation

The MAL in Faith Formation program is designed for those who wish to lead education and formation programs in congregations. You will be prepared to develop and oversee congregational religious education programs or specialized ministry programs, such as youth and/or children’s ministries, adult or senior adult formation programs, or other community life programs, such as small group or outreach ministries.

The program may be a good fit for you if you are interested in pursuing a career in a variety of church ministry contexts, most likely associate ministry positions in mid-size or larger churches with religious education and other specialized ministry programs that require leadership with focused attention to faith development and religious and theological training.


Concentration Learning Outcomes

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

  • construct and deliver a faith formation curriculum that arises from, and addresses the needs of specific populations/issues within ministry contexts and is based on solid theological and religious understanding;
  • articulate strategies for effective, professional, ethical, and compassionate pastoral and spiritual care to a diversity of persons; and
  • achieve their self-defined practice of ministry goals that are appropriately based on the requirements of their denomination or other vocational path.


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 Faith Formation, can be completed entirely via distance learning; many courses can be taken completely asynchronously


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
Choose one:
Christian Ethics
Comparative Religious Ethics
Choose one:
Queer and Trans Theologies
Black and Womanist Theologies
Formation 1 Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
Cultural Contextualization 1
Choose one:

Global Christianities
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
Introduction to Pastoral and Spiritual Care
Faith Formation
Two additional Practices of Ministry courses
Congregational Internship* (2 terms)
MAL Final Project

* CPE Internship or Ministry Practicum may be substituted upon advisor approval.



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