Master of Arts 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 12 credits toward a Master of Arts degree.

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

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadlines Spring Summer Fall
January 15 May 15 September 7
  • Application (online at
  • $50 non-refundable Application Fee
  • Accredited baccalaureate degree
  • The M.A. in Leadership program requires a cumulative GPA of 2.75/4.0
  • Official transcripts from all schools where classes were taken for more than one semester
  • Personal history essay (1050-1500 words) 350-500 words per question.
    1. Share your testimony starting with how you met 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.
    2. What draws you to your desired major/area of study? What is your intended outcome upon degree completion? Why is that career or ministry choice meaningful to you?
    3. Discuss a local, national, and/or international issue and why you are passionate about it.
    4. Optional: If your GPA is not a good indication of your academic ability, please explain.
  • Four required references (references cannot be related to applicant)
    1. Four references completed on the Admissions Office form at, including a pastoral reference (required) and a professor or academic administrator reference (recommended). Laity or personal acquaintances are accepted.
  • 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

Organizational Leadership—Simple organizations no longer exist in a globally connected world. The organizational leadership track equips leaders of churches, parachurches and nonprofits to steward missional fidelity. With a blend of leadership development and organizational development, this track positions graduates for strategic direction. Leaders will work at the intersection of spiritual discernment, operational systems and mobilizing people for healthy fulfillment of an organization’s reason for being.

Social Impact—Become a leader who can impact the future by guiding an organization through adaptive challenges. The world is rapidly changing and leading effectively is becoming increasingly complex. The M.A. in Leadership, with an emphasis in Social Impact, is designed to prepare leaders who can work collaboratively, while creating effective processes and an environment for transformation.

Worship Leadership—There is a growing emphasis on the importance of worship in the life of the church, and with that, a growing desire among pastors, musicians, and church leaders to learn more about the dynamics of congregational worship leadership. The worship leadership track positions graduates to lead in robust congregational worship by offering both theological and practical training in worship, offering a range of courses in liturgy, sacraments, music, and songwriting. Leaders will consider the doxological nature of worship while learning how to shepherd God’s people well in corporate prayer and praise.

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 CL/MS718 Cross-Cultural Leadership
3  CL/MS717 Leading Change
Choose a Mentored Ministry Path
3 MM740 Practicum (Mentored Ministry)
1 MM514 or MM520 Mentored Ministry – One
1 MM614 or MM620 Mentored Ministry – Two
1 MM714 or MM720 Mentored Ministry – Three
Leadership Elective Courses
9 CL550-799, CS620, CS621, CS625, CS642, OT/NT (IBS) 610-649, PC510, PC515, PR610-649,WO510, WO615, 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

Master of Arts in Leadership:  Organizational Leadership

Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 CL618 Church Management & Admin.
3 CL621 Leading Groups & Organizations
3 CL622 Leadership Emergence for Ministry

Master of Arts in Leadership:  Worship Leadership

Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 WO510 Worship Leadership
3 WO615 or WO/PR663 Sacramental Theo. or Public Reading of Scripture
3 MU or WO Electives MU500-599 or WO500-799

Master of Arts in Leadership:  Social Impact

Hrs Course ID Course Name
3 CL618 Church Management & Admin.
3 CL720 Capacity Building Leadership
3 CL721 Kingdom Networking

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

Degree Total Credits Cost
Master of Arts 48 credits $712/credit hour
Total $34,176
Academic Year 2022-2023 All Campuses Fall/Spring All Campuses Summer
Technology Fee $225 per semester $110 per semester
Graduation Fee $200 one-time fee $200 one-time fee
Student Services Fee $160 per semester $80 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), the Asbury Financial Aid Application, and who have been admitted by the Admissions Office by March 1.

Recipients of scholarships must represent strong promise for Christian ministry and demonstrate a financial need.

Some of the scholarships include:

  • Mary Whetstone and Walter J. Knabe Scholarship – average award $10,700
  • Windgate Scholarship – average award $10,000
  • J.C. McPheeters Scholarship – average award $7,000
  • Timothy C. Tennent Church Planting and Cross-Cultural Missionary Service Scholarship – average award $4,500
  • Leo H. Naughton Scholarship – average award $3,200
  • Asbury Deans Scholarship – average award $1,500