Leadership Specialization


Leadership isn’t just about charisma. It takes practical skills: fundraising, budgeting, and establishing Robert’s Rules of Order, to name a few. Yet all too often natural leaders find themselves rising to executive positions without these tools. In the leadership program, faculty take a realistic view of life as a leader and empower students with the business know-how they need to be effective as the hands and feet of Jesus.

All students in this group dive deep into leadership theory, which enables each individual to develop his or her own leadership style. For the most part, though, this specialization is focused on practical tools. Students learn how to lead board meetings, raise funds, navigate meetings with government officials, handle budgets, lead teams through crucial conversations, develop contextual competency, and engage professionally with people who see life through a different cultural lens.

At Portland Seminary, students have the benefit of access to a remarkable city and its many leaders. Students are paired with local ministry, nonprofit, education, and business executives for two semesters of one-on-one coaching, and local leaders come as guest speakers to share their area of leadership expertise. Students are also given opportunities to collaborate with the directors of local ministries.

Offered With

Who It’s For

  • Entrepreneurial students who know they need practical skills to realize their vision
  • Head pastors of fast-growing congregations who want to be prepared to manage a sizeable church staff when the time comes
  • Women who want to lead but have not received the affirmation or support they need to grow their leadership talents in a Christian context
  • Nonprofit founders, pastors, or other mid-career students who find themselves struggling in a leadership role

Course Requirements

MLDR 558 Advanced Leadership I 2
MLDR 559 Advanced Leadership II 2
MLDR 555 Seminar in Ministry Leadership I 2
MLDR 565 Seminar in Ministry Leadership II 2
MLDR 568 Specialized Apprenticeship I 2
MLDR 569 Specialized Apprenticeship II 2