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. Students may enroll in the Spring quarter or in the June 9–12 intensive class in Lawndale.*

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.

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

Open to Students across the Country
The Masters in Christian Community Development is offered to students across the country through a combination of interactive live-streaming classes and one-week intensive classes linked to the annual CCDA conferences. Students will also take two intensive classes in the Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.

With Northern’s smart classroom technology, distance students can interact with the professors and other students no matter where they live. Now you can earn a Masters degree with a cohort of learners without leaving your community.

Since 2010, Northern Seminary has offered specialized classes in Christian Community Development at its extension site at Lawndale Community Church on the West Side of Chicago, taught by CCDA co-founders “Coach” Wayne Gordon and John Perkins, and other leading practitioners of urban ministry. Now, Northern is expanding its CCD offerings by launching new Master of Arts and Doctor of Ministry degrees in Christian Community Development.

MA Program Requirements

*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
  • Leadership with Justice and Compassion (Fall 2018 CCDA Conference)
  • Nurturing Our Call (Spring 2019)
  • Understanding the City (June 9–12, 2019 in Lawndale)
  • Understanding Poverty (Fall 2019 CCDA Conference)
  • Community and Economic Reconciliation (Spring 2020)
  • Race, Reconciliation, and Reparations (Fall 2020 CCDA Conference)
  • History of the American Urban Church

Capstone Thesis (3 quarter hours)

Christian Heritage Courses (27 total quarter hours)

  • Exploring the Bible
  • Pentateuch
  • Former Prophets
  • Jesus & the Gospels
  • Acts and Paul’s Letters
  • Theology 1
  • Theology 2
  • Theology of Church & Culture
  • History of Christianity Survey

Click here for an updated Progress Report.

Learn more about about the Master of Divinity option here.

Convenient Schedule
Students in the MA program take classes one evening a week. Most classes will be scheduled Monday, either at 4:00 or 7:00 Central Time, and occasionally on a Tuesday. 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.

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.

2018-19 Tuition & Fees 2019-20 Tuition & Fees
Certificate $750 per class + fees $750 per class + fees
MDiv and Graduate Certificate $1,518 per class + fees $1,506 per class + fees
MDiv via Northern Live NA $1,590 per class + fees
MA $25,000 total $25,500 total
MA via Northern Live $27,000 total $27,500 total
Doctor of Ministry $19,900 total $19,900 total


Accommodations for Intensive Classes
Hotel: Students may stay at the Hotel Chicago for a special rate of $129 for a room with a full size bed, full refrigerator, microwave, Wifi, and cable television. Students will take the Pink Line train from the hotel to Lawndale Community Church. Contact the General Manager Juan Antonio Monroig directly at (312) 243-2901.

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

For more information or to get started:
Contact the Admissions Office     How to Apply     Explore Financial Aid Options

*Northern Seminary is accredited by the ATS Commission on Accrediting.


Northern’s Doctor of Ministry programs has the following emphases: New Testament ContextChristian Community DevelopmentContextual TheologyTransformative Discipleship, and Preaching.

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