Dec 05, 2023  
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Graduate Catalog

Leadership Studies, MA (Kirkland Campus Hyflex, Online)

Center Leadership Studies
College Business, Ministry, Center for Online and Extended Education
Academic Award Master of Arts
Credits Required 36 semester credits
Faculty Lead (on-ground/hyflex delivery) Joshua Ziefle
Faculty Lead (online delivery) Jessica Herbison
Cognates Ministry Development (offered Kirkland Campus Hyflex, Online)
  Organizational Management (offered online)
CIP Code: 52.0213, 39.0699

The Northwest University MA in Leadership Studies prepares graduate students for higher levels of responsible leadership. Students focus their studies in leading others in order to make a difference in the organizations in which they are serving. This major is offered in two delivery modes: On-ground where students participate in periodic intensive classroom sessions offered through the College of Ministry, and Online where students enroll in totally online courses offered through the Center for Online and Extended Education. 

Graduates with a MA in Leadership Studies will be able to:

  1. Analyze central features of foundational leadership theories as they apply to organizational settings.
  2. Evaluate effective leadership strategies as they relate to positively influencing organizational culture.
  3. Analyze the applicability of organizational change approaches to various institutional settings.
  4. Develop informed personal ethics as a guide to decision making.


The Cognates expand the leadership capacity of students by allowing them to view their professional development through their chosen filter of business or ministry. Students further broaden their professional development through their chosen cognate by selecting courses in consultation with their academic advisor from curriculum offered through NU’s Colleges of Business or Ministry.

The Ministry Development version of the MALS is offered in a hybrid format (on-ground intensive courses involving some online work, together with the option to take some courses entirely online) and involves both a set curriculum and some elective choices. On-ground courses involve intensives (four days or three Friday/Saturday meetings), which take place during three regularly scheduled semesters (Fall, Spring, Summer). Courses have no prerequisites, so students can begin at the start of any of the three semesters.

The Organizational Management versions of the MALS are offered online in 7- or 8-week lengths, with no prerequisites. Thus, students can begin their program at various times throughout the year. Cognate courses are offered through their respective colleges, so students work closely with their academic advisor to determine course scheduling.

Conditional Acceptance Policy

Students whose academic histories reflect a GPA below 2.7 may be accepted to the program on a conditional basis for their first six credits of graduate study. These applicants will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, taking into account their personal and academic strengths and the specific academic program to which they are applying. Once the conditions have been met, they will be fully accepted to the program.

Students who are accepted conditionally will be subject to the following: (1) They must meet all other stated admissions qualifications (2) They must maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA in each of their courses during their first six credit hours in the program (3) If requested to do so, they may be required to interview during the admissions process and/or take additional or supplemental coursework. Students may also choose to take the GRE to supplement their application.

The Ministry Development cognate is organized by the Northwest University College of Ministry. The College of Ministry gives admissions preference to professing Christians whose doctrinal and lifestyle beliefs are in harmony with those of the University.

Academic Progress

Students may be placed on probation if their GPA falls below 2.7. Students are given one academic term to show improvement and to raise their GPA to at least 2.7, at which point they are removed from probationary status. If the student’s GPA has been below 2.7 for two or more terms, he or she is placed on academic suspension (disqualification). Students must earn at least a 2.7 overall grade point average to graduate.

Cognate Electives: 18

Select one of the following Cognate selections.

Ministry Development Cognate (Kirkland Campus Hyflex, Online)

Organizational Management Cognate (online)

18 graduate-level credits selected from course options below (BUSM) as approved by the academic advisor

Total: 36 Semester Credits