How the Cohort Works

How This Masters Degree and Cohort Will Work

We believe in the critical importance of those serving in ministry to get theological and biblical training. We uniquely designed this Master of Arts in Ministry and Leadership degree to remove the barriers that often make going to seminary more difficult.

Here are some of the particular unique ways this degree is being offered.

  • This degree will be taught over a 3-year experience with 6 credits a semester.

We have designed this degree out to be spread out over a 3-year time period with 6 credits a semester being taken. You will see on the schedule that 4 credits each semester will be “Bible and Theology Classes”. Then there will also be 2 credits a semester that are “Ministry” classes. So, 6 credits a semester total over a 3-year period which then culminates in graduating with a MA degree. This is reasonable and a healthy pace for taking classes while serving in ministry using this model.  

  • This degree is being offered at an approximate 50% tuition discount from the normal degree cost.


The total cost for this MA degree is $16,500.

We do not want finances to be a barrier for someone to get theologically trained, so we designed this in a way that allows this approx. 50% discounted rate. The way we are able to do this is having each student’s local church be invested and involved. See below for explanation of how.

We do have payment plans and we will discuss these during your application process.

  • The Theology and Bible classes will happen once a month on a Friday from 8 AM to 5 PM


We will be having all the Bible and Theology classes be taught in-person, once a month on a Friday, all day from 8 AM to 5 PM. This format eliminates much of the commute time only having to travel once a month. This also extends the ability and ease for people to be part of this degree who then can drive in from further parts of the Bay Area.

To start, the once a month all day classes will be held at the Western Seminary campus in Milpitas.

All the Bible and Theology classes will be taught in-person by a professor in their expertise (see Schedule and list of Professors).

We are tentatively looking at the 2nd Friday of every month being the regular class day starting on Friday, September 11, 2020.


  • You will be part of a learning “cohort” that stays together the entire degree


We believe that a learning experience happens best interacting with professors as they teach and are interacting with other students. You will be in the monthly all-day class, learning together with the same students in this “cohort” over the course of the degree.

In addition to the once a month all-day in class with professors, you will also meet online once a month with everyone in the cohort for an hour to discuss ministry application of what we are learning.


  • While the “Bible and Theology” classes are done in-person with professors teaching, the “Ministry” classes will be done through serving in your local church.


The way we are able to provide such a deep discount (50%) of the normal tuition is that each student’s local church will commit be involved. We will explain this in clear detail in the orientation when we first meet of how this will work.

Basically, for the Ministry Classes (one per semester), you will have a syllabus with some assigned reading, a few written papers with due dates. You will also have someone from your local church will commit to be your “Church-Mentor”. This Church-Mentor role will be the one you will meet with 2 or 3 times per semester to discuss the assignments and the specific application of how it applies to your life personally and your local church ministry. See more on role of “Church-Mentor” here.

For each Ministry class that is part of this degree you will go through:

  1. Content (head): Generally, it will be reading assignment to gain competency in trusted knowledge of the ministry class subject.


  1. Personal Application (heart): You will discern how what you are learning first applies in your own life. We serve out of our character, emotional health and knowledge that must first start with us. So even though these classes are “ministry” ones, each student will show they have competency in understanding and implementing what you learn and how it impacts you personally.


  1. Local Church Application (hands): You will learn and express that you have competency to be applying or seeing how it is being applied in the local church.

You can see on the Schedule, Classes and Professors page what are the Ministry Classes are each semester.

This does mean that in the application process, you will need to identify a “Church-Mentor” and have them formally apply and be trained. who will commit to meet with you 2 or 3 times each semester. We will train every “Church-Mentor” in what their role is and how to fulfill it.

While the Bible and Theology classes will be graded traditionally with a normal GPA being accrued for the Masters degree, the Ministry classes will be Pass/Fail.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact //This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./">Dan Kimball, and we will be explaining this part of how the cohort works in our first day of class orientation.