Master of Arts in Leadership and Culture

A leadership degree to pursue God’s calling

At A Glance

2 Years*
36 Semester credit hours
$638 Cost per semester credit hour**


ATS (Association of Theological Schools), NWCCU


Hybrid (online courses with two annual BridgeWeek intensives at the Fossores Chapter House in Jackson, Michigan, each September)

Tuition Cost for Entire Program

$22,968* (plus $1,600 per BridgeWeek intensive)


Three courses per semester for a total of 30 hours of work per week

Cohort Model

Take courses with the same group of 12-20 students - more

Application Deadlines

Rolling application deadline; apply now for the next fall cohort

* Based on taking 9 semester credit hours of study per term in the fall and spring semesters.

** All stated financial information is subject to change. Financial aid available.

two students talk outdoors in the sun

For those who feel a call to leadership roles in nonprofit, business, and ministry contexts such as social entrepreneurs, nonprofit directors, or executive pastors, this is your ideal path.

The Master of Arts in Leadership and Culture is a leadership degree that equips Christ-centered leaders for a variety of contexts.

Our MA in Leadership and Culture degree equips you to thoughtfully engage in theological reflection while practically focusing your studies in ways that will help you in your professional context.

You’ll strengthen your understanding of various spiritual disciplines that undergird your leadership and experience rich opportunities to grow personally and spiritually in your cohort community.

At the heart of Portland Seminary is a commitment to the spiritual formation of each student. Formation into Christlikeness prepares us to engage the world for the sake of Christ, and no matter what program you pursue, you will engage in an intentionally designed spiritual formation curriculum.

Fossores Chapter House

The Fossores Chapter House is a research and development center for Christian innovation. Located in Jackson, Michigan, the Chapter House programs offer mentoring, coaching and camaraderie among preachers, leaders and innovators.

Like retreat centers, the Chapter House provides space for Christian leaders to receive guidance and spiritual development. It’s a place they can find a haven to escape the rigors of ministry and where they can discuss issues before their responses are fully formed.

Preachers, leaders and innovators from all over the world come not only for solace and development, but also to incubate the future of the church.

In ancient Rome, the fossores were a lower-class group of workers who were responsible for the unpleasant work of burying the dead. During the Roman persecution of the church, some opponents of Christianity might have used the term "fossores" as a derogatory term to refer to Christian clergy for their practice of worshipping in the catacombs.

Lead Mentor: David McDonald

Dr. David McDonaldDr. David McDonald is a preacher, teacher and lecturer in colleges and seminaries all over the world. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and Time magazine.

McDonald was the first-ever post-doctoral fellow at Portland Seminary, and he continues to integrate spiritual truth with sharp social analysis as founder of the Fossores Chapter House, training creative pastors.

David McDonald

Too many of us have cracked our lives into component parts – the family part, the work part, the spiritual part, etc. – and we suffer as a result. I began Fossores Global Ministry Development, my coaching and training network, to help pastors unite art, work and faith.

What Will I Experience?

  • Practice habits of authentic disciplines for living in Christ’s presence
  • Gain a critical and constructive understanding of the biblical and theological foundations of the Christian tradition
  • Articulate the mission of God in the world and your place in it
  • Experience yourself and relate to others as created in God’s image and called into community and ministry
  • Narrate the mission of the church, the church’s role in the world, and your relationship to that mission
  • Gain confidence as a leader in specialized ministry to lead your faith communities and to serve the kingdom of God

Program Experiences

5 students share a table
  • WaterFront is a required two-day online orientation for new students every August. This event is full of opportunities for students to connect with faculty and other new students, make final preparations for studies, and participate in spiritual formation activities.
  • BridgeWeek is the fourth week of every semester when all hybrid students come to Fossores Chapter House in Jackson, Michigan, for face-to-face intensives. Special events are offered throughout the week.

Flexible Format

2 students sit in class with discussing classwork

The Master of Arts in Leadership and Culture comprises three courses per semester and takes two years to complete. You can also complete the program in three years (two courses per semester).  

Our hybrid format blends online learning with an intensive in-person experience each year, allowing you to connect deeply with diverse professors and cohort peers.

What does a hybrid format look like?

  • You'll join your cohort and instructor weekly on Monday for a Zoom conversation and engage in online forum discussions throughout the week.
  • Attend BridgeWeek at Fossores Chapter House in Jackson, Michigan, every September (fourth week of fall classes)
View Courses


Haley Holman

Haley Holman

Admissions Counselor, Portland Seminary

George Fox University is required to make cost of attendance (COA) information publicly available on this website.