Graduate Certificate in NGO/Nonprofit Leadership

This graduate certificate is an interdisciplinary, collaborative effort between the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) programs.

Graduates will be prepared to organize, create, and manage organizations, or programs and projects, working to inspire and lead social change for the common good.

The certificate is 15 semester hours, which is typically five 3-credit hour courses; these are selected in consultation with the certificate advisor to meet each student’s interests or specific needs, and to form a cohesive package that equips leaders to effectively manage and lead nonprofit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Students wishing to earn both an MBA degree, and the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership, must complete a minimum of 39 semester hours in a curriculum planned together with their advisor.

What Students Say About This Certificate

“The graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership was a great way to combine my interests in conflict transformation and organizational development. The classes were practical as well as applicable to a variety of sectors — it’s been only a few months since I graduated, and I’ve already put the learning to use in my work as a conflict resolution specialist within the federal government.”

-Sigal Shohan, MA in conflict transformation ’13. Sigal is currently a conflict resolution specialist at the Department of the Interior in the Office for Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution.

“The graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership was a wonderful way to integrate my experiences in grassroots peacebuilding and organizational leadership. This interdisciplinary and collaborative program welcomed critical reflection and experiential learning alongside professional colleagues. My ability to obtain this certificate as part of the MA in Conflict Transformation was encouraged, vocationally practical and speaks to EMU’s shared philosophy of applied leadership for the common good. I have been able to apply my learning in both a local and global context with new skills, new colleagues and new understanding.”

-Andrew Nussbaum, MA in conflict transformation

Course Information and Schedule

Students should plan their curriculum with at least three MBA courses and at least one PAX course:

Required courses:

  • MBA 510: Leadership and Management for the Common Good
  • PAX 564: Developing Healthy Organizations or OLS 530 Organizational Behavior
  • MBA 560: Stewardship, Innovation, and Social Entrepreneurship

Elective courses* (select two):

  • MBA 520: Introduction to Leadership Studies
  • MBA 555: Legal Aspects of Human Resources
  • MBA 610: Strategic Marketing Management
  • OLS 665: Project Management and Grantwriting
  • MBA 650: Sustainable Organizations for the Common Good (open only to CJP masters students)
  • PAX 533: Analysis: Understanding Conflict
  • PAX 600: Three Dimensional Negotiation
  • PAX 601: Mediation and Negotiation
  • PAX 610: Facilitation: Process Design & Skills for Dialogue, Deliberation and Decision Making
  • PAX 624: Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • PAX 654: Conflict Coaching

*Other graduate courses may be proposed to the certificate advisor for consideration.


Tuition for the certificate program is $550 per credit hour, for a total of $8,250. Books are not included in this total. There are no additional fees (such as parking, student services, technology fees).

What makes this certificate unique?

  • Allows working professionals to earn this certificate while continuing to work
  • Complement an existing graduate degree, or build on an undergraduate degree
  • Obtain this certificate as part of the 45-credit hour MA in Conflict Transformation
  • Gain skills in managing people and finances and leading healthy organizations
  • The certificate is issued by the MBA program and presented at commencement

Apply online:

Contact Information

Contact the MBA program for more information:

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