Master of Arts in Church Leadership

Who should consider an MACL?

This degree balances spiritual growth and leadership training for students interested in working in a specific area of ministry. It will develop skills in one particular area, rather than the more broad, master of divinity degree. This degree is a terminal degree, which means that it is not intended for those who wish to continue on for PhD-level studies.

Inquire for more information, schedule a visit or apply today.

What is the curriculum?

60 semester hours completed in two or more years

Why EMS?

Formation studies

A unique strength of Eastern Mennonite Seminary is our formation program. We believe that focusing on one’s own formation during the seminary journey is the way for ministering persons to be healthy and whole in their vocations. For this degree, four formation courses are required. Formation in God’s Story I & II (2 credits each) helps students understand their own lives in conversation with and connection to God’s story as found in Scripture and being written in the present in their own lives through spiritual practices. Formation in Ministry I & II (3 credits each) offers students the opportunity to put their learning into practice in internship sites related to their vocational leanings with a mentor to help with on-site theological reflection. For more information, please visit the formation page.

Mentored Ministry

Supervised field education or Mentored Ministry is an essential component of this program. The course Formation in Ministry meets this requirement. Students who are already in ministry positions in a congregation may use that congregation as their field education placement.

Ministry specialization project

This project is intended to help students integrate their seminary education into their intended ministry setting. As a culmination of their seminary experience, students will develop a resource, with the assistance of a faculty advisor, which will equip them more fully to minister in contexts beyond the seminary.

Formation in God’s Story I and II
Old Testament: Text in Context
New Testament: Text in Context
Christian Tradition I and II
Basics of Biblical Language
Biblical study elective
Formation in Ministry I and II
Interpreting the Biblical Text
Anabaptist course*
Living Theology
Missio Dei in Cultural Context

*Required only for Anabaptist-affiliated students

Specializations will be made up of courses that the student and advisor jointly discern will best serve to prepare the student for ministry. Possible areas of specialization given the training opportunities the seminary can provide are below. Specializations are flexible and may be changed a necessary.

  • Christian spiritual formation and direction
  • Local and global mission of the church
  • Pastoral care and counseling
  • Preaching and teaching
  • Worship leadership
  • Conflict management and peacemaking

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