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Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership

The call to ministry can come in different ways and at any stage of life. Whether you serve God in full-time ministry, part-time ministry or simply want to further your education, the Master of Arts in ministry leadership degree can further prepare you for ministry service. This program can be completed in two years and provides a foundation in Biblical study, theological education and advanced ministry training.

Degree Type

  • Master of Arts


  • On Campus
  • Online


  • Grand Rapids
  • Online

Credit Hours

  • 36


  • Association of Theological Schools (ATS)
  • Higher Learning Commission (HLC)

Strive toward
your ministry goals

The M.A. in ministry leadership program at GRTS is a great supplement to years of ministry experience. We want to to support you and your church through accessible theological training. The program is ideal for those that are currently serving in ministry and desire advanced biblical, theological and ministry education. You will gain competency in disciplined biblical interpretation and application, learn to state a biblical understanding of the primary elements of Christian theology and exhibit basic knowledge, values and skills essential to effective ministerial and public leadership. You will journey through the program with other ministry professionals and immediately apply what you are learning.

Students have the flexibility to continue working full-time and focus on their current ministry efforts while working through course content. The program entails 12 courses and can be completed in as little as two years.


A M.A. in biblical studies is a great supplement for ministry experience and can open the doors for different employment opportunities.


  • Pastoral ministry
  • Church Planting
  • Non-Profit Ministry
  • Christian Publishing

Program Highlights

Ministry leaders who are serving in city contexts may be able to complete this degree as part of the Urban Cohort program. This program is highly scholarshipped and is a community-based cohort designed for individuals who desire to delve deeper into the heart of Scripture while being supported by their ministry peers along the way.


Of M.A. in ministry leadership graduates have obtained professional employment.


Of M.A. in ministry leadership and M.A. in biblical studies graduates are vocationally placed in ministry-related positions.


Of M.A. in ministry leadership and M.A. in biblical studies graduates have obtained licensure and/or ordination as a minister.

Course List and
Learning Outcomes

The M.A. in ministry leadership degree is cohort-based, which means that you complete the program in a group of 12 to 15 students. The program consists of flexible course options to work toward your degree and contains a core of Bible and theology classes with a specialization in ministry leadership. Take a look at some of the courses you can expect to take.

Bible Core Courses

  • BBL-501 Biblical Hermeneutics
    • An introduction to the process of determining the original meaning and contemporary significance of biblical texts.
  • BBL-508 Biblical Theology
    • An integrated study of the central themes from the Old and New Testaments that comprise the grand narrative of Scripture.
  • Old Testament Bible Elective
  • New Testament Bible Elective

Theology Core Courses

  • THE-540 Systematic Theology I
    • This course introduces and practices a metanarrative for doing theology. The biblical narratives and propositions are heard in the context of the story that begins with creation, is centered in Jesus’ first coming and reaches its culmination in the new heavens and earth
  • THE-640 Systematic Theology II
    • This course continues our metanarrative theology by examining the Christian story of creation, fall, redemption and consummation, with special attention given to the nature and task of humanity, the distortion of the world through sin and the redemptive work and person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
  • THE-641 Systematic Theology III
    • This course will examine in detail the doctrine of salvation (soteriology), the church (ecclesiology), the basic elements of pastoral theology (internal and external call to the ministry, ordination, ministry of the word and sacraments, church discipline and pastoral spiritual formation) and the four last things (death, judgment, heaven and hell).

Ministry Leadership Specialization Courses

  • MIN-500 Christian Spiritual Formation
    • An investigation into the meaning of biblical Christianity and its relationship to faith and practice within
      contemporary cultural contexts. Special attention is given to the corporate dimensions of spirituality and spiritual formation.
  • MIN-510 Organizational Leadership
    • This course sets a foundational framework of knowledge and critical thinking skills needed to develop intercultural and international organizational leaders. Students examine theories, issues and skills of leadership, motivation, decision-making and communication from a transcultural biblical values perspective using case studies and texts.
  • MIN-543 Christian Formation in the Church
    • This course develops and serves as an introduction to understanding the nature and mission of formational ministry for the Church. Biblical, theological, historical, and developmental foundations allow students to form a coherent strategy for nurturing the whole faith community
  • MIN-560 Global Impact
    • This course is designed to help students develop a biblical theology of mission that shapes how the church
      intersects with the 21st Century world. Students will consider the essence of mission Dei (the sending of God) and of mission ecclesia (the sending of the church) as rooted in the biblical narrative. Simultaneously, students will consider global trends and the implications of those trends for life and ministry. Students will examine the validity of traditional and emerging models for global missions in light of the above.
  • General Elective

Program Learning Outcomes

With an emphasis on developing basic competencies essential to the study of the Bible and Christian theology, our Master of Arts in ministry leadership curriculum and course work requirements prepare you to achieve three learning outcomes.

Biblical Interpretation

Students will conduct disciplined biblical interpretation and application with reference to the English Bible text.

Basic Understanding of Christian Theology

Students will state a basic understanding of the primary elements of Christian theology.


Students will exhibit basic knowledge, values, and skills essential to effective ministerial and public leadership.

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Related Programs

Cornerstone University offers several options for earning a graduate degree online. Take a look at some of the other programs related to ministry leadership.

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