At Meadville Lombard, leadership formation is anchored by our groundbreaking Signature Courses: multi-credit, multidisciplinary, yearlong classes that help students move from discernment to leadership. These courses are designed to give you an opportunity to integrate your academic learning with the real-world experience of service and leadership in
Each Signature Course incorporates academic learning, service through internships, and the support of a cohort of peers. The class gathers in person in Chicago each August and January for a two- to three-day Ingathering, and also meets by videoconference four times per semester. Cohorts of about 30 participants meet via videoconference once a month to check in with each other and deepen their learning. The cohort is also divided into smaller groups that meet weekly via video chat or by phone to work on projects and reflections.
Community Studies (required for first-year Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Leadership Studies students) provides students with the ability to read and appreciate communities of difference—a key skill for religious and spiritual leaders. As part of this Signature Course, students serve eight hours per week in a community agency. Students are supported in finding a site that offers opportunities to develop multicultural competencies.
Congregational Studies (required for Master of Divinity students) supports students in applying the skills developed in Community Studies to the nuances of congregational life. Site work is conducted most often in a congregational setting, where students serve 20 hours per week. In addition to guidance from Meadville Lombard faculty, teaching pastors (experienced parish ministers) help direct a student’s congregational work.
Leadership Studies (required for Master of Divinity students) helps students develop and hone religious and spiritual leadership abilities, most often within the context of a continued congregational internship for 20 hours per week under the guidance of Meadville Lombard faculty and a teaching pastor. During this course, students develop and lead a project that helps the congregation expand its cultural borders.