Master of Arts: Leadership & Formation

    Missional Leadership Specialization

    Northwest Nazarene University's online master's degree in Missional Leadership explores 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 online master's degree in 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, 39 credits in their pastoral ministry core, and 36 hours of emphasis in Missional Leadership. After completing an online orientation, MAML students focus their studies strictly around the same nine 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 members of the Church of the Nazarene.

    To maximize contextualization, all of our students participate in a mentor relationship with someone in their own ministry setting. Ministry mentors receive a small stipend for the support offered.

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    Course Descriptions

    Specialization Courses

    BIBL7290 — Grounded in the Living Word: Scripture and the Christian Life (4 Credits)
    This course explores the dynamics and power of Scripture in spiritual formation, personal transformation, and the Christian life. A key aspect of this course is an understanding and development of biblical hermeneutical principles and practices that focus not only on the biblical text's content but also on its potential effects as part of the church's Scripture. In addition to learning about life with God from Scripture, successful students can gain competence in listening to the spirit of the text, move from informational reading to transformational reading, and learn to engage Scripture in ways that grasp and change one's being and doing.

    CHIS6290 — Founded on Embodied Tradition: Church History and the Christian Life (4 Credits)
    This course is designed to provide a historical underpinning for the practice of ministry in the Wesleyan tradition. Emphasis is placed on Wesley's theological sources (Early Church, Medieval, Reformation, Anglican), his theological methodology, his theology of spiritual formation, and his ability to engage his cultural context. Particular attention is given to how students can pursue personal and social holiness, and develop effective and dynamic missional approaches to leadership.

    PHIL7290 — Reflecting on Character: Philosophy and the Christian Life (4 Credits)
    This course explores Christian ethics from a philosophical perspective. Students engage in biblical, theological and philosophical reflection, study dominant approaches to ethical thinking, and examine contemporary moral problems. Particular emphasis is placed on developing critical reflection skills, rather than finding answers to various ethical questions. This course also facilitates a deeper understanding of character formation and sharpens one's discernment as to how theological and philosophical reflection helps shape Christian practice.

    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.

    PRTH6990A — Supervised Ministry (2 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. The experience will be under the direction of the instructor in cooperation with the supervising ministry mentor. A grade will not be issued for this course until completion of PRTH6990B.

    PRTH6990B — Supervised Ministry (2 Credits)
    This course is a continuation of PRTH6990A and must be completed before a grade will be issued for PRTH6990A. Prerequisites: PRTH6990A

    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.

    THEO6290 — Engaging with Prophetic Voices: Theology and the Christian Life (4 Credits)
    Students reflect theologically on life and ministry by exploring various sources of theological reflection. In particular, dominant themes and figures in contemporary theology are explored, especially voices and perspectives that are often overlooked. In this exploration, students compare and contrast distinctive characteristics of Wesleyan theology, including various understandings of holiness, with issues found in contemporary theology. This course explores issues of holiness and justice and how the Church can better live into the Kingdom of God for all and not just those in power.

    Program Outcomes

    • 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.


    Missional Leadership Learning Community 13 Fall 2019

    Grad Fall Semester 2019
    PRTH6000 OnRamp Program Orientation      08/12 – 08/25/19 Kathy Bynum
    PRTH6000L Personal Development Lab 08/26 - 10/20/19 Chandra Salisbury
    PRTH7540 Missional Practicum 08/26 – 10/20/19 Jay Akkerman
    BIBL7290 Grounded in the Living Word: Scripture & the Christian Life 10/21 – 12/15/19 Dick Thompson
    Grad Spring Semester 2020
    CHIS6290 Founded on Embodied Tradition: Church History & the Christian Life    01/13 - 03/08/20 Diane Leclerc
    PRTH7940 Community, Context & Transition 03/09 - 05/10/20 TBD
    Grad Fall Semester 2020
    PRTH6140 Intro to Ministry & Culture 08/31 - 10/25/20 Dana Hicks
    THEO6290 Engaging with Prophetic Voices: Theology & the Christian Life 10/26 - 12/20/20 Brent Peterson
    Grad Spring Semester 2021
    *PRTH6990A Supervised Ministry (2 cr) 01/11 – 02/21/21 TBD
    PHIL7290 Reflecting on Character: Philosophy & the Christian Life 01/11 – 03/07/21 Joe Bankard
    *PRTH6990B Supervised Ministry (2 cr) 03/08 - 04/25/21 TBD
    PRTH6840 Missional Discipleship 03/08 - 05/09/21 Jon Middendorf

    Please Note

    *MA students should take PRTH6990A and PRTH6990B course during the Spring 2021 semester or delay their completion and take them in the Summer 2021 semester. They must be taken in the same semester.

    *New MDiv students need to work with the Program Coordinator to schedule PRTH6990 as well as the other advanced summer MDiv course, BIBL8090.

    **Dates and schedules are subject to change

    MDiv students who have already completed their Pastoral Ministry core courses will take an additional summer class (BIBL8090) not listed in the above schedule. Contact the Program Coordinator for details.

    Commencement: May 2021

    Past Schedules

    Missional Leadership Learning Community 12, Fall 2018