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Master of Divinity: Missional Leadership

Northwest Nazarene University's graduate programs in Missional Leadership explore the theory and practice of christian leadership as it applies outside the walls of the church. Through courses and materials focusing on creative and missional engagement, students are empowered and trained to become innovative kingdom- builders. Earn an M.Div. within 50 months or an M.A. in less than two years without any residential requirements.

Our Missional Leadership program emphasizes the need for Christ followers to live out the gospel so that it is seen and experienced in community. By challenging students to empower others to take ministry outside the walls of the church, the program marries mission with the wholeness of life, both personally and culturally. This program advances missional leadership as both incarnational and holistic: missional leaders recognize the value of tradition and both the opportunities and pitfalls within culture; they lead through servanthood; and they seek to ground their ministries biblically and theologically.

Students in NNU's MDIVML program complete an online orientation, 42 credits in their pastoral ministry core, and 32 hours of emphasis in Missional Leadership. After completing an online orientation, MAML students focus their studies strictly around the same eight Missional Leadership courses in which MDIVML students take as their emphasis, as shown in the comparison to the right.

Financial aid is available for those who qualify, or students may take advantage of a zero interest monthly payment plan. Avoid expensive travel costs associated with modular programs at other seminaries, not to mention costly time away from home and your workplace. Tuition discounts are also available to assigned Nazarene clergy.

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Course Descriptions

Specialization Courses

BIBL6540 — Gospel & Culture (4 Credits)
This course approaches the biblical texts from a Christocentric narrative with special attention given to the role of culture on the biblical writers, as well as those who have interpreted Scripture in the past and present.

CHIS6540 — Wesleyan Tradition in Context (4 Credits)
This course explores how John Wesley's historic vision for the practice of Christian ministry engaged his cultural context. Students will also assess how Wesley's approach to theology and practice may serve as a foundation for missional ministry engagement today.

PHIL7540 — Premodern, Modern & Postmodern Philosophies (4 Credits)
This course examines the breadth of human thought across the history of philosophy. Special attention will be given to the ways in which these philosophical perspectives have shaped or been shaped by the Christian message.

PRTH6000 — OnRamp Program Orientation (0 Credits)
This course orients students to the resources, procedures, electronic operations, and expectations of the program.

PRTH6140 — Introduction to Ministry & Culture (4 Credits)
This course introduces students to the discipline and challenge of missional leadership today. As the first course in the program, this course offers extensive examination of the nature and scope of missional leadership, and deeper understanding of the cultural contexts in which students live and serve.

PRTH6840 — Missional Discipleship (4 Credits)
This course recognizes the holistic approach for uniting discipleship and evangelism by examining what it means to be faithful disciples of the gospel in light of the nature of the Church and its mission to the world. Students explore how culture shapes an understanding of Gospel, Church, and ministry and intergrate theological insights in developing a missional discipleship strategy to inform a ministry response to their own local context.

PRTH6990 — Supervised Ministry (3 Credits)
Under the direction of a ministry mentor, students will be involved in practical ministry experience in a local ministry context. Special attention will be given to preaching, counseling, teaching, education, evangelism, and administration. This experience will be under the direction of the instructor in cooperation with the supervising ministry mentor.

PRTH7540 — Missional Practicum (4 Credits)
This course at the beginning of a student's second year of study centers on a five-day on-site practicum with his or her colleagues through interactions with a variety of leading edge missional pastors and churches in the Pacific Northwest. Students who cannot attend the practicum personally may also participate online through webcasting technologies.

PRTH7940 — Community, Context & Transition (4 Credits)
In this course, students develop a ministry project from their own cultural context, assessing their own leadership, church structures, and community needs and developing strategies for more effective missional ministry implementation.

THEO7940 — Theology of Leadership (4 Credits)
This course explores the implications of how a missional understanding of God shapes followers of Christ and faith communities, as well as how various theologies relate to our understanding of God. Special attention will be given to evangelism, church structure, and ecclesiology.

Pastoral Ministry Core Courses

BIBL6760 — Old Testament Interpretation (3 Credits)
This course introduces key strategies and exegetical tools particular to interpreting the Old Testament. Students will develop exegetical skills and the ability to recognize Scripture's theological texture through study of selected texts from the different genres of the Old Testament.

BIBL7760 — New Testament Interpretation (3 Credits)
This course introduces key strategies and exegetical tools particular to interpreting the New Testament. Students will develop exegetical skills and the ability to recognize Scripture's theological texture through study of selected texts from the different genres of the New Testament.

BIBL8090 — Advanced Biblical Exegesis (3 Credits)
An in-depth exegetical study of an Old Testament and/or New Testament book(s). The course will emphasize the historical occasion, purpose and theological message of the selected biblical books. It will survey relevant contemporary biblical hermeneutics. It will utilize inductive, grammatical, historical-critical, literary, and reader-oriented exegetical methods. The course will self-consciously focus on interpretation within and for the believing community.

CHED6160 — Congregational Education & Formation (3 Credits)
The course provides a Wesleyan approach to Christian discipleship by integrating Wesleyan theology and current developmental theories. The course explores how pastors can develop educational ministries that foster faith formation and Christian discipleship in local congregations. Particular attention is given to the role congregations play in forming faith disciples through teaching, worship, and congregational life.

CHIS6560 — History of Christianity I (3 Credits)
A study of the historical development of Christianity from 150-1500 C.E., from the Patristic period through pre-Reformation. The course will trace theological and doctrinal development as well as offer a general survey of the history of the Church in its ecclesiastical and cultural contexts. The student will have opportunity to read primary as well as secondary sources, and do research on a specified and focused area of interest.

CHIS6960 — History of Christianity II (3 Credits)
A study of the historical development of Christianity from 1500-present, C.E., from the Reformation through the 20th century. The course will trace theological and doctrinal development as well as offer a general survey of the history of the Church in its ecclesiastical and cultural contexts. The student will have opportunity to read primary as well as secondary sources, and do research on a specified and focused area of interest.

PHIL7560 — Philosophical Foundations of Ministry (3 Credits)
This course will provide the fundamentals for logical reasoning, review the philosophical foundations of theology, explore contemporary issues in the philosophy of religion, and develop methods for making ethical decisions within the framework of Christian values.

PRTH6760 — Spiritual & Personal Formation (3 Credits)
This course examines spiritual formational practices with particular emphasis on the personal and spiritual formation of the minister. Students will gain personal spiritual formational practices for the purpose of developing them holistically.

PRTH6960 — Missiology & Contextualization (3 Credits)
This course provides a study of the challenge and complexity of mission within the cultural diversity of today's world. Students will review the historical dimensions of missiology, develop biblical and theological foundations for missional ecclesiology, and strategize for cross-cultural communication of the gospel.

PRTH7560 — Pastoral Leadership (3 Credits)
This course will help to equip ministers to lead and manage churches and mission agencies. Special attention will be given to the student's ability to conceive and articulate purpose, mission, and vision for ministry and assist the student to develop the strategic means to realize that vision.

PRTH7960 — Preaching & Worship (3 Credits)
An advanced study of the methods of homiletics as well as applying principles of biblical interpretation to worship and preaching. A major focus of the course will be on practical application to selected biblical passages through the writing and preaching of expository sermons as well as a study of the Christian practices of the Church including baptism, funerals, weddings, and the Eucharist.

THEO7560 — Christian Theology I: Wesleyan Theology (3 Credits)
Students will explore the theological issues pertaining to the classical doctrines of the Wesleyan tradition. This exploration will focus upon the main characteristics of the nature of God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, the human person, sin, salvation, the Christian life, the Church and sacraments, and eschatology.

THEO7960 — Christian Theology II: Contemporary Theology (3 Credits)
Students will reflect theologically on life and ministry by exploring various sources of theological reflection. In particular, dominant themes and figures in contemporary theology will be explored. In this exploration, students will compare and contrast distinctive characteristics of Wesleyan theology, including various understandings of holiness, with issues found in contemporary theology.

Program Outcomes

  • The graduate understands and is able to explain Wesleyan-Holiness Theology as it relates to Scripture, Christian tradition, reason, and experience in the practice of ministry.
  • The graduate identifies characteristics of the cultural context of ministry and assesses them through an appropriate theological perspective, compares existing cultures with alternative cultural expressions, and develops personal and corporate practices consistent with the Kingdom of God.
  • The graduate practices the means of grace (spiritual disciplines) that lead to emotional and spiritual health, personal Christian virtue, and responsible social engagement.
  • The graduate integrates Christian theological themes in the understanding and practice of ministry and leadership.
  • The graduate understands the historical interplay between cultural, philosophical, and theological shifts that inform Christian ministry practice.
  • The graduate utilizes insights of missional leadership to evaluate and assess congregational contexts and move persons and congregations toward practices consistent with a Wesleyan-Holiness theology.
  • The graduate understands and is able to explain God's mission in the midst of a dynamic and changing world.
  • The graduate engages the social context from the perspective of Christian mission to articulate and embody the gospel of Christ.