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Master of Arts in Leadership Studies with a Concentration in Lay Community Ministry
We designed our new MA program for lay leaders who wish to pursue a seminary degree that leads to a career in paid or voluntary religious leadership other than ordained parish ministry.
This 18 month MA course of study will 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 requirement creates a focused living-and-learning environment. Students undertake content-rich academic work from a distance and travel to Chicago four times a year for interactions with our distinguished faculty.
The 36 credit program incorporates a unique series of courses and real world engagement that integrate personal awareness, professional proficiencies, and global consciousness for more mindful, compassionate leadership in any organizational context.
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MALS and MALS with a Concentration in Lay Community Ministry
The Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MALS) provides advanced work for lay leaders, ministers, and ministerial students in the theory and practice of leadership within congregations and community-based ministries. The MALS degree is designed to develop liberal religious leadership for congregational and community life, grounded in a clear sense of the current challenges leadership face within our contemporary pluralistic, multi-faith, cross-cultural world.
The MALS with a Concentration in Lay Community Ministry is designed for people whose ministries seek to effect change by addressing the social and spiritual needs of people and organizations outside the direct care of congregations. It prepares lay community ministers to bring the artistry of cross-cultural and multiracial leadership to their ministry. The program incorporates a unique series of courses and real world engagement that integrate personal awareness, professional proficiencies, and global consciousness for more mindful, compassionate leadership in any organizational context.
Degree Requirements for MALS
Successful completion of 36 units of credit (1 full course = 3 units of credit) are required. Of the 36 credits the student will receive6 credits of thesis: 3 credits for “Research Methods” class + 3 credits for thesis itself; exceptions for students who have done a prior thesis or dissertation (i.e. for those who have done enough research to not need the class on research methods; , they will simply have 6 credits for the thesis), 18 units of credit for a supervised full internship OR 9 units of credit for a supervised half internship, and, depending on the internship option chosen, either 12 or 21 units of credit for intensive academic coursework.
Required Courses for MALS
Degree Requirements for MALS with a Concentration in Lay Community Ministry
Successful completion of 36 units of credit (1 full course = 3 units of credit) are required. Of the 36 credits the student will receive 6 units of credit for the thesis, 9 units of credit for the Community Studies Internship and Seminar, and 21 units of credit for intensive academic coursework.
Required Courses for MALS with a Concentration in Lay Community Ministry
Up to 12 units of credit may be transferred from another graduate degree program. All transfer credits must be pre-approved by the student’s academic advisor. Transferred credits will not appear on the Meadville Lombard transcript with a letter grade (only the credit is transferring) and the letter P, for Pass, will accompany all transferred credits.
Requirements for Applying
a. Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Complete online at fafsa.ed.gov
Word from the President:
"The MA with a Concentration in Lay Community Ministry is the perfect degree for lay persons who know that making justice and bringing about social transformation will be undertaken most authentically if their service is anchored in a growing personal spiritual life seeded in a greater knowledge of the theological disciplines.
The beauty of the ML degree is that it allows students to study through the principles of engagement scholarship, an innovative academic process in which they pursue studies through a full integration of service and reflection, even while living in their own communities.
For whom is the MA with a concentration in Lay Community Ministry designed? It is for the volunteer who might wish to serve a denominational legislative ministry, but who knows that in order to build necessary partnerships, a deeper foundation in religion is required. It is for the person who wishes to be more effective in multi faith engagement and understands that a seminary degree would provide both the skills and the credibility to engage with the “other.” It is for the young professional who works for an NGO and who sees that the next step in her professional development entails reaching out to faith based community partners. In short, Meadville Lombard’s new MA is the right choice for people of traditional faith, people of non-traditional faith and people of questioning faith—anyone who wants to explore religion, their own and others, and use the exploration to make the world a better place."
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