Master of Arts in Leadership Studies
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Meadville Lombard offers two 18-month Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MALS) programs that provide students with a deeper foundation in theology, the skills to engage with others in multi-faith work, and the credibility and authority to lead within the broader faith-based community. Our innovative low-residency program creates a focused living-and-learning environment. Students undertake content-rich academic work from a distance and an internship while living in their local community and travel to Chicago four times a year for learning and discussion with our distinguished faculty.

Learning Objectives for MALS Degree Programs:

  • Develop leadership skills for a multifaith, multiracial and multicultural world.
  • Develop competency in the history and theology of one’s religious community.
  • Demonstrate spiritual and ministerial discernment through course work, site supervision, and thesis.
  • Utilize the insights of leadership and organizational theory in parish and/or community ministry.
  • Demonstrate leadership specific to area of specialization (such as social engagement leadership, faith formation, worship, youth ministry).
  • Participate in discourse with diverse constituencies, both within and beyond the Meadville Lombard community.


The MALS degree programs are designed to prepare students to lead across the diverse challenges in our contemporary multifaith, multiracial, and multicultural world.

Each program is organized around a series of courses and unique real world engagements through which students will learn to integrate spiritual and emotional self-awareness, professional proficiencies, and global consciousness necessary to more mindful, compassionate leadership in diverse organizational contexts.

Concentration in Lay Ministry

The MALS with a Concentration in Lay Ministry prepares students to minister to the social and spiritual needs of diverse people and organizations. It prepares students to lead across the many changes that are shaping our diverse world and is especially appropriate for those who are called to initiatives in faith formation, justice work, music and/or the arts, and religious leadership in international and/or non-traditional settings. 

Concentration in Social Engagement

The MALS with a Concentration in Social Engagement provides advanced work for community activists and faith-based community leaders and entrepreneurs who wish to deepen the ethical/spiritual framework they bring to their justice work.
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