Master of Leadership Ministry | Judson University Christian College near Chicago

Master of Leadership in Ministry

The Master of Leadership in Ministry (MLM) is an accelerated, innovative, in-ministry, cohort-based program designed to educate, equip, and empower scholar-leaders for vocational ministry in churches and other ministry organizations. Building on knowledge and competencies developed in bachelor’s degrees currently offered in the Department of Christian Ministries (or comparable degrees), coursework is focused on integrating foundational knowledge of the Bible, theology, culture, and human development, with leadership and ministry practice. The program utilizes a hybrid of online coursework combined with strategically chosen face-to-face sessions including two courses taught on location in Israel.

Credit Requirement for MLM Program – 37 credits
Completion of MLM Program – Less than 16 months

Program Highlights

Chicago Photo

Experience the beauty and diversity of incarnational ministry in the city of Chicago.

Ministry is the incarnation of God’s mission and purposes within the life of a particular community. Students will interact with ministry leaders in the Chicagoland area as they evaluate and apply various approaches to contextualization.

Israel Photo

Study biblical history and culture on location in Israel and hike the Jesus Trail

The Holy Land study tour and Jesus Trail will enhance the student’s understanding of and appreciation for biblical history, geography, and culture.  Walking the path that Jesus traveled will challenge students’ understanding of spiritual formation as they go through the experience of pilgrimage.

Leadership Summit

Participate in The Global Leadership Summit at Willow Creek Community Church

“This leadership event is crafted to infuse vision, skill development and inspiration for the sake of local church transformation.” Students will be inspired and challenged by world-class inspirational leaders as they think more deeply about their own personal vision for leadership.

Program Distinctives

Biblical & Theological Integration:

Biblical and theological thought are essential to a grounded approach to ministry. Thus, this program seeks to root all aspects of the curriculum in a process of practical theology, rather than disconnecting such foundations from life and ministry, as is often the case. Utilizing the student’s “In-Ministry” site for extended case study analysis, many of the major course projects will encourage students to apply theological, biblical, and social science foundations to real-life ministry.

Experiential Learning:

Whether its touring historical sites in Israel, hiking the Jesus Trail, connecting with ministry leaders on location in the Chicago area, attending the Willow Creek Association Global Leadership Summit, or teaching a lesson in one’s ministry, students will engage in a variety of creative learning experiences designed to integrate with the program’s academic goals.

In-Ministry Model:

Effectiveness in leadership and ministry is developed through a pairing of scholarly learning with practical experience. Working at least part-time in ministry leadership throughout the program, students will have multiple opportunities to apply the concepts discussed in classes and acquire ministry lessons that can’t be taught in the classroom.

Variety of Learning Formats:

Some classes will be fully online. Others will combine online learning with face-to-face intensives, benefiting from the best of both learning formats. Some courses will be taught on-location in the Holy Land and Chicago.


The program takes advantage of the latest in technology, using eLearn (Moodle) for online course management, Bible software interpretive tools, and other digital tools for video presentations. Students will also be provided with an iPad.

Intentional Mentoring:

Mentoring is essential for leadership development and life-long ministry. Students will develop a mentoring relationship with a mature Christian leader for the purposes of spiritual and ministerial growth. They will also develop a ministry support team including peer leaders and mature lay leaders, who will encourage the student and speak into his/her development.

All-Inclusive Tuition

Really, Everything! The one set tuition will cover tuition, Israel trip, Chicago-area ministry visits, books, housing and food for onsite courses, required software, and all other program expenses.

What's Next?

Judson University, Shaping Lives that Shape the World