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Leadership Cohorts

Leadership Cohorts

Western Seminary's Leadership Cohorts offer flexible, peer-to-peer learning for experienced ministry leaders in need of further graduate education. In a condensed format that meets once a month, a small group of students journeys together through at least two of the three years of Bible, theology and ministry leadership courses for a total of 36 credit hours. These credits fill some requirements of all our master's degree programs.






Costa Mesa

What Sets Our Leadership Cohorts Apart?

  • An emphasis on gospel centrality and biblical theology immediately applied to your ministry context
  • Learning in community with and from other well-experienced ministry leaders taught by experienced ministry practitioners
  • A three-year cohort model offered through live interaction combined with online resources
  • An emphasis on enriching your biblical-theological framework and pastoral skills
  • The opportunity to complete any one of our master's degree programs, including our 36-credit hour Master of Applied Biblical Leadership

Cohorts help foster actual relationships with faculty and students who care about your training and development. I really look at my fellow students as partners in the mission of the kingdom.

Hakeem Bradley

Hakeem Bradley


Applied Biblical Studies: 12 Credits

BL591 Applied Integrative Biblical Literature: Genesis to Song of Solomon 4 credits
BL592 Applied Integrative Biblical Literature: Prophets and Gospels 4 credits
BL593 Applied Integrative Biblical Literature: Acts through Revelation 4 credits

Applied Theological Studies: 12 Credits

TH591 Applied Integrative Theology I: Knowing the Living God 4 credits
TH592 Applied Integrative Theology II: Glorifying the Word of Life 4 credits
TH593 Applied Integrative Theology III: Living as the Community of the Spirit 4 credits

Applied Ministerial Studies: 12 Credits

ML591 Growing in Character and Spiritual Disciplines 4 credits
ML592 Theology and Practice of Team Leadership 4 credits
ML593 Theology and Practice of Pastoring People and Ministries 4 credits

Deep Relationships in a Cohort Model

A Leadership Cohort is a group of students who go through a set of classes as part of their degree program simultaneously. They maintain continuous enrollment for at least two years as they pursue their master's degree.

The deep relationships developed in the cohort enable the friendship and trust for mutual growth in knowledge, character, and skills for ministry. Discussions and assignments are designed for immediate application in the students’ ministry context, enriching both the classroom and church life.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I join a Leadership Cohort if I've already started my degree?

Yes, you can request to join the cohort even if you've already started your degree.

What degree do these classes apply to?

The 36 credits you earn would allow you to complete our Master of Applied Biblical Leadership. The Leadership Cohort classes also fill some requirements for these master's degree programs at Western Seminary:

How is the Leadership Cohort different from the other programs?

The Leadership Cohort is not a degree program, but a scheduling and learning option that allows you to complete a core set of courses that fill some requirements for Western Seminary master's degree programs. It involves a seminar format, meets only once a month, and builds community with a constant set of classmates.

Where can I complete this cohort?

We currently have cohorts meeting in Portland, Boise, Costa Mesa, Tulsa, and Online. Cohorts that meet outside of Western Seminary’s campus locations provide web conferencing options. More locations, along with a fully online version, may be made available in the future. Contact an admissions counselor to learn more.

Admissions Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements for the student’s specific master's degree, applicants for the Leadership Cohort are required to meet the following criteria to be admitted to a Leadership Cohort:

  • Document their past and current full-time ministry involvement.
  • Provide contact information of a ministry leader for a personal interview to review their character and competence.
  • Complete a personal interview with a core faculty member of the seminary’s choosing who will assess their competency in the various topics and their leadership skills.
  • Make a three-year commitment to the 9 courses to be used to complete the Master of Applied Biblical Leadership program.