Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership

Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership

Be a part of the next generation of Christian leaders with a Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership at Jakes Divinity School (JDS)

With the master’s degree in strategic leadership online at Jakes Divinity School, you can embrace your analytical side while cultivating your leadership strategies — and faith. Through this master’s in leadership, you will refine your strategic thinking skills, develop ethical decision-making, experience vibrant worship, and learn effective ministry outreach. 

Learning from Spirit-filled scholars in a collaborative online learning environment will help you cultivate the best characteristics of a leader. Our faculty members are passionate about teaching and helping you grow into an innovative, forward-thinking, and effective Christian leader who is prepared for vital roles in businesses, churches, and other organizations.

Fully accredited through our partnership with North Central University, our master’s degree in strategic leadership will empower you to lead with purpose. Our courses are offered 100% online so you have the flexibility to continue to work and tend to your other commitments while you learn strategic leadership.

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Enhance your leadership skills with a flexible online degree
Align your passion with your career through a specialized track
Develop your strategic skills for both religious and secular jobs
Network and meet leaders face-to-face at residency opportunities
Make an impact with purposeful strategic leadership courses

Why a master’s degree in strategic leadership at JDS?

The Jakes Divinity School Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership (MASL) instills theology with a practically applied curriculum so you graduate with the tools and vision needed to succeed and lead positive changes. Complete your strategic leadership courses online and further your ministerial knowledge through a school developed around the focus of Bishop T.D. Jakes. With a master’s in leadership, you will be prepared to lead in business, church, education, mentoring, and more.

Advance and evolve your leadership style by addressing ethical issues with mentors and scholars. With their guidance, you will build upon what the characteristics of a leader mean to you.

Identify the principles of spiritual leadership and use them to make strategic leadership decisions. Hone and improve your networking, conflict-resolution, and communication abilities at JDS.

Learn to successfully manage projects through strategic leadership courses that include the history and development of organizational theory from a theologically grounded perspective.

JDS offers in-person residencies twice a year to provide exclusive access to information, lectures, insights, and resources during your master’s degree in strategic leadership.

We believe in raising up the next generation of Christian leaders, so JDS regularly holds Town Halls where you can engage in discussions on topics ranging from church leadership to social justice.

 Learn to lead with Bishop T.D. Jakes—JDS’s founder and chancellor. Build the characteristics of a leader and a deeper understanding of moral responsibility with this Spirit-filled Christian leader.

What can you do with a master’s in leadership from JDS?

Overcome obstacles by applying the knowledge and ministerial experience you will gain through the fully accredited Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership degree at Jakes Divinity School. After completing these strategic leadership degree courses, you will find your skills are always in demand. From organizational changes to teamwork to missionary outreach, your master’s in leadership positions you to effectively use leadership strategies, spread the Word, and improve your community in a variety of industries.

JDS students who graduate with a MASL become:

  • Clergy 
  • Ministry professionals
  • Missionaries
  • Organizational leaders or managers
  • Project managers
  • Social workers
  • Strategic planner

Career outlook for MASL graduates

In 2020, the median annual wage for management occupations or leadership positions was $109,760 — the highest of all major occupational groups, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Get started on your strategic leadership courses online

Take the next steps toward earning your MASL so you can make a difference as a strategic leader. If you have questions after you review our FAQs below, please call us at 1-866-85-MYJDS (1-866-856-9537) or email info@jakesdivinity.org.

Apply Today

Submit your application online for the Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership program at Jakes Divinity School. See application requirements and core course descriptions below.

Learn More about Financial Aid

Don’t wait to make your master’s in leadership degree a reality. Apply for federal loans, grants, and/or scholarships today. Start by completing the FAFSA using School Code: 002369 North Central University.

Request More Information

Want an admissions counselor to reach out to you about our master’s degree in strategic leadership? Please submit this form.

Tuition: $650 per credit hour.
Technology fee: $200 per semester
Graduate Program Fee: $200 per semester

Federal financial aid is available for those that qualify. You can start by filling out the FAFSA.

Merit-based scholarships are also available but change frequently so contact our admissions office for current offerings.

Other financial aid opportunities:
-Grad Student 25% Discount Program for qualifying credentialed ministers
-$500 Scholarship ($250 per semester) for JDS Ambassador program participants

Admissions

Entrance Requirements

Students wishing to take courses and/or matriculate into the graduate program must meet the following criteria:

  1. They must demonstrate a willingness to subscribe to the ideals and patterns of life and conduct of Jakes Divinity School and the North Central University community, as outlined in the “Christian Community Life Standards” and adopted by NCU’s Board of Regents.
  2. They will have a bachelor’s degree earned from a regionally accredited university with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. Applicants holding degrees from nationally, professionally, or specialized accredited institutions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and may need to fulfill additional requirements as assigned by the program director or a designee. International students must have their transcripts evaluated by an evaluation service approved by the university and submitted directly to the admissions office. Students who are in the final semester of their program may be accepted with approval from the program director or designee.

Regular Entrance Requirements

For regular graduate admissions the completed application packet will include:

Application form
Application fee ($75) – see below One essay articulating the following:

  1. Statement of intention
  2. Concrete professional/personal goals relating to choice of program (professional growth plan)
  3. Professional resumé
  4. Official transcripts from all previous undergraduate and graduate institutions One Graduate Admission Reference form from employer or professor addressing potential for success in the graduate program.
  • If cumulative GPA is less than 3.0, at least one of the following as an indicator of academic ability:
  • Academic essay
    GRE or GMAT scores at or above the 50th percentile, which conform to the standards of validity of each testing service (Scores are usually valid for 5 years from the testing date.) Students admitted under this status may expect to take a reduced course load, meet with their adviser at least twice a semester, and be required to engage the services of the Student Success Center. These conditions terminate upon successfully completing the first semester.

Transfer Credits

As a general rule, the graduate program allows a maximum of six-credit hours of graduate work relative to the program to be transferred in as part of a student’s degree requirements. All such requests be determined by registrar’s office in close consultation with the program director or a designee.

Course Transfer Guidelines

The policies and procedures for transferring credits are as follows: Only grades of “B-” or better are transferable. The course description must be equivalent to an NCU course. The course(s) must be required for the major of interest to count towards HG (hours earned for graduation). Importantly, courses are evaluated individually.

An official evaluation is done after the Registrar’s Office receiving an official transcript. Faxed transcripts or unofficial transcripts can be evaluated, but the evaluation is unofficial until official transcripts are received. Courses cannot be transferred without grades (unless a “P” for “Pass” equals a B- or above); however, the grades do not transfer and, therefore, do not affect the student’s GPA at North Central University.

International Transfer Credit Evaluation

Students who wish to transfer credit from international institutions must have their transcripts of graduate-level work evaluated on a course-by-course basis by an evaluation service approved by the university. In addition to the transcript evaluation, students must send an official copy of the international transcript, along with a certified English translation, if the original transcript is not in English, to the Registrar’s office at NCU.

Transfer Credit Evaluation Process

In addition to the regular admissions requirements, transfer students applying to Jakes Divinity School should submit official transcripts of graduate-level work for North Central University’s review.

A transcript evaluator located in the Registrar’s Office, in conjunction with the School of Graduate Studies, will evaluate transcripts and communicate the results to accepted students within 14 business days. Questions regarding transcript evaluation should be directed to the Registrar’s Office at 612.343.4409. Upon completion of courses, official transcripts should be sent to:

North Central University
Attn: Registrar’s Office (Jakes Divinity School Cohort)
910 Elliot Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55404 

Specialized MASL tracks available

These tracks are brand new as of fall 2020!  Students are not required to choose a track, but they may certainly choose one.  These tracks will increase the cost of tuition by 6 credits and increase degree completion time by one semester.

Worship Leadership track will prepare current and future leaders and musicians to communicate effectively the role of worship in the believer’s life by receiving biblically, theologically, historically, and contextually-grounded training.

Church Leadership track develops effective Christian leaders for dynamic roles in church and parachurch organizations through a theologically-informed, theoretically-grounded, and practically-applied curriculum.

Business Administration Leadership program develops effective Christian leaders for dynamic roles in business and nonprofit organizations through a Christ-centered, theoretically-grounded, and practically-applied curriculum.

The degree is offered online with some face-to-face opportunities for learning, networking, and hands-on experience. All of Jakes Divinity School students will have face-to-face residency opportunities twice a year. The first is during the International Leadership Summit each spring of a given degree program. Students will arrive on site of the summit the Sunday evening prior and remain for a week until the end of the summit. The second residency will likely take place in Dallas, TX, at Jakes Divinity School in the fall of each year.

PLEASE NOTE: We are currently accepting students from all 50 states in all programs powered by North Central University

Online strategic leadership degree FAQs

Credit Hours

The program operates on North Central University (NCU)’s semester system and offers academic credit in terms of the semester credit hour. Each semester hour of graduate course credit requires a total of approximately 45 hours of work.

Students taking face-to-face, semester-long courses can expect to spend about 9 hours per week on average for a total of 135 hours for a three-credit course.

All online courses are taught in an eight-week format, with two sessions offered per semester. Students electing to take all or part of their coursework via online can expect to spend 16-17 hours on average per week on course work.

Program Length

The university requires a minimum of 30 graduate credits for the Master of Arts in Strategic Leadership. These credits will consist of the nine, three-credit classes, which are listed below under Course Descriptions section below, and the completion of a three-credit capstone project or a thesis.

Course Load

A student must be enrolled for a minimum of 6 credit hours per regular semester to be considered a full-time graduate student. A student enrolled in less than 6 credits is classified as part-time. Permission from the director or a designee will be required if a student seeks to enroll for more than 9 credit hours in a semester. Usually that student will need to have earned a 3.2 GPA or higher in previous coursework.

MA Strategic Leadership

Traditional Track and Leadership Core Course Descriptions

GLE 500 Personal Leadership Development

This course explores the principles of personal and spiritual leadership that are revealed in the Bible and exemplified in the lives of Jesus Christ and subsequent spiritual leaders. In light of biblical leadership principles, this course will address the importance and process of establishing a personal leadership philosophy. Students will review selected writings from both sacred and secular authors, thus giving students a broad perspective of leadership, with primary emphasis placed on spiritual models.

GLE 525 Project Management

This course will equip learners with knowledge, skills and values by explaining core project management concepts and techniques. During the course, project management knowledge is enhanced through project management skill development that uses case study examples to demonstrate how project management best practices are applied within the context of the real world. The course is designed to present the essential skills students need to make effective contributions and to have an immediate impact on the accomplishment of projects in which they are involved. It prepares students with marketable and transferable proficiencies and sends them into the workforce ready to apply project management knowledge and skills. The course will prepare students and working professionals to take either the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) examination or the Project Management Professional (PMP) examination.

GLE 550 Leadership Strategy and Change

This course is an investigation of the analytical process that enables leaders to make effective and efficient (strategic) organizational decisions. This course will emphasize how leaders, interpreting and utilizing the results of analysis, can persuade stakeholder and achieve successful and sustainable organizational change. It is a study of the methods and nature of strategic planning, including: the internal and external environments and opportunities leaders face in strategic planning; the leader’s task in responding to the variables within these environments; and the impact of these variables on strategic choices. Topics include how to assess critical variables impacting organizations, key factors in the change process, and communicating essential observations and recommendations.

GLE 600 History and Theory of Organizational Leadership

This course examines the history and development of organizational theory, organizational design, and current practice regarding organizational structures and the dynamics of individual and collective behavior within organizations. A synthesis and integration of major traditions in organizational theory will help the student evaluate the impact of environment on organizational structure, culture, and leadership. Emphasis on the role of leadership and cultural values are considered from a Christian worldview. Emphasis will be placed on grounding theoretical concepts in personal and practical applications so students can better understand the chaotic and constantly changing world of organizations.

GLE 605 Leadership Ethics

This interdisciplinary study, integrating theology and praxis, seeks to develop a theology of mission based on the premise that the unifying theme of Scripture is embodied in the concept of the Kingdom of God introduced in the Old Testament, fulfilled in the ministry of Jesus Christ in the New Testament, and demonstrated to the world through the life and actions of a believing community empowered by the Holy Spirit.

GLE615 Organizational Behavior and Analysis

This course investigates the impact that individuals, groups, and organizational structure and culture have on behavior within organizations, and how this knowledge can be applied toward improving an organization’s effectiveness. The course also examines role behavior, group dynamics, team development, motivation, conflict, job stress and satisfaction, and decision-making, and the relationship between the organization and the leader.

GLE 610 Global Leadership

This course is an investigation into cross-cultural competencies as essential components for meaningful human relationships and on a professional level for success as a leader. Leaders need to understand how to cope with the differing ideologies of our pluralistic, modern world. This course examines biblically-grounded principles and models that will enable the student to understand the extent and realities of cultural diversity, helping the student to be an effective leader in a multi-cultural context. This interdisciplinary study deals with the leadership implications and strategies of the religious, ideological, and cultural diversity that are evident in both local and global contexts.

GLE620 Interpersonal Management

This course develops a foundation in the theory and practice of interpersonal dynamics. The development of successful leadership requires an understanding of group dynamics and multiple dimensions of interpersonal relationships as they affect individuals, groups, and the organizational whole. This course provides opportunities to participate in and analyze group behavior, understand the evolution of the group’s life cycle, and become aware of the influence of non-verbal communication on members of a group in order to enhance an organization’s accomplishment of its mission. This course will address various models of interpersonal behavior to managerial and organizational issues, while enhancing interpersonal competence, especially team-building, motivation, listening, and assertiveness skills.

GLE630 Research in Leadership

This course is designed to provide students with the research skills needed to make better decisions. This includes research design, literature searching, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. It provides students with the skills they need to complete their capstone project or thesis

GLE645 Capstone Thesis

The master’s thesis is designed to provide a student with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to identify a topic related to Strategic Leadership, research it in-depth, and produce a synthesis of their learning, all at an advanced level of scholarship. It is for both those who are strategic leaders of various organizations as well as those who are seeking to gain a greater understanding of how strategic leadership is impacted by research.

GLE 646 Capstone Thesis Continuation I (optional, if needed)

Course description: This zero-credit course enrolls a student in their second semester to complete their MA capstone thesis. Students will work with their capstone advisors to continue progress and complete final steps related to their capstone thesis. Students may only take this class one time. If a student needs one additional semester, they will enroll in GLE 647 Capstone Thesis Continuation II. There is no cost to enroll in this continuation course. A grade of “NG”, or no grade, will be assigned.

GLE 647 Capstone Thesis Continuation II (optional, if needed)

Course description: This zero-credit course provides a student one additional semester to complete their MA capstone thesis. Students will work with their capstone advisors to complete final steps related to their capstone thesis. Students may only take this class one time. A $100 fee will be assessed. A grade of “NG”, or no grade, will be assigned.

GLE 650 Capstone Project

This course is one of two final capstone options available for the Strategic Leadership program. This course gives an opportunity for students to do an applied study and research project of their choice related to the field of strategic leadership that is practical for their situation. It will include a literature review plus an action research component which uses quantitative and/or qualitative research.

GLE 651 Capstone Project Continuation (optional, if needed)

Course description: This zero-credit course provides a student one additional semester to complete their MA capstone project. Students will work with their capstone advisors to complete final steps related to their capstone project. Students may only take this class one time. A $100 fee will be assessed. A grade of “NG”, or no grade, will be assigned.

GLE 651 Capstone Project Continuation (optional, if needed)

Course description: This zero-credit course provides a student one additional semester to complete their MA capstone project. Students will work with their capstone advisors to complete final steps related to their capstone project. Students may only take this class one time. A $100 fee will be assessed. A grade of “NG”, or no grade, will be assigned.

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