The MAR in Leadership Studies and Certificate in Church Leadership (online) combine cutting edge research with on-the-ground application to prepare students for effective congregational leadership.
The MAR Leadership Studies is a fully accredited, 37-hour (12 classes) program that prepares students for leadership in local congregations. Courses combine cutting edge research with field application to allow students to explore best practices and how these can impact their current ministries. Courses are offered in two convenient formats--fully online, and in concentrated face-to-face classroom settings (= a course meets 3x during the semester)--to combine flexibility in scheduling with opportunities to connect and network with peers. The MAR Leadership Studies can be completed in 24 months for under $6000.
The Certificate in Church Leadership allows students to complete accredited coursework in a convenient online format. All courses in the Certificate program are fully accredited and can be applied toward a degree. The Certificate focuses on key skills needed for congregational leadership and is accessible and relevant to both salaried staff and layleaders. At only 5 classes, the Certificate in Church Leadership can be completed in 12-18 months for under $2500.
Note: all courses marked "online" below are included in the Certificate in Church Leadership.
- Personal Spiritual Formation
This course introduces students to key principles and practices in the development of a lifelong personal spiritual formation program. While the content is academic, the application is intensely practical, with emphasis on a review and personal exploration of traditional spiritual disciplines; enhancing emotional and professional self-awareness; self-leadership (e.g., avoiding burnout; developing life skills critical to success in ministry; time management; boundaries; managing personal workflow); and, assessing and overcoming personal challenges.
- Cultural Frameworks of Ministry (online)
This course is designed to help students understand the transitional atmosphere of the church in the post-modern era. It will assist in the interpretation of the world today and demonstrate how the church can be relevant while maintaining integrity and spiritual significance as the body of Christ.
- Leadership & Management for Ministry (online)
This course examines biblical and contemporary principles of leadership and management, providing the student with foundational and relevant help in leading today’s church. Special topics include leading across boundaries and in diverse contexts; leading through transition; oversight of both paid staff and volunteers; motivation and accountability systems; and, upward/360 leadership.
- Assessing & Managing Congregational Health
This course explores a model for organizational health in congregations, with emphasis on application to the student's current church. Topics include assessment of congregational culture and systems; the identification of challenges and opportunities; and, the development and implementation of effective strategies and plans.
- Models & Methods of Congregational Outreach
This course explores a range of principles and practices relating to the development and implementation of a comprehensive congregational outreach program. Special topics include: biblical/theological perspectives on evangelism; demographics and market research; branding and communications, including both internal and external communications; mobilizing congregants to reach their networks; attractional, missional, and other outreach models; first impressions services; and, basics of customer service.
- Human & Financial Resource Management (online)
This course introduces students to a range of concepts, principles, and models relating to the business operations of the church. Building on principles discussed in PMIN540 (prerequisites), topics fall under two broad headings: Finance and Budgeting; and, effective oversight of Human Resources. Special subjects include: basic principles of organizational finance; developing and maintaining budgets; tying budget to larger planning processes; basic HR laws for the church; staff review and accountability systems; recruiting, training, and overseeing volunteers; planning for and overseeing effective meetings; and, technological tools related to budgeting and HR.
- Issues & Trends in Worship (online)
This course surveys major issues, principles, and practices in public worship assemblies. Worship is explored as a key factor both in outreach and in the formation of the identity and spiritual life of a congregation. Topics include both trends and best practices and also philosophical principles that distinguish Biblical worship, promote spiritual growth and achieve active participation for worshipers in today’s church.
- Assimilation & Discipleship
This course explores strategies for engaging, capturing, retaining, developing, and mobilizing the members of a congregation. Topics include pathways for assimilation, discipleship, and leadership development; benchmarking and tracking involvement and spiritual formation; capture and retention systems and strategies; reducing churn rates; small group management; and, delegation.
- Pastoral Care & Counseling
This course surveys contemporary counseling theories and techniques that are particularly applicable to the practice of ministry. Topics include the counseling process, comparison of various theoretical approaches, an introduction to professional ethical issues in counseling, and the development and implementation of congregational counseling programs.
- Pastoral Epistles (online)
This course offers a detailed exegetical study of 1-2 Timothy and Titus, with emphasis on critical questions, historical context, and issues of particular concern to the contemporary church: inner-congregational relationships; legalism; church/state relations; gender roles; leadership/polity; benevolent care; mentoring.
- Creativity in Teaching & Preaching
This course surveys contemporary models of preaching and teaching with an emphasis on the integration of preaching into the larger outreach, assimilation, pastoral care, and communications strategies of a congregation. Topics will include principles of adult learning; media and technology; and, the strategic integration of preaching into larger congregational systems and initiatives.
- Capstone Portfolio
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Center for Church Leadership
Music & Worship
Russell School of Ministry / Music & Worship