Masters in Christian Community Development

Northern offers the Christian Community Development specialization at four levels: Certificate, Master of Arts, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry.

Program Description

Through a partnership with Lawndale Community Church and working with the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA), Northern Seminary offers Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees in Christian Community Development.

The program is led by “Coach” Wayne Gordon, the co-founder of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA). Courses will be taught by Wayne Gordon, with participation from John Perkins.

In this program, students will engage with complex social and cultural issues facing urban communities, including racism, poverty, and violence, and integrate the principles of Christian Community Development in their own context. The program also provides a foundation of biblical knowledge, theology, and church history, focusing on urban theology and the history of the urban church in America.


Delivery: On Campus or Distance

The Masters in Christian Community Development is offered to students across the country through a combination of interactive live-streaming classes. Smart classroom technology enables you to interact with our premier faculty and engage in Northern’s vibrant classroom experience without leaving your faith community. Click here for more details.

All students will attend one-week intensive classes linked to the annual CCDA conferences. Students will also take two intensive classes in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.

Accommodations for Intensive Classes
Hotel: Students may stay at the Hotel Chicago. Students will take the Pink Line train from the hotel to Lawndale Community Church.

Airbnb: Students may also find housing through Airbnb in the Lawndale area.

Program Requirements

Students in the MA program take classes one evening a week. Most classes will be scheduled Monday, occasionally on a Tuesday or Thursday. The MA-CCD can be completed in three or four years so that students can balance the course work with their commitments to family, work, and ministry (see example of the course schedule here). Students in the MDiv program will take 2-3 classes per quarter.

*Master of Divinity students will complete these CCD specialization courses as well as the other Master of Divinity requirements.

CCD Specialization Courses (24 total quarter hours)

  • Church-Based Community Development
  • Fall CCDA Conference
  • Nurturing Our Call
  • Understanding the City (in Lawndale)
  • Community and Economic Reconciliation
  • Race, Reconciliation, and Reparations
  • History of the American Urban Church

Capstone Thesis (3 quarter hours)

Christian Heritage Core Courses (27 total quarter hours)

  • Introduction to Biblical Interpretation
  • Pentateuch, Poetry and Wisdom Books
  • Historical Books and the Prophets
  • Women in the OT
  • Gospels and Acts
  • New Testament Letters and Revelation
  • Women in the NT
  • Christian Theology I
  • Christian Theology II
  • Theology and Gender
  • History of Christianity I (Early & Medieval)
  • History of Christianity II (Ref. & Modern)
  • Women in the Early Church
  • Women of Color in the Church
  • Introduction to the Black Church

Click here for an updated Progress Report.

Learn more about about the Master of Divinity option here.


The MA-CCD program offers a unique pricing structure designed for the leader in an urban context. The cost of the program is substantially lower than most seminary degrees and is paid as monthly installments over the course of your program. In addition, CCDA members will receive a 20% scholarship if they apply for Northern’s scholarship aid here.



Doctorate in Christian Community Development

Northern is also beginning a new Doctor of Ministry cohort with CCD emphasis. Click here for more information.


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