MA in Leadership

Deerfield, IL

The MA in Leadership will challenge students to enrich their character by making ethically sound and principled decisions; to gain wisdom for managing relationships within an organization and in the broader world; and to gain skills based on awareness of themselves and research-grounded best practices for effectively reaching their vocational goals.

Why study the MA in Leadership at TGS?

The MA in Leadership program is intended for faith-minded individuals who want to enhance their leadership capabilities. Perhaps you are a middle manager who wants more education to increase your leadership knowledge as you increase your job responsibilities. Perhaps God is calling you to work with diverse groups of individuals to realize certain goals, but you need more tools to do this well. Or, maybe you’re enrolled in another graduate or divinity school program and want to add a second degree to hone your skills for success. The MA in Leadership program might just be the bridge you need to get to the next level.


The MA in Leadership program is intended for faith-minded individuals who want to enhance their leadership capabilities. This degree is highly effective in developing leaders through a combination of several key distinctives.

Faith Integrated
Christian convictions should make a difference in how one leads. Trinity draws from a long Christian intellectual tradition that informs our curriculum. We seek to bring faith, life, and learning to bear on the endeavor of leadership. This commitment is clearly demonstrated in our approach to various topics such as ethics, followership, and mentoring.

Practitioner Connected
The MA in Leadership degree emphasizes connection to expert practitioners and mentors. Integration of a practitioner’s perspective in every area of discipline is a core value. Building networks of relationship with field leaders is a priority in every course.

Culturally Engaged
As our world becomes increasingly globalized, so does the task of relating cross-culturally for the leader. Engagement with culture from a Christ-centered foundation that is intellectually rigorous and highly relevant is our perspective. We are committed to high standards of research, thinking, and living as a means of preparing students to be responsive leaders in the face of an ever-changing context. Students on our campuses represent over 30 different countries and every corner of the US. For those who have not fully wrestled with the changing dynamics of contextualization, or the skills to communicate sensitively in a cross-cultural environment, this program will provide opportunities to reach that potential.

Designed for the Life Engaged Learner
Learners bring a wealth of understanding from their life and vocational experience; they should not have to disengage from current responsibilities to be a better leader. Our program is designed to accommodate work obligations while allowing students to make timely progress and we work closely with our students to ensure they stay connected even when other commitments arise. A motivated part-time student can complete this program in as little as 36 months, mostly attending one night a week. Additionally, daytime, modular, and online classes are available, and our program coordinator will work with students to help them complete program according to their scheduling needs.


The majority of coursework is split between core leadership studies and emphasis/elective options. Students complete their work with a capstone project or additional coursework and a comprehensive exam.

Leadership Studies Core Courses: 13 hours
Course Title Credits
LR 5010 Introduction to Leadership: Definition and Perspectives  1 hour
LR 5020 Ethical Foundations and Integration of Leadership 3 hours
LR 6020 Contextualization, Worldview & Communication 3 hours
LR 6720 Followership 2 hours
LR 6850 Organizational Dynamics 2 hours
LR 6380 Assessment & Innovation 2 hours
Total 13 hours
Electives: 6 hours

Electives may be from any TGS or TEDS program as deemed appropriate. 

Course Title Credits
LR 5460 Change & Conflict Management 2 hours
LR 6030 Leadership & Finances 2 hours
LR 6811 Social & Cultural Understanding for Leadership 2 hours
Total 6 hours
Emphases Courses: 9 hours

The MA in Leadership program seeks to develop individuals as they prepare for influence in one of three selected venues: Nonprofit Leadership, Organizational, or International emphasis. Details for each of the emphases, including required courses, are listed below.

Nonprofit Leadership Emphasis: 9 hours

Nonprofit Leadership focuses on the finer points of operating a nonprofit organization. In this emphasis you will develop skills for managing a variety of constitutes from volunteers to boards. The unique needs of fundraising, fiscal responsibility, and social engagement all contribute to the richness of this emphasis.

Course Title Credits
LR 6920 Human Resource Management 3 hours
LR 6940 Essentials of Nonprofit Operational Management 3 hours
LR 6960 Nonprofit Organizational Dynamics 3 hours
Organizational Leadership Emphasis: 9 hours

The Organizational Leadership emphasis prepares leaders for skillful impact in management and interpersonal development. This emphasis will allow you to fine tune your communication skills within an organizational structure. Advanced understanding of best practices in coaching and mentoring and the broader issues of human resource management will equip you to lead more effectively.

Course Title Credits
LR 5570 Group & Organizational Communication 3 hours
LR 6520 Coaching & Mentoring 3 hours
LR 6920 Human Resource Management 3 hours
Total   9 hours
International Leadership Emphasis: 9 hours

The International Leadership emphasis prepares intercultural influencers to grow in skill for impact in a global world of relationships and tasks. One of the significant components of this emphasis is the International Practicum where students have the opportunity to understand leadership from a different context.

Course Title Credits
LR 5820 Globalization for Leadership 3 hours
LR 5890 International Practicum 3 hours
ME 8210 Intercultural Communication 3 hours
Total   9 hours
Capstone or Class & Comprehensive Exam: 4 hours

Choose one of the following two options: 

Option 1:

Course Title Credits
LR 7468 Leadership Capstone Literature Review 1 or 2 hours
Choose one:
LR 7478 Leadership Capstone Project 2 or 3 hours

LR 7468 & LR 7478 should total 4 credits, but can be spread differently over 2 semesters.
LR 7468 should be taken prior to LR 7478, with LR 7468 coursework completed before students take LR 7478. 

Option 2:

Additional Coursework and Comprehensive Examination Process (4 hours) 

Course Title Credits
LR Coursework from the Leadership catalog offerings 4 hours
LR 7400 Comprehensive Examination 0

Students doing a Capstone (see process above) do not need to take a comprehensive examination.
Students should take the Comprehensive Examination during the last semester before graduation. 

Capstone/Comprehensive Exam Total: 4 

Other Program Requirements 
  • Cumulative GPA at 3.0 or above, with all grades at least a “C” or above.
  • Advising plan & Capstone/Comprehensive Examination sequence established.
  • Applied for graduation (Check due dates from Student Handbook). 
  • Capstone or Comprehensive Examination.


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