Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL)

The program leading to the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership degree is designed to provide graduate-level biblical and theological education to prepare students for organizational leadership roles in a wide variety of ministry settings. The training prepares students to assume leadership positions in church, parachurch, missions, and marketplace contexts.


Bible Exposition 22
BE101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 3
BE102 Old Testament History I 3
BE103 Old Testament History II and Poetry 2
BE104 Old Testament Prophets 3
BE105 The Gospels 2
BE106 Acts and Pauline Epistles 3
BE107 Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation 3
BE109 Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, and Selected Epistles 3
Systematic Theology 18
ST101 Theological Method and Bibliology 3
ST102 Trinitarianism 3
ST103 Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology 3
ST104 Soteriology 3
ST105 Sanctification and Ecclesiology 3
ST106 Eschatology 3
Vision, Communication, & Leadership 11
EML103 Teaching Process 2
EML104 Media Presentations 1
EML305 Dynamics of Leadership 3
EML950 Applied Research Project 2
PM101 Spiritual Life 2
RS101 Orientation and Research Methods 1
Ministry Residency or Electives 11
INT155 MA/CL Internship 3
Spiritual Formation (4 semesters) 0
Electives 8
62 Hours
earn up to 11 hours in ministry
complete up to 41 hours online

Hear What Our Graduates Are Saying

"The MACL program provides a graduate level theological education for people called to senior leadership roles which might not involve a pulpit. The program enhances ministry and leadership skills both theologically and practically for those of us who are already serving. This degree is providing me with a strong biblical, theological and ministry oriented foundation with a specialized study in leadership. And with the ministry residency program I can earn credit towards my MACL degree by studying alongside my ministry."

– Drew Dickens, Director of Abide

*Note: This curriculum plan is intended for new students only. Current students should refer to the degree requirements available from the Advising Center.


In addition to the goals common to all professional degree programs at the seminary, located on the MA Overview page, students in this program will be able to:

  • develop a biblical philosophy of Christian leadership;
  • appraise the leadership needs of an organization;
  • design a leadership development plan for an organization; and
  • demonstrate transformational leadership skills within an organization.

Course Requirements

Sixty-two semester hours of coursework are required as a minimum for graduation. Of those hours, 22 are in prescribed Bible Exposition courses, 18 hours are in prescribed Systematic Theology courses, 2 are in Spiritual Life, 15 are leadership related courses from the Division of Ministries and Communication, 1 is in Orientation and Research Methods, and 3 hours are in an internship. A 1-hour applied research project is also required.

Spiritual Formation

Because DTS values Christlike character and spiritual maturity, MACL students are required to register for and participate in Spiritual Formation groups each of their rst four consecutive fall and spring semesters at either the Dallas campus or Houston Campus. (MACL students who are not planning to be in residence in Dallas or Houston for four consecutive fall and spring semesters must contact the Department and apply for an alternative program for completing their Spiritual Formation requirement.

In the Spiritual Formation curriculum, small groups of five to seven students focus on identity, community, integrity, and fidelity. The groups also provide an atmosphere for prayer, fellowship, and the integration of learning with life and ministry.

Because students participate with the same group during four consecutive semesters, they should plan their schedules so they may meet on the same day and at the same time each semester. Spiritual Formation is a noncredit, transcripted experience. Internship prerequisites include successful completion of SF100-1, EML305, and completion of half of their DTS course work.

Additional Spiritual Formation courses focusing on leadership may be taken as electives.

Mobile MACL

The Mobile MACL is designed to allow students to stay in their current ministry while completing the requirements for the degree. The Mobile MACL is a cohort delivery model that allows students in a particular locale to go through the program together. DTS partners with local church and parachurch ministries to offer the degree. Locations are approved by the seminary as needed and when a sufficient number of students to comprise a cohort are enrolled in the program. DTS currently operates the MACL mobile cohort model at five locations: Fargo, ND; Pittsburgh, PA; Nashville, TN; Colorado Springs, CO; and Auckland, New Zealand (though additional cohorts at these locations are not guaranteed). The seminary continues to consider new locations at which to offer the Mobile MACL.

The model includes 3 face-to-face courses at the mobile location, 6 courses (21 hours) in residence at the main campus, and the remaining hours in online courses. In order to minimize time away from work and ministry, the residency courses in Dallas are special week-long courses at four different times during the degree program. During these weeks students complete online work before coming to Dallas, fulfill the residency requirements for courses in one week at Dallas, and complete online work after returning home. In the end, students spend a total of four weeks in Dallas over the course of the program.

For additional information on the mobile model and on current locations and new locations for the Mobile MACL, go to

Ministry Residency

MACL offers the opportunity to complete a ministry residency (an internship local to the student with intensives on the Dallas campus). See for detailed explanation. Thus, after 41 hours online and a 12-hour ministry residency, only 9 hours need to be completed in a class room to earn the MACL. These 9 hours can be completed through week- long intensives in Dallas or Houston, or through regular courses at any of our distance locations.

Ministry Residency Servant Leadership Internship

Hear what our students are saying about the Ministry Residency:

Degree Plan*

Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL) and Master of Theology (ThM) students now have the option of completing either a three credit hour Servant Leadership Internship or the new 12-credit hour Ministry Residency. Learn more about this option.

First Year

Fall Semester

BE101Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics3
ST101Theological Method and Bibliology3
PM101Spiritual Life2
EML305Dynamics of Leadership3
RS101Orientation and Research Methods1
SF100-1Spiritual Formation1 

Spring Semester

BE102Old Testament History I3
BE105The Gospels2
BE109Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, and Selected Epistles3
SF100-2Spiritual Formation1 

Second Year

Fall Semester

BE103Old Testament History II and Poetry2
BE104Old Testament Prophets3
BE106Acts and Pauline Epistles3
ST103Angelology, Anthropology, and Hamartiology3
ST105Sanctification and Ecclesiology3
INT155MA/CL Internship23
SF100-3Spiritual Formation1 

Spring Semester

BE107Hebrews, General Epistles, and Revelation3
EML103Teaching Process2
EML104Media Presentations1
EML950Applied Research Project32
SF100-4Spiritual Formation1 
  1. Students have two calendar years (four consecutive fall/spring semesters) to complete the SF100 Spiritual Formation requirement. Students who register for SF100 need to keep in mind that the course is a four-semester-long course that will meet at the same day and time each of the four semesters. See the Educational Ministries and Leadership department for more information.
  2. M.A./CL students now have the option of completing either a three-credit-hour Servant Leadership Internship or the new twelve-credit-hour ministry residency. Students selecting the 3-hour internship have one calendar year (three consecutive semesters) to complete it. See the Spiritual Formation and Leadership department for more information.
  3. Students need one calendar year (three consecutive semesters) to complete the Applied Research Project. See the Spiritual Formation and Leadership department for more information.

MACL Approved Electives

Alternate courses may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Click here for a list of preapproved MACL Electives.

Preapproved Courses


*Note: This curriculum plan is intended for new students only. Current students should refer to the degree requirements available from the Advising Center.

Online & Distance Studies

Students can complete the entire MACL degree at any of our approved campuses (Dallas, Houston, D.C., Atlanta, Austin, Knoxville, San Antonio, or Tampa), but the degree can also be completed in any city through a combination of online classes, an internship, and week-long intensive courses.

To study via distance, you can break down your course work as follows:

  • 41 hours online - You can complete up to 2/3 or (41 hours) of your degree online. This is the maximum that our accrediting body (ATS - the Association of Theological Schools) allows.
  • 12 hours in ministry - You can earn up to 12 hours of credit in your existing ministry through an approved Ministry Residency or Servant Leadership Internship.
  • 10 hours on campus - For the remaining 10 hours of course work, you can take week-long intensive courses during the winter and summer terms at the campus most convenient for you.

Mobile Seminary

The Mobile MACL enables you to stay in your current ministry while DTS partners with your local church to offer a seminary degree tailored to help you better love and serve your people. Learn about our current Mobile MACL programs.

DTS Profs in Your City

Complete in 4 Years

Only 4 Weeks in Dallas

Distance Model

The MACL degree is uniquely suited to completing at a remote location with only some coursework in Dallas. Currently, DTS has programs operating or developing , Fargo, Nashville, Northwest Arkansas, New York City, and Pittsburgh.

There are three types of courses offered in the Mobile MACL, MACS, and CGS—courses in your city, in Dallas, and online. We have specifically designed the course rotation so that every other semester either we send a professor to you to teach a live course, or you come to Dallas for specially designed courses for Mobile MACL, MACS, and CGS students.

  Fall Spring Summer  
Year 1 BE101 ST101 BE102 ST102 RS101 DTS sends professors to you for Bible (BE) and theology (ST), and you begin online courses.
Year 2 SL305 BE103 BE104 ST103 CE105 BE105SF Intro A one-week trip to Dallas in the fall and another in the summer for courses and fellowship.
Year 3 ST104 BE106 PM101BE107 BE109ST105 DTS again sends professor to you, and you begin Spiritual Formation groups.
SF 110
Year 4 ARPSL801 ST106 SL802   Earn credit in your ministry (SL), complete a research project (ARP), and graduate in Dallas.
Live - Your City Live - Dallas, TX Online
Request Info


Additional optional info:


Thanks! We'll be in touch shortly. And please feel free to contact us at or 800-3-DALLAS

Teach Truth. Love Well.