Urban Leadership

Northern’s Masters in Urban Leadership trains culturally competent ministers for urban communities across the country.

Program Description 

Students will engage with complex social and cultural issues facing urban communities, including systemic racism, poverty, violence, and incarceration, and exegete their cultural contexts using ethnographic skills. This practical approach will build on a foundation of biblical knowledge, theology, and church history, focusing on urban theology and the history of the urban church in America. Leading practitioners in urban ministry will train students in preaching, evangelism, conflict mediation, and pastoral care.

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Delivery: On Campus and Northern Live

Students can either take classes in person at Northern’s Southside Center for Urban Leadership or via Northern Live Streaming Technology across the country.  In addition, students will attend each summer a week long intensive course at our campus in Chicago (except Summer 2021).

Program Requirements

The 54-credit MA cohort program is designed to be completed in 4 years of study. To accommodate ministry and work schedules, classes meet one night per week: Monday, Tuesday or Thursday.

MA Course Requirements

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

Christian Heritage Core Courses:

  • 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

Urban Leadership Courses:

  • Issues Facing Urban Communities
  • Leadership in Urban Contexts
  • Evangelism/Discipleship in Urban Contexts
  • Preaching in Urban Contexts
  • Nurturing Our Call to Ministry
  • Annual Conference
  • Race, Poverty, Justice, and Reconciliation

Click here for an updated Progress Report.

Convenient Schedule
The program consists of one evening class per week, Monday, Tuesday, or Thursday, and a one-week intensive class each summer.

Tuition and Scholarship

The Urban Leadership 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, all students in the program who apply for Northern scholarships will receive the 15% Fisher scholarship.



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