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Grand Rapids
Theological Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we're dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.

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Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice

Passion for justice drives nonprofit leaders like you to action. Something must be done. Who better than you to do it—to pursue reconciliation, to seek equity, to feed the hungry and to be an agent of God’s shalom?

But it can be easy to lose sight of that passion. In the day-to-day of managing an organization, fundraising, navigating stakeholder interests and leading your team, you might feel that the flame has burnt out. Throughout your journey as a nonprofit leader, you’ve learned the nuts and bolts of running your organization. Now it’s time to reorient yourself with the passion that gets you out of bed every morning.

That’s why we created the Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice. This program will help you connect the dots between your why and your how. It will help you align your organizational structure, your marketing strategy and your execution to your mission. It will equip you to lead with the same conviction that got you started and with a newfound competence that will take your mission to the next level.

Degree Type

  • Master of Arts

Format

  • On-Site
  • Live
  • Anytime

Credit Hours

  • 36

$0.9K

Total cost for the M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice.

0

Week courses allow students to focus on one subject matter at a time.

0

Years to complete the M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice.

Informed Responses to Complex Problems

Meaningful responses to human suffering are grounded in acknowledging the inherent complexity and enduring presence of injustice. It is also essential to understand the ways in which injustice shapes individuals and communities. Furthermore, in order to make real changes, we must create new, just systems. The M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice prepares you by helping you understand systems of injustice from a biblical perspective. It equips you with the practical tools to create new or lead existing nonprofit organizations that work toward lasting impact through systemic change.

This program embraces a multidisciplinary approach, drawing from the disciplines of theology and biblical studies as well as social sciences and business. You’ll learn from scholars that have experience in the field of nonprofit administration and have been leading them for years. In addition, you’ll learn in a cohort with other nonprofit leaders. This environment will be fertile ground for sharing ideas and growing together.

The curriculum combines theory and practice. Classes will inform you about best practices in the nonprofit sector and the theory that reinforces these practices. At the same time, your assignments will often involve projects that can be implemented in real life. If you work in a nonprofit, then you can tailor your assignments, especially the capstone project, to an issue that your organization faces. If you’re seeking to start a nonprofit, then you can lay the groundwork through the courses in this program. This constant interplay between book learning and practical knowledge will be foundational in equipping you to lead with both competence and conviction.

Careers

Graduates of the M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice will be prepared to serve God as they pursue justice in society in a variety of contexts.

Opportunities

  • Racial reconciliation
  • Immigration
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Poverty
  • Health care
  • Disability

Accelerated HyFlex Education

The M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice is offered in an accelerated HyFlex format. Each course lasts seven weeks, which allows you to focus your energy in one content area at a time and to earn 3 credits every seven weeks.

HyFlex means hybrid-flexible, and this course design model combines three different learning modalities into one class. You can learn:

  • On-Site: Attend class in person.
  • Live: Tune in from wherever you are in real time through videoconferencing technology.
  • Anytime: Engage your course anytime each week with no same time login and finish assignments by the established deadlines.

Course List

The M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice consists of 12 total courses for a total of 36 credits. Students will take seven classes (21 credits) in the area of nonprofit leadership and five courses in social justice (15 credits).

Social Justice Foundations

BBL-509 Biblical Theology of Justice

This course will aid students in constructing and enacting a biblical theology of public justice by critically examining various hermeneutical approaches to Scripture, engaging the Bible’s vision of God’s justice in the Old and New Testaments, and discerning how this vision relates to Christian embodiment of justice in contemporary culture.

BBL-519 American Christianity and Biblical Justice

This course will explore the history of American Christianity from the perspective of a biblical theology of public justice, surveying the historical and cultural forces that have shaped the development of evangelical Christianity in America, its various conceptions of justice, and how Scripture was interpreted to address a range of public issues.

IDS-642 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice I

Meaningful responses to human suffering are grounded in acknowledging the inherent complexity and enduring presence of injustice along with understanding the ways in which injustice shapes individuals and communities. Students will engage in reading, reflection, and discussion to develop a broader understanding of a variety of contemporary social justice issues, including but not limited to racial justice, gender equity, and poverty. Using perspectives from contemporary social justice theory, students will explore what it means to champion just systems and practices in various contexts. Based on a problem-based learning approach, students will examine current issues and develop a response based on current research and best practice. This course serves as the first of a two-course sequence culminating in IDS-643 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice II.

IDS-643 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice II

Building on the foundations laid in IDS-642 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice I, students will engage in reading, reflection, and discussion to develop an advanced understanding of a variety of contemporary social justice issues including but not limited to immigration, healthcare, and disability. Using perspectives from contemporary social justice theory, students will explore what it means to champion just systems and practices in various contexts. Based on a problem-based learning approach, students will examine current issues and develop a response based on current research and best practice. Prerequisite: IDS-642 Contemporary Issues in Social Justice I.

IDS-660 Cultural Intelligence

This course is designed to give nonprofit leaders an introductory grasp of cultural intelligence, a person’s ability to adapt successfully to different national, organizational, and professional cultures. Literature from the fields of anthropology and sociology are used as well as studying cultural engagement in light of the biblical narrative, as a way to effectively enact the organizational mission within an increasingly diverse society.

Nonprofit Leadership Core

NPL-601 Financial Management

A study of the key accounting and finance principles that provide leaders with a better understanding of the financial aspects of organizations. Topics include interpretation and analysis of financial statements, budgeting, time value of money and financial planning.

NPL-501 Nonprofit Strategic Leadership

This course explores the theories and practice of nonprofit leadership. Topics include strategies for improved leadership within a team-based context, managing interpersonal conflict, and effective mission-based strategy.

NPL-503 Marketing & Outreach

This course focuses on marketing strategies and principles necessary for nonprofit growth in today’s economy. Emphasis will be placed on developing a marketing strategy, brand development, collaborative partnerships and digital communications.

NPL-505 Human Resource Management

A survey course that examines the concepts and practices of human resource management. Topics include recruitment, training and development, compensation, managing volunteers, and employee relations.

NPL-603 Advancement & Fundraising

This course covers the principles and best practices of fundraising including fundraising strategy and sources of funds. It will also consider the importance of donor relations, confidentiality, and legal and ethical considerations in fundraising.

NPL-607 Governance: Boards & Structures

This course discusses the elements of board governance in nonprofit organizations and the structures of these types of organizations. This includes understanding the roles of the board, executive director, and other staff, along with an examination of the ways in which organizational structure shapes these roles.

NPL-790 Capstone: Assessment, Planning, & Change Management

This course is the capstone for the program and provides an emphasis on experiential learning within an organization. The focus of the class will center on a project connected to an organizational need related to assessment, planning, and change management. Pre-requisites: all other courses in the program except for NPL607: Governance: Boards & Structures.

NPL-791 Social Justice Capstone

This course is the capstone for the program and provides an emphasis on experiential learning within an organization. The focus of the class will center on applying theories and principles for social justice within an organizational context. Pre-requisites: all other courses in the program except for IDS660: Cultural Intelligence.

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Program Learning Outcomes

Program learning outcomes are the foundation of a GRTS degree. Explore how our M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice program prepares you to learn, serve and lead for a lifetime of ministry.

The diversity at GRTS has caused me to be slower to speak and quicker to listen. I’ve learned that my perspective is not always the majority, nor is it the correct one. I’ve appreciated that element to my education here.

Timothy Bassett (’19)

Faculty

The M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice faculty at GRTS have decades of teaching experience in addition to practical experience in the fields of ministry and nonprofit administration.

Related Programs

The M.A. in Nonprofit Leadership for Social Justice at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary is one of several programs that equip graduates to serve people and address systemic issues. Take a look at the other related GRTS programs.

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SAT & SUN: Closed

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Undergraduate

At Cornerstone University, you’ll get the full college experience with a Christ-centered worldview. Learn more about the undergraduate experience below or explore campus with a virtual tour.

Adult

Persevere in what you know you’re capable of. Our programs for adults provide a creative approach to learning anchored in Christ-centered virtues as you follow your unwavering purpose.

Graduate

Go further as an influencer in your work and community. Our graduate programs prepare you to open new doors as you reach your God-given potential.

Seminary

At Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, we’re dedicated to learning, serving and leading through rigorous scholarship and a humble approach to Scripture.