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

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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.

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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.

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.

Create Without Ceasing

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for positive change

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Master of Public Administration

You’ve got the drive to serve others. Match that passion with a master’s program designed to give you the tools, knowledge and experience you need to enact sustainable, transformative change within your organization and community. With a Christ-centered foundation, you’ll engage as an active participant in meeting both physical and spiritual needs.

Unleash your potential by advancing in areas such as financial management, human resources and organizational leadership. Gain new insight from faculty who serve as expert practitioners with experience in the nonprofit sector. Through a convenient learning model designed for busy adults, you’ll be equipped to make positive, data-driven decisions for your community to thrive.

Format

  • CUAnytime
  • CULive

Location

  • Grand Rapids

Program Length

  • 24 months

Credit Hours

  • 36

$0K

Estimated total cost is $22,255. Explore the full breakdown for more information.

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0%

Of students work full time while pursuing a degree.

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0%

Graduation rate for master’s degree programs.

Concentrations

Cultivate your vision to achieve a better future for your organization and community. In our Master of Public Administration program, you’ll specialize your learning with one of two concentration options. Both paths can lead toward career opportunities in areas of social services, nonprofit management, volunteer coordinator and communications management.

Nonprofit Leadership: Elevate your understanding of how to effectively build and run a sustainable nonprofit organization. Engage in topics designed for data-driven decisions in areas such as fundraising, strategic planning and marketing.

Social Justice: Strengthen your biblical foundation on justice through specialized courses in areas such as theology, cultural intelligence and social structures.

Admission Requirements

  • A completed bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
  • Official college and/or military transcripts
  • Minimum 2.7 GPA if one or more years of work experience
  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA if less than one year of work experience
  • Professional resume
  • Two letters of recommendation on provided forms
  • International Students: TOEFL or IELTS score
  • Application ($25 fee)

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Next Program Start

Advance in leadership on your own schedule with programs beginning year-round. By taking one course at a time, you’ll move forward in achieving your degree without having to stop for traditional semester breaks. And with no prerequisite courses aside from the final capstone, you can dive into the program when it works best for you.

Cohort Start Date

CUAnytime & CULive / Aug. 31, 2021

Course Schedule

The Master of Public Administration program is anchored in a Christ-centered foundation that sets your work in the context of God’s broader purpose in the world. In addition to navigating through all core courses, you’ll also select either the nonprofit leadership or social justice concentration for six additional courses.

Core Courses

PAD-501 Foundations of Public Policy
This foundational course introduces students to the concept of the nonprofit sector in America and to the sector’s development over time. This is the social and legal environment surrounding nonprofit organizations, which provides both support and restrictions. Emphasis is given to the public policy framework of government partnerships with nonprofit organizations and to similarities and differences between secular and faith-based nonprofits.

PAD-503 Organizational Leadership
This course presents an overview of leadership concepts and theories with an emphasis on their applications within organizations. Special emphasis will be given to motivation, leadership styles, work environment, teamwork, and social behavior on decision-making, communication and leadership effectiveness within organizations.

PAD-505 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
This course focuses on the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace with attention to a critical analysis of the systemic realities shaping these areas. Emphasis is placed on understanding the individual and organizational needs related to sustainable diversity, equity, and inclusion work.

PAD-601 Research Methods
An examination of research methods available for data-driven decision making within organizations. Focus is placed on the systematic process of collecting, analyzing and interpreting data to answer a specific organizational issue. The course will also introduce students to basic descriptive and inferential statistical tools.

PAD-603 Organizational Behavior
The study of the behavior of individuals and teams within public organizations based on current theory. Emphasis is given to understanding, predicting, motivating and changing work-related behaviors in organizations. Key topics include organizational structure, understanding culture, power, diversity, leadership and communication within the organization.

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.

Nonprofit Leadership Concentration

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 NPL-607: Governance: Boards & Structures.

Social Justice Concentration

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 & 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
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, 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 Systems, Structures & 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 practices. Prerequisite: IDS-642: Contemporary Issues in Social Justice I.

IDS-660 Cultural Intelligence
This course is designed to give 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.

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 IDS-660 Cultural Intelligence.

Program Learning Outcomes

Inspire transformative change in your community with a master’s degree designed for real-world impact. Our program is committed to providing academic quality as you elevate your experience in core theories and concepts, apply your knowledge and address intercultural understanding, all anchored in a Christ-centered foundation.

Nonprofit Foundations Certificate

Advance your nonprofit further with practical resources and skills gained in our Nonprofit Foundations Certificate program in partnership with Do More Good. This non-credit program is awarded after the successful completion of each of the three sessions. Learn more about these virtual sessions that empower you to level up your leadership for lasting change in your organization and community.

Whether you’re already a seasoned nonprofit professional or have a passion to start your own nonprofit, this degree can equip you to thrive.

Dr. Graham McKeague, Dean of Human Services

Related Programs

Our programs incorporate a range of opportunities to advance your career and influence both at the master’s and doctoral levels. Here are some other pathways related to a Master of Public Administration.

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Hours

MON - THURS: 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.
FRI: 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
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.

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