"Let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest-time, if we will not give up." Galatians 6:9


The Masters in Community Leadership (MCL) at the American Baptist Seminary of the West is a basic professional degree program designed to help prepare men and women for church service in ordained and non-ordained capacities. There are three different concentrations available. All three concentrations offer a breadth of theological training in addition to a particular specialization.


Worship:  This concentration provides the opportunity for students to receive a theological education with a focus on worship. The program will be of interest to church musicians, ministers of music, pastors of small churches, and lay worship leaders.


Social Ministries: This concentration is focused on providing the basic skills needed in creating and maintaining a non-profit organization that seeks to minister to particular social concerns.


Spirituality and the Workplace: This concentration has been created to provide professionals the opportunity to receive a breadth of theological training that will prepare them to work more wholistically with their clients or supplement their work as lay leaders in local congregations.


The MCL program is designed for persons who have completed an accredited undergraduate bachelor of arts or science degree. At least two years of full-time course enrollment, for a total of 48 semester units, is required to complete the degree. The full-time course load is a minimum of 12 units per semester. Students may enroll on a part-time basis, thereby extending the length of time for completion of the degree.


Below are the requirements for the MCL degree: 

Core Requirements – 30 Units
These courses are taken by ABSW faculty except by written permission of the Academic Dean.

Old Testament                           3.0

New Testament                          3.0

Church History                           3.0

Theology                                    3.0

Ethics                                        3.0

Internship                                   6.0

Constructive Theology                  3.0

Leadership                                  3.0

Theological Writing                      3.0


Required Electives – 9 Units
Required Elective courses may be taken from ABSW or GTU or UC Berkeley related faculty. Required electives must include a course in community leadership. These courses are determined by the concentration in which the student is enrolled, with the assistance of a faculty advisor.


Open Electives – 9 Units
These courses are electives of the student’s choosing and may be taken from ABSW, GTU or UC Berkeley related faculty. Open electives allow students the flexibility to take classes that might not fall under the two categories listed above.


Total MCL units                                              48.0