The Transformational Leadership program helps students grow as gracious Christians and Transformational Leaders by equipping students with practical, hands-on skills and the analytical abilities to be effective agents of change in their workplaces and communities.


Become a Christian leader who champions transformation in organizations and communities.

The habits, attitudes, and skills you will develop in the Transformational Leadership courses include:

  • a philosophy of leadership grounded in biblical, theological, and leadership realities.
  • growth in one’s personal relationship with God and the qualities necessary for effective ministry.
  • understanding of the social and ethical demands of leadership.
  • the ability to interpret and strategically respond to the rapidly changing culture.
  • the ability to provide effective leadership within an organizational context.

Become a gracious participant in the worldwide, multi-ethnic, multi-generational Christian communion.

The habits, attitudes, and skills you will develop in the Great Conversation courses include:

  • A commitment to the primacy of Scripture for Christian faith and life.
  • The ability to articulate the development of church doctrine over time and the contributions of particular Christian traditions and communities.
  • Attentiveness to God’s active presence in one’s own life, the lives of others, and the world.
  • The ability to listen and learn from the whole church by critically engaging global voices in theology.
  • Capacity for engagement in practices of solidarity and social justice through Gospel witness in the world.

Course Descriptions

Transformational Leadership | 18 Credits

BIB 772 | Biblical Theology of Leadership | 3 Credits

There is a great need in the modern church and world for wise and faithful Christian leadership. This course examines the Bible with an interest in how the whole message and story of Scripture develops a theology of leadership. Four areas, in particular, are of significance in view of such leadership: character (the lifestyle of the leader), care (the ministry of the leader), catechesis (what leaders should teach and pass on), and crises (how leaders handle challenges). Other course topics include: leadership systems and structures in Scripture, key biblical metaphors that shape leadership, and women in leadership in Scripture.

BUS 510 | Organizational Diagnosis and Change Management | 3 Credits

This course examines the structural and environmental forces that influence management processes within organizations. Students will learn how to identify an organization’s type, relative readiness for change, and appropriate intervention and change strategies. Issues examined include power and resistance, human motivation and behavior, intervention in systems, group dynamics, team building, and the creation of change-oriented cultures.

MIN 620 | Fundamentals of Transformational Leadership | 3 Credits

This course explores the process by which God calls and prepares people for leadership and gives attention to the development of the inner life and character of an effective leader. The course will contribute to the student’s self-understanding and the identification and appreciation of personal and professional strengths. In addition, attention will be given to clarifying personal leadership vulnerabilities and developing a plan for life-long growth as a leader. Students will clarify their personal ministry values and priorities and reflect on the nature of ethical decision making in leadership. Beyond self-leadership, students will consider the fundamentals of transformational leadership including the principles of communication and the constructive use of criticism and resistance. Transformational theory will be presented and illustrated through the use of case studies.

SOC 623 | Social Policy, Leadership and Community Development | 3 Credits

Creating social justice requires leadership skills and an understanding of the nature of the development of systems change. This course focuses on the history of social change movements, the development of social policy, and the role of the church in promoting justice in society. Students learn to recognize the roles of power and relational dynamics in the development of systemic struggles that ultimately lead to social policy and societal change. Students will have the opportunity to organize and implement a project that utilizes their leadership skills in the area of social justice in a local or larger community setting.

MIN 626 | Leadership Development | 3 Credits

Rooted in a Christological model of biblical servanthood, this course examines the role of the leader in the organizational development. Topics of study include personal leadership, team building, board and staff development, and the identification, training, and empowering of others to achieve organizational goals and objectives. The course explores strategies for achieving both missional faithfulness and organizational effectiveness with a focus on developing leadership capacity within the organization. In addition, attention will be given to understanding approaches to creating cultural change within churches and organizations to foster institutional vitality and longevity.

MIN 672 | Strategic Planning for Churches and Non-profit Organizations | 3 Credits

This course reviews the reasons why churches and nonprofit organizations should embrace strategic planning as a way of improving their performance. It presents an effective strategic planning process that has been successfully used by leaders of nonprofit organizations. The course is comprised of a set of concepts, procedures, and tools that can help leaders enhance organizational achievement. Overall, the course is based on the premise that leaders of churches and nonprofit organizations must be effective strategists in order to fulfill their missions.

MIN 675 | Renewing Congregations | 3 Credits

This course explores steps that pastors can take to lead a congregation from maintenance to a missional focus. The course presupposes that renewal is a personal and corporate spiritual journey that leaders and congregations undertake to realize their full potential in God’s redemptive work. The outlined approach to experiencing renewal is biblical, systematic, and intentional. The course will cover topics such as clarifying a missional theology, developing a corporate identity, assessing organizational preparedness for change, cultivating a healthy congregational climate, building supportive relationships among leaders, focusing on redemptive outreach, preparing for change and celebrating God’s faithfulness. The course will explore the current research on the status of the American church, noting commonly held variables among declining congregations and among those congregations that have experienced renewal. This compare and contrast approach will enable students to develop their own strategic plan to bring congregational members together for more effective outreach to their community.

MIN 685 | Special Topics in Leadership | 3 Credits

This course explores one focused topic of leadership. In the course, students will develop a theologically grounded approach to leadership in the contemporary world. Topics may include non-profit administration, church administration, leadership and contemporary culture, or executive leadership. This course may be repeated if the topic differs. This course is cross-listed as BUS 685NE.

Great Conversation | 18 Credits

BHT 521 | Being in the Story | 3 Credits

The entire biblical story or metanarrative stretching from creation to eschaton articulates a vision of God’s intentions for this world, beginning with creation, and continuing after the fall, as the Creator works through Israel, Jesus, and the church for the world’s redemption, until that day when there will be a new heaven and new earth, in which righteousness dwells. This narrative vision of the missio Dei provides a non-negotiable framework within which we live out our faith.

A clear understanding of this biblical vision is of great value for interpreting individual biblical texts, especially for those engaged in pastoral leadership, which typically involves interpreting Scripture in various contexts. Without a solid grasp of the foundational biblical vision of reality we are in danger of (mis)reading Scripture in light of our own contemporary assumptions. This course, therefore, aims to help Christian leaders grasp the basic contours of the overarching story the Scriptures tell, with a focus on exploring the logic of salvation as holistic—for the whole person, and even the entire created order.

BHT 522 | Being in the Word | 3 Credits

The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are crucial to the life and ministry of all followers of Christ. They are central to the preaching and teaching ministry of the church. Furthermore, the Scriptures undergird our ethics at work and home. They reveal to us the nature of God, what it means to be fully human, and our role in the mission of God. But in order for Scripture to play the formative role that it is designed to play, we must know these Scriptures well. Moreover, to know these Scriptures well we must understand the context in which they were composed. This is true not only of the popular books of the Bible, but also for the parts of the Bible that are often ignored.  This class will the introduce students to the Bible in all its complex and multifaceted glory. Students will gain an understanding of the major sections of the Bible (the Torah, the histories, the Psalter, the Prophets, The Gospels, the Letters of Paul, etc). They will discern the major themes in these texts and their relevance for ministry in the 21st century. They will also discuss issues of authorship, setting, and the major interpretative approaches to these texts throughout church history. The goal is to open up the whole Bible as a resource for ministry and spiritual formation.

BHT 523 | Being Human | 3 Credits

What does the fact that God became incarnate as a human being in Jesus Christ reveal about God’s priorities for what it means for us to be human persons? What do the Christian scriptures and the historic church have to say about what it means to be human? How do we nurture and attend to our basic human qualities in imitation of our Lord Christ?

This course will lead students through an exploration of what Christianity has to uniquely contribute to the conversation of what it means to “be human.” It will assist students in developing a framework for discerning and integrating formational insights from various fields of study that contribute to human flourishing, emphasizing that to do so is to attend to and cooperate with the redemptive work of the Holy Trinity. It will also provide students with opportunities to explore and reflect on classic Christian practices of nurturing attentiveness to and cooperation with God’s work in their own lives and in the world at large.

BHT 524 | Being Christian | 3 Credits

Reflecting on the formative era of the Christian church, this course takes up the conversation about what it means to be and to become Christian. Much like today, the early church found itself in a religiously plural context, which shaped the development of Christian identity. In this course, students will consider how Scripture, context, and spirituality shaped early Christian communities, the formation of doctrine through early church councils, and the ways in which these conversations continue to shape the church throughout the world today.

BHT 525 | Being Church | 3 Credits

In this course students enter into the ongoing conversation on the nature of God’s restorative grace in human life, with a particular focus on the church as the people of God. Through a focus on the theological perspectives of the Catholic and Protestant Reformations and the Great Awakening, the course moves toward contemporary understandings and application of such questions as how people come into a restored relationship with God and what it means to be to people of God in today’s world.

BHT 526 | Being Mission | 3 Credits

Dietrich Bonhoeffer posed a question to the church of the early twentieth century:  “Who is Jesus Christ for us today?” This perennial question shaped Bonhoeffer’s ecclesiology and understanding of church mission.  This same question provides the course framework for exploring God’s call to the church from the nineteenth century through our time.  The course is organized around conversations focused on the relationship of historical theology, church mission, and culture.

Reflections on current trends, and exploration for application to student church context are a central theme of the course.  Within these course conversations are topics that are revisited in each century and unit of study. These themes include: racial and gender identity, social change movements, the relationships of worship and service, spirituality, ecumenism, and church leadership.  Strategies for understanding these historical theological themes include reading primary texts that bring “alive” the conversations that were occurring during these time periods. Emphasis is on critical analysis and interpretation of the central Christological question, and application to contemporary church mission.

Additional Courses | 8 Credits

Integrative Capstone

This course serves as the capstone experience for the M.A. in Transformational Leadership program. Students will synthesize and apply what they have learned in the program by developing a comprehensive leadership strategy for their ministry settings. This strategy statement will include such key areas as theological foundations for leadership, self-leadership, strategic planning, leading change, team building and resource allocation. The presentation and discussion of these leadership documents will provide a collaborative learning experience at the culmination of the course.

Contextual Ministry

Field education courses provide the student with hands-on professional training from capable practitioners and educators. Students will develop professional understanding and competence in ministry. Each course provides time for on-site training, personal and peer-reflection, and classroom instruction. Personal and spiritual formation is a continuing aspect of field education.

Total Credits: 44