Master of Arts in Community Leadership
School of Education
5 Semesters (if started in the fall)
Gain leadership training, networking opportunities, mentoring, and hands-on experience to solve problems and enact real change in areas you care deeply about. The Master of Arts in Community Leadership program equips students with valuable skills in management, communication, outreach, advocacy, and community organizing. You will thrive in a rigorous yet supportive learning environment that translates to new career possibilities in the field you care about most.
Class schedules can accommodate students who are working professionals—and the coursework features hands-on, interactive learning among outstanding faculty and highly engaged peers.
Who It's For
If you’re drawn to this program, you probably care deeply about making a difference in the world. Many of our students are committed to a particular issue or cause already and currently work in nonprofits, government, or community groups. This is where you’ll acquire the skills and knowledge needed to create powerful social change.
- Craft your studies around what you care about most. Learning-tracks and elective options are customizable.
- Make lasting connections that go a long way. We connect students with organizations, peers, and community-based research opportunities. This fosters vital hands-on experience, fulfillment, and networking opportunities.
- Culminate with a capstone project. Students complete the program by applying and solidifying everything they've learned.
How Long It Takes
The program takes 5 semesters if started in the fall, 6 semesters if started in summer, or 6-7 if started in spring.
Earning the master of arts in community leadership degree requires the completion of a minimum of 35 semester hours. Students meet with the program director upon admission to design an individualized plan of study suited to their career goals and timelines.
"I feel challenged and supported in this program. I think having a supportive community can have a big impact on success. Actually, I know it can.”
About the Program
This program allows students to focus on the causes that they have a personal connection with so they can work toward career goals while learning together. You will enjoy flexible and customizable coursework that lets you hone in on what matters most to you. Evening and Saturday classes make it possible for working professionals to complete their master’s degree without sacrificing their work schedule.
What You'll Learn
Graduates of the Master of Arts in Community Leadership program will be equipped with specific skills and knowledge they can use to serve the community today, as well as the ability to learn, reflect, and adapt to the rapidly-changing contexts in which they will be working.
Graduates will demonstrate skills in:
- Leading and managing formal organizations and informal community efforts
- Researching communities and using that research to effectively and creatively facilitate participatory decision-making, community organizing, and public policy advocacy
- Communicating ideas to audiences in verbal, visual, and written forms to establish knowledge, increase understanding, or advocate for a particular position
- Comprehensively exploring issues, ideas, artifacts, events, and other positions before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion
- Employing practices informed by social responsibility across the spectrum of differences
- Being knowledgeable about educational challenges affecting local, regional, and global communities
- Evaluating solutions for challenges affecting local, regional, and global communities
- Combining or synthesizing new ideas, practices, or expertise in original ways that are characterized by innovation, divergent thinking, and risk-taking
- Understanding effective group dynamics
- Project management
Plan of Study
Coursework is designed with input from nonprofit and governmental leaders. Curriculum includes the most up-to-date practices and strategies co-created by the people and causes you ultimately want to impact.
You’ll become most effective in bringing about change through evidence-based practices and an understanding of “why” the practices work. Whether you’re interested in fundraising for the arts, crafting engaging social media marketing, focusing on nonprofit leadership, or gaining a global perspective, there’s a track in the program for you to gain applicable skills and complete a relevant capstone project.
Organizational Leadership with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Emphasis Track
The Organizational Leadership with Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Emphasis is unique in the Intermountain West. Gain an understanding of equity issues and systems thinking to create change in government, business, education, or nonprofits. You will develop the expertise to:
- Foster an equitable and inclusive workplace
- Develop deeper relationships with community members
- Lead processes of organizational change
- Communicate with relevant audiences
- Lead and manage non-profit organizations, business human resources programs, and social service and community outreach programs
Arts and Cultural Leadership Track
The Arts and Cultural Leadership Track in Westminster’s Master of Arts in Community Leadership program is the only graduate-level arts administration program in Northern Utah. Deepen your understanding of the many ways arts and cultural organizations strengthen communities and contribute to society. You will develop the expertise to:
- Manage unique aspects of arts and cultural organizations
- Connect traditional arts organizations to schools and communities
- Strengthen community-based arts and cultural efforts
- Build support for, and communicate the value of, arts and culture in society
- Lead arts and cultural organizations as they navigate trends and changes in the arts world
The Comprehensive Track allows you to customize the Master of Arts in Community Leadership program coursework to develop your unique expertise in an area such as executive leadership, fund-raising, policy, or trauma-informed and restorative practices. You will develop the expertise to:
- Hone your leadership and management skills
- Advocate in public policy arenas
- Organize grassroots efforts and dialogue
- Build support for your organization and its cause
- Develop your specialization in an area of leadership
Prepare to lead nonprofit work in other countries or address international issues in the U.S., developing the expertise to:
- Understand the root causes of international issues and conflicts
- Engage in multilateral efforts to address inequities
- Lead and manage the work of nonprofits and government agencies
- Foster effective intercultural and international communication
- Build strong relationships with communities and multilateral partners
Social Change and Community Organizing
This course builds students’ understanding of social change processes and develops their skills to work within communities and bring different groups together. Students will study community-organizing strategies and apply those skills to a specific group. They’ll develop a plan to bridge competing groups’ interests to facilitate dialogue and action.
Community Leadership: International Contexts
Students travel outside the US to explore the work of grassroots and nongovernmental organizations. They’ll examine other cultures’ leadership and development models, and explore the connections between the US and other countries on issues like immigration and trade.
Want to learn more about the Master of Arts in Community Leadership program?
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Our graduates find leadership positions in nonprofits, advocacy groups, outreach programs, and government agencies.
Recent grads are working at The Leonardo Museum; the University of California, Berkeley development offices; University of Utah Student Health Services; Refugee & Immigrant Center, Asian Association of Utah; National Ability Center; and the Sundance Institute.
Tuition and Fees
At Westminster, we are committed to making your education affordable.
Westminster works with all students to determine the financial aid opportunities available to them. Federal financial aid is available and will be awarded on an individual basis to students who have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some federal financial aid programs require students to maintain the equivalent of full- or part-time enrollment. Westminster also offers scholarships for graduate students.
Students who completed an undergraduate degree at Westminster are eligible to receive the Westminster Alumni Scholarship.
Graduate students are eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct (grad) PLUS loans through the U.S. Department of Education’s federal student loan program.
Federal Work Study
Federal Work Study is a federally funded program that provides job opportunities for students to earn money to help pay for college. Westminster employs hundreds of students each year in different areas.
Applications are accepted on a rolling admissions basis.