Master of Arts in Leadership (M.A. in Leadership)

Asbury Theological Seminary’s 48-hour Master of Arts in Leadership prepares you to be a missional leader within the church, marketplace or non-profit organization. In an increasingly complex and changing global context, you’ll develop effective leadership skills and qualities to be a transformational pastor, leader, director or CEO through the disciplines of biblical, theological and leadership studies, missiology and spiritual formation.

Study Online. Stay on Mission.

With an online Master of Arts Degree in Leadership from Asbury Theological Seminary.

Complete this 48-hour degree in as few as three years with online classes and three, one-week campus visits. World-renowned scholars integrate theology, history, sociology, ethics and leadership into your coursework that’s designed specifically for your ministry context. Through campus-visits, online courses and practicums, you’ll gain a community of life-long friendships and practical skills to be a creative and innovative ministry leader.

What to Expect from the Degree

As you complete your degree, you’ll be able to

  1. Integrate biblical, theological, missiological and social science perspectives into a cohesive understanding of Wesleyan leadership.
  2. Demonstrate increased capacity within a holistic systems approach to leadership.

*Refer to the Academic Catalog for the exact wording of Program Learning Outcomes.

Advanced Standing

Save time and money with our advanced standing program. Here’s how it works.

If you received a religion major or minor from an accredited college or university, you can receive a maximum of 18 credits toward a master of divinity degree or 12 credits toward a master of arts degree.

*Transcripts evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines





January 15

May 15

August 15

  • Application (online at
  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • M.A. and M.Div. programs require a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.0, except for the M.A. (BS), M.A.(TS), and Counseling programs, which require a 3.0/4.0 cumulative GPA
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • Personal history essay
    • Share your life story, including at what point you began your relationship with Jesus Christ. Talk about your growth since that time and what brings you to apply to Seminary at this season in your life. Include your thoughts on how you would like to see your faith grow during your time in Seminary.
    • What draws you to this particular area of study? What is your intended outcome upon degree completion? Why is that career or ministry choice meaningful to you?
    • Discuss a local, national, and/or international issue and why you are passionate about it.
  • Four references
    • 1 Pastoral
    • 1 Academic
    • 2 Professional/Peer References
  • For applicants whose primary language is not English, a TOEFL score of 550 (79 internet-based) or an IELTS score of 7.
  • Background Check 
  • A personal interview may be required upon request by the Admissions Committee

The Master of Arts in Leadership is offered as an approved exception to the Association of Theological Schools’ Standard B, section B.3.1.3.

Complete your degree on campus or online.

Study online. Complete your degree without leaving home by taking a portion of your classes online and completing the remaining through on-campus intensives.

Study on campus. Complete your degree in one of our three locations—Kentucky, Florida or Memphis. Choose to work through your degree in either a residential or urban ministry format or cohort model.

Stay on mission. However you choose to pursue your degree, you’ll develop the biblical and theological understanding essential for a vibrant, contemporary ministry rooted in the Wesleyan tradition.

The M.A. in Leadership program is offered at the following locations:

Kentucky (Wilmore)

*The residential requirement for this degree must be completed on our Florida Dunnam Campus.

Download Printable Copy

Hrs Course ID Course Name
Master of Arts Required Courses
3 BT501 Biblical Narrative 
3 CD501 Vocation of Ministry
3 CH501 Church History–One
3 CS601 Christian Ethics
3 MS501 Missional Formation
3 NT(IBS)510 or NT(IBS)511 Inductive Bible Study
3 TH501 Basic Christian Doctrine
3 TH601 Theology of John Wesley
Leadership Studies Required Courses
3 CL605 Christian Leadership Identity
3 CL/CD/SF613 Theology & Practice of Equipping Laity
3 CL615 Cross Cultural Leadership
3  CL/MS717 Leading Change
Choose a Mentored Ministry Path
3 MM701 Mentored Ministry Project
1 MM514 Mentored Ministry in Leadership One
1 MM614 Mentored Ministry in Leadership Two
1 MM714 Mentored Ministry in Leadership Three
  Leadership Elective Courses

CL550-799, CS620, CS621, CS625, CS642, OT/NT (IBS) 610-649, PC510, PC515, PR610-649,WO510, WO515, MS634, MS671, MS702, MS705, MS730

Hispanic Theology & Social Ethics,Hispanic History, Theology and Ministry, Black History, Theology and Mission, Majority/Minority Relations, Care of Persons, Pastoral Crisis Intervention, Preaching Course Option, Worship Leadership, Sacramental Theology, 21st C. Church Planting, Anthropology and Biblical Theology, Urban Church Planting & Global, Congregations & Social Change

Proposed degree pathway:

FA 16 (Residential) CD501 & CL/SF/CD613  JA 17


TH501 & CL605



FA 17

MS501 & CS601



SP18 (Residential)

CL615 & NT (IBS)510 



FA 18

CH501 & GE



MM701 & GE

SU19 (Residential)



Asbury Seminary is committed to providing you with a quality theological education and practical skills for a lifetime. We offer more than 400 scholarships annually to help you graduate with minimal debt.

Cost of Attendance


Total Credits


Master of Arts

48 credits

$635/credit hour




Academic Year 2017-2018

All Campuses Fall/Spring

All Campuses Summer

Technology Fee

$110 per semester

$50 per semester

Graduation Fee

$100 one-time fee

$100 one-time fee

Student Services Fee

$110 per semester

$50 per semester


Institutional scholarships are available through Asbury Theological Seminary. Scholarships are highly competitive and priority consideration is given to those who have completed their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Specific scholarships will be offered in the form of an invitation to those who meet the eligibility requirements.  

Part-Time Scholarship for Incoming Fall 2016 Students

Many people desire an Asbury Seminary experience. However, because of life, workload, expenses and the possibility of relocation, may never further their education. Our Part-Time Student Scholarship program is designed with the working adult in mind. It’s easy and flexible!

The Part-Time Student Scholarship awards new students up to $1,000 per semester and up to $3,000 per academic year. Scholarships are awarded on a first-come, first serve basis. Scholarship recipients may also be eligible for complimentary housing during intensive classes.

Criteria includes:

  • Enrollment in one of these degree programs
    • Master of Arts in Leadership
    • Master of Arts [T.S.] with concentrations in Philosophy & Apologetics or Spiritual Formation
    • Master of Divinity via distance learning
  • Participate in two Christian service activities per year
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Continuous enrollment required for the Fall, Spring, and Summer terms

To apply once admitted to the Seminary:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Contact to inquire and apply.

Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarships

The Dr. J. Ellsworth Kalas Pastoral Scholarship is a $12,000 annual award given to those pursuing a theological degree. Scholarships are awarded based on financial need.

Criteria includes:

  • Commitment to begin active ministry through local church ministry, church planting or mission work following graduation
  • Demonstration of financial need
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually)

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on the way your intended vocational goal and this scholarship will better enable you to accomplish God’s call on your life.

Presidential Scholarship

Recipients of this scholarship exhibit both outstanding academic and leadership skills. This scholarship covers up to 100% of tuition.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative 3.75 GPA
  • Maintain full-time student status (21 hours annually) & a 3.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate leadership skills through involvement in a local worship community
  • Participate in a minimum of four Christian service activities annually
  • Commit to begin active ministry following graduation

Here’s how to apply:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • Complete the Presidential Scholarship Application, which includes a 500-word essay on how you anticipate a Seminary education will equip you for future leadership.

Johnson International Scholarship

The Johnson International Scholarship is a need-based scholarship, covering up to 100% of tuition. The scholarship is available to non-U.S. residents who plan to assume leadership roles within their home country after graduation.

Criteria includes:

  • Undergraduate cumulative GPA of 2.75 and regular service in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service OR a 2.5 undergraduate cumulative GPA and notable leadership in a local congregation, campus ministry, mission outreach or social service
  • Maintain a 2.75 GPA
  • Demonstrate faithful involvement in a local worship community, as well as the Seminary community
  • Complete an Asbury Seminary-approved financial planning seminar or workshop during the first term of study to re-qualify for subsequent terms
  • Commit to enter into active ministry in his/her homeland following completion of academic work

To be eligible for additional scholarship, complete the International Student Questionnaire Form. This form will be made available to you once the admissions process has started.

Special Scholarships

These scholarships do not require an invitation and are generated from either Endowed or Restricted funds. Recipients of Special Scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need. You must complete The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be eligible to receive these scholarships.

Apply Now!