By: Whitney Knight
Three years ago, MACU launched a 4+1 program that allows students to begin their Master’s degree while completing their Bachelor’s degree. With more and more employment opportunities requiring business opportunities, this accelerated option was added to help students save both money and time while earning their graduate degree.
Now, the program is growing with the addition of two new options for students earning their degree in ministry at MACU. For the first time, students who enroll in MACU’s Ministry Leadership program can now choose to pursue a Master of Leadership or an MBA in conjunction with their bachelor’s degree. Ministry Professor Justin Key says that although Master’s degrees are not typically seen as necessities for those entering the marketplace, they can have a positive impact on those who have answered God’s call to ministry.
“Having that graduate level of knowledge is going to further equip students to handle certain administrative matters within the life of the church,” Key said.
He said that includes preparing them to think in terms of budget management, financial leadership and the administrative skills needed to operate the church on a day-to-day basis.
“While the church is made up of people as the body of Christ, there is a side of it that has to be managed – and managed with faithful stewardship,” he said.
The MBA option is a great option for students who may have a vision to partner with or even lead a nonprofit, Key said, while the Master of Leadership enhances leadership skills specifically in the area of ministry, such as the ability to cast vision and cultivate meaningful relationships with those who they are leading. The most important component of either degree, he said, is the biblical and theological frame of reference.
“We want our students to lead not just with ordinary, average, everyday principles but principles that are ingrained in Scripture,” he said. Ministry students who wish to jump on the “fast track” to their Master’s degree can get started in their junior year, when they will indicate to their advisor that they want to get started. Then, they will begin taking graduate courses alongside their undergrad classes.