The Master of Arts in Global Leadership Degree Program


Program Overview

The purpose of the Master of Arts (MA) in Global Leadership program is to equip persons for ministry leadership in a global context. It combines the core ministry and leadership skills with a focused ministry specialization preparing one to work in diverse cultural settings of the world. There is a growing need for leadership in the “Global South” – the regions of Asia, Africa, and Central/South America in addition to the diverse cultural settings of Europe and North America. The program is designed to serve students from one global setting preparing to serve in another, or for students in one setting preparing to serve with individuals from diverse global and cultural groups. It provides both the foundation and the expertise for service as a bi-vocational or professional worker in a variety of contexts. It also so serves as an excellent degree program for those preparing for doctoral studies in intercultural leadership or intercultural education.

Students will take a common sequence of courses to build the core outcomes in Christian spirituality studies, biblical and theological studies, and ministry studies. The students take specialized courses preparing them to understand and work effectively in diverse cultural settings, including the life-long skill of being a self-directed learner in diverse and changing cultural settings.

A distinctive element of the program is a four-semester sequence of mentorship that is designed in partnership with the specific needs of a particular global setting or ministry organization. In concert with the requirements of the identified ministry setting or organization, the student selects eight credits of ministry specialization studies required for that field. Those areas have included leadership development, intercultural education, business as mission, intercultural counseling, relief and development, Spanish, coaching, and TESOL.

MA Program Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The MA in Global Ministry program goals include:

  • Cultivate skills in the efficient study, interpretation and application of Scripture to life and ministry
  • Promote growth in Christian maturity demonstrated through effective interpersonal relationships
  • Develop understanding and skill in self-awareness, social competence, and ministry formation in diverse cultural settings
  • Provide theoretical and practical skills for global leadership of ministry

Program learning outcomes:

  • Students understand and integrate Scripture in decision making and problem solving.
  • Students are committed to an ongoing process of spiritual formation that is clearly grounded in the Gospel.
  • Students demonstrate cultural awareness in theological thinking and ministerial practice.
  • Students display competent leadership in a global ministry setting.

Admission Requirements

In addition to the general requirements for admission to the Seminary, applicants for the MA in Global Leadership program must possess a four-year baccalaureate degree or its educational equivalent from a college or university accredited by a United States association holding membership in one of the seven regional accrediting associations, membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges in Canada, membership in the Association for Biblical Higher Education, or from an institution which maintains similar academic requirements and standards. Additionally, M. A. applicants must present a GPA of 3.0 or higher, including a breadth of liberal arts. Applicants who do not meet these general academic requirements may petition the Admissions Committee for consideration. A recommendation from the applicant’s pastor and three personal recommendations regarding the applicant’s Christian character and leadership also are required.

Transfer Credit, Advanced Standing, and Residence Requirements

Upon approval by the program director and registrar’s office, transfer of up to 24 hours credit is allowed toward the MA program from graduate institutions accredited by the Association of Theological Schools. Students must have earned a grade of B or higher for a course to be considered for transfer and coursework should normally have been completed no more than five years prior to matriculation to Western Seminary. Students may request to be assessed by exam for currency on courses to be transferred that are more than five years old. The transferability of credits earned at Western and transferred to another institution is at the discretion of the receiving institution.

Alternatively, students may receive advanced standing of up to 12 credit hours of the 24 credit hours of transfer credit allowed toward their program if they are able to demonstrate current competency in required coursework based on prior study (based on parallel undergraduate work or transfer credit that is ineligible for consideration based on age). Advanced standing is allowed for up to eight credits of the required BL courses (501, 502, 503) and eight credits of the required TH courses (501, 502, 503). They may qualify for four additional credits of advanced electives for the remaining credits in each of these required courses. Consult the registrar’s office for information on eligibility of transfer credit and advanced standing.

Residence requirements: Of the 48 credit hours required for the MA in Global Leadership program, a minimum of 24 credit hours must be completed through coursework at Western Seminary, completed through one of the following options:

Online LIVE Study Format

    • Students will take 10 Online LIVE credits of their choosing throughout the course of their degree.
    • International students taking 10 Online LIVE credits will not require a visa as they are not required to make a trip to campus.

Resident Study Format

    • During the first summer, the student must travel to Portland for one week to attend program orientation and two of the core Global Leadership courses, GL 501-504, for 4 credits total. Students would be encouraged to stay for the next week of threshold courses as well (MF 501 and CS 501, 2 credits each).
    • During the second summer, the student would return to Portland to attend the last two Global Leadership core courses for 4 credits total.
    • MAGL online international students coming to the US on an F1 visa are required, because of US government regulation implications, to come to the US for both summers. During the first summer, the student will attend the MAGL orientation and take two of the Global Leadership core courses plus the online orientation and threshold MF 501 and an online 2 credit course for a total of 8 credits (required full time status). During the second summer, the student will take the other two Global Leadership core courses, threshold CS 501, and an online 2 credit course (8 credits total).

Degree Requirements

Students may complete their studies in as few as five semesters, or two years, including field leadership mentorship. The program is designed around a biblical and theological core of 24 credit hours, a personal and spiritual formation sequence of 4 credit hours, global leadership sequence of 12 credit hours, and a ministry specialization sequence of 8 credit hours. These 8 credits of ministry specialization are designed in consultation with the program director to develop an area of expertise suited for global ministry. A significant part of the program is a mentored internship lasting four semesters that includes the development of an effective ministry in a global, multicultural context.

The Master of Arts in Global Leadership degree is conferred upon the attainment of certain personal and academic requirements. In addition to the general seminary requirements, degree candidates must (1) give evidence of a genuine Christian character, orthodox belief, and conduct consistent with a God-given call to a position of leadership; (2) complete all courses in the prescribed MA curriculum with a minimum grade point average of 3.0.

All work leading to the MA in Global Leadership degree program must be completed within five years from the time of matriculation. Permission to extend the five-year statute of limitation must be granted through submission of an academic petition. Reinstatement to the program after withdrawal requires Admissions Committee action and may subject the student to additional requirements for the degree. All credits applied toward the degree requirements earned within ten years of the awarding of the degree. Alternatively, new or re-entering students whose prior coursework exceeds the ten-year limit may request to demonstrate current competency by examination up to the advanced standing credit limitations for each degree program as specified elsewhere in this catalog.

Master of Arts in Global Leadership Curriculum Plan

Foundational Studies: 4 credits
CS501 Learning to Love God and Others 2
MF501 Introduction to Theological Study and Ministry Formation 2
Biblical Interpretation Studies: 12 credits
Interpreting Genesis to Song of Solomon 4
Interpreting the Prophets and Gospels 4
Interpreting Acts to Revelation 4
Theological Studies: 12 credits
TH501 Knowing the Triune God: Theology I 4
TH502 Glorifying the God of Our Salvation: Theology II 4
TH503 Living as the Community of the Spirit: Theology III 4
Global Leadership Studies: 12 credits
GL501 Spiritual Formation and Discipleship in the Global Context 2
GL502 Theology in the Global Context 2
GL503 Leadership in the Global Context 2
GL504 Self-Directed Learning for Global Leadership 2
GL531 Field Leadership Mentorship I 1
GL532 Field Leadership Mentorship II 1
GL533 Field Leadership Mentorship III 1
GL534 Field Leadership Mentorship IV 1
Note: Check with your program advisor for GL531-534 details.
Ministry Specialization Studies: 8 credits
Restricted ministry electives focusing on one area of ministry specialization with program director approval.