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Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL)

Preparation for organizational leadership roles in church, parachurch, missions, and marketplace contexts.


Become further equipped as a godly servant-leader

The MACL program at DTS is designed to help men and women learn who God has uniquely gifted them to lead in whatever ministry setting they are called to serve.

Your leadership style

Through your coursework, personal assessments, and internship, you’ll develop your own leadership style, and expand your skills and knowledge.

All 66 books of the Bible

A 2-year MA at DTS offers more Bible and theology than a 3-year MDiv at most seminaries, including all 66 books (even Nahum) and an entire course on the Trinity.

Distance or online options

The MACL is designed to be completed at a distance through online courses and intensives at one of our campuses.

Earn 12 hours in ministry

You can earn credit in your current role as you hone your skills on the job through the Ministry Residency program.


Rich theology paired with leadership excellence

The 2-year MA programs at DTS have a common core of Bible and theology coursework along with specific training in leadership skills that you can apply in your ministry context.

66 Hours
earn up to
hours in ministry
complete up to
hours online
Degree Available:
Ext Sites
Biblical Exposition 22
BE101 Bible Study Methods and Hermeneutics 3
BE102 Old Testament History I 3
BE103 OT History II & Poetry 2
BE104 OT Prophets 3
BE105 The Gospels 2
BE106 Acts & Pauline Epistles 3
BE107 Hebrews, General Epistles, & Revelation 3
BE109 Ruth, Psalms, Jonah, & 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 17
EML101 Introduction to Educational Ministries and Leadership 3
EML103 Teaching Process 2
EML104 Media Presentations 1
EML330 Personal and Organizational Leadership Development 3
INT155 MA/CL Ministry Formation Internship 3
PM105 Christian Life and Witness 3
RS101 Orientation and Research Methods 1
RS103 Summative Research Project 1
Electives & Spiritual Formation 9
SF100 Spiritual Formation 0
Elective 9

* Students may substitute EML105 Teaching Process and Media
Presentations (3 hours) for EML103 and EML104

Use our Degree Plan Worksheet resource to chart out your MACL  degree.


Common Goals for Professional MA Programs

Students in all of professional MA programs at DTS will be able to:

  • demonstrate a general knowledge of the Bible, including a synthetic understanding of the major books;
  • evidence an understanding of the historical development of theology, a knowledge of premillennial theology, and an ability to support their theological views and apply them to contemporary issues; and
  • evidence an increasing likeness to Christ as manifested in love for God, love for others, and the fruit of the Spirit.

Goals for MA in Christian Leadership

In addition to the goals common to all professional degree programs at the seminary, 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-three 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, 3 are in the Christian Life and Witness course, 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 summative 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 for four consecutive fall and spring semesters at either the Dallas, Houston, or Washington DC campus. (MACL students who are not planning to move to Dallas, Houston, or Washington DC for four consecutive fall and spring semesters must contact the Spiritual Formation Office 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, EML101, and completion of half of their DTS course work.

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

Students in the MA in Christian Leadership (MACL) program are required to take MinistrySafe’s Sexual Abuse Awareness Training. 

Mobile MACL

The Mobile MACL is designed to allow qualifying 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 throughout the world. The seminary continues to consider new locations at which to offer the Mobile MACL.

The model includes a combination of residential (majority face-to-face) courses at the mobile location, residential courses in Dallas (or at another approved location), and online courses. In order to minimize time away from work and ministry, the residential 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 residential 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.

Ministry Residency

Qualifying students may complete a ministry residency (an internship local to the student with intensives on the Dallas campus). See for detailed explanation. Thus, after 44 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 approved to offer the degree.


Avenues for wholistic training

See the many ways students are prepared for a lifetime of fruitful ministry

Logos Bible Software

Every student at DTS receives a copy of Logos Bible Software customized with additional commentaries and resources, and DTS courses integrate Logos into assignments and learning.

Sexual Abuse Awareness Training

DTS has partnered with MinistrySafe to offer training on sexual abuse, effective preventative protocols, addressing the needs of abuse survivors, and an appropriate response to abuse allegations arising in ministry environments.


The DTS experience includes life-on-life connection in small groups (Spiritual Formation), on the job training for real world ministry skills (Ministry Formation Internships), and opportunities to serve, pray, and worship in community.


Lead at your church, school, business, or home

God has placed our graduates in a variety of settings including traditional church work, parachurch ministries, and schools, as well as in corporations and homes.

Chinzo Jargalsaikhan’s Passion to Bring Jesus to Mongolia
Alec and Amy Zacaroli Work Toward Purpose in Washington, DC
Dr. Todd Phillips’ Goal to Provide Clean Drinking Water to Liberia
Dr. Josh Bleeker – Serving Leaders in Washington, D.C.
Meet Dorothy Burton, Founder of Christians in Public Service
Janet Pope’s Passion for Scripture

Graduate from seminary debt-free

Over 90% of DTS students graduate without taking on additional debt. This is possible because of the generosity of our donors who make over 4 million dollars of scholarship funds available every year. 

Scholarship List

Through our donors and Foundation, we are able to offer 100s of scholarships to students every year. See the full list of scholarships.

Financial Aid Calculator

Visit our tool to calculate your costs and see how affordable seminary can be with scholarships, church support, and payment options.


What we believe

DTS faculty affirm our full doctrinal statement every year, while our diverse community of students are centered around these seven core doctrines of evangelical faith.

the authority and inerrancy of Scripture
the Trinity
Hypostatic Union
Christ’s full deity and humanity
the spiritual lostness of the human race
Christ’s substitutionary atonement and bodily resurrection
salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone
Return of Christ
the physical return of Christ

How to get started

The deadline for fall applications as July 1, for spring is November 1, and for summer is April 1.

Application Steps


1. Submit Application

Begin your online application today. It should take about 2 hours.


2. Send Transcripts and References

Collect college transcripts and references from church and others.


3. Committee Evaluation

DTS will review your application and respond within 2-3 weeks.


4. Register for courses

When you receive your acceptance letter, you can plan your first classes.

Admissions Criteria


You show evidence of saving faith in Jesus Christ in your application testimony, and you adhere to the 7 core doctrines.


Your references speak to your character and dependence on the Holy Spirit for life and work.


You are endowed with appropriate spiritual gifts and involved in Christian ministry.


Previous education has prepared you for graduate theological education.


We’d love to send you more information

This form will enable us to email you with details about your campus and degree program and followup with additional information customized to your goals.