Combined Master of Arts & Certificate in Nonprofit Management

Prepare for a career in community and faith-based organizations. Learn the pragmatic skills needed for effective leadership, administration, and management

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We offer jointly with the Department of Public Administration a combined MA in Theology and Certificate in Nonprofit Management program.

  • This combined program provides a unique opportunity to graduate students in theology who are interested in pursuing careers in community and faith-based organizations that operate both domestically and abroad.
  • The program educates the student in the pragmatic skills needed for effective leadership, administration, and management while providing in-depth knowledge and experience in the various fields of theology.

  1. Learn theological research and practice, professional engagement, and educational outreach.
  2. Aquire leadership and adminsitrative skills for work in community and faith-based organizations that operate both domestically and abroad.
  3. Aquire practical knowledge for the establishment and advancement of non-profit organizations, particularly those with a commitment to social justice.

Objectives

  1. Study nonprofit management from both a theoretical and practical perspective using both academic literature and case studies.
  2. Explore key themes in nonprofit management, such as: mission effectiveness, governance, lobbying and advocacy, philanthropy, volunteer recruitment and management, leadership, board development, marketing and communications, and social service delivery.
  3. Understand the varied collaborations forged between government agencies – at all levels – and nonprofits for the public good.
  4. Learn grant-writing skills and fundraising strategies.
  5. Develop a strong skill-set of the tools of nonprofit financial management and apply them accurately and successfully in a professional setting.
  6. Examine in-depth the types of social capital and social entrepreneurship nonprofit organizations generate.

Applicants are evaluated and accepted by the Graduate Program in Theology for its Master’s program and the Department of Public Administration for its Certificate program. That is, both programs evaluate applications according to their admissions criteria and collaborate in admitting you to the combined degree and certificate program.

The same admission standards that apply for the MA in Theology program and the Nonprofit Management Certificate program apply for students seeking admission to the combined program. Be sure to address your reasons for seeking admission to the combined program when you compose your statement of objectives.

The combined program requires students to take 42 credits. The credit requirements are as follows:

  • 30 credit hours or 10 courses from the Theology curriculum (including THL 8950 Transformation of Church Agencies). Theology will accept 6 credit hours (2 courses) in Nonprofit Management toward the Theology Master’s degree.
  • 12 credit hours (4 courses) from the Nonprofit Management curriculum. Nonprofit Management will accept 3 credits (1 course) in Theology toward the Certificate.
  • Total credits = 42 (Theology 30 + Nonprofit Management 12)

Use our worksheet to plan your courses. Choose four courses from among these MPA courses (other courses with approval of THL Graduate Program Director):

Required Courses:

  1. MPA 8003 Financial Management
  2. MPA 8600 Effective Nonprofit Management
  3. MPA 8700 Fundraising for Nonprofit Organizations

Elective Course (either one 3-credit course or three 1-credit courses; this list may be appended as new courses are created):

3-credit Electives:

1-credit Electives:

MPA 8004: Public Personnel Management

MPA 8299 Topic: Land-Use and Zoning

MPA 8100: Decision-Making

MPA 8299 Topic: Economic Development Strategies

MPA 8200: Administrative Communication

MPA 8299 Topic: Program Evaluation

MPA 8300: Leadership Ethics

MPA 8299 Topic: Effective Public Affairs

MPA 8400: Strategic Planning

MPA 8299 Topic: Emergency Management

MPA 8800: Managing Public Networks

MPA 8299 Topic: Program Planning

MPA 8900: Public Policy

LTX 4022: Law of Nonprofit Organizations*

 

*Students must have a GPA of 3.7 or greater to take this class.

Graduate students who receive funding from the Department of Theology and who wish to participate in the combined program will receive tuition remission for a total of thirty-six credits towards the forty-two credits required for the combined degree/certificate program.

Worksheets, Requirements, and Deadlines

Admission Status

  • If you fulfill all admission requirements, we will admit you as a matriculated student.
  • If not, the committee may recommend that you be admitted non-matriculated and retain this status until you have successfully completed several graduate courses. At that time, we will re-evaluate your matriculation status.
  • Please note that only matriculated students are eligible for VU assistantships and governmental loans.