Master of Arts in Christian Leadership
HCU is your Christian leadership university

“Go therefore, and teach all nations…” ~Matthew 28:19

The Department of Theology offers the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership (MACL) as a graduate program designed to prepare students for ministry – both lay and vocational – in their churches. Building upon the core elements of biblical and theological knowledge, the program focuses on developing your skills for serving as a leader in Christian ministry, and in whatever setting God leads you. Drawing from our specific focus on the Bible, graduates of the MACL program at HCU can responsibly apply biblical truths to contemporary ministry settings.

Most students preparing for ministry pursue some type of graduate degree to help them further prepare for ministry.  Traditionally, the 72-hour Master of Divinity (MDiv)  has been the standard degree, as it provides the most well-rounded and robust training for ministry, but the 40-hour MACL gives the core foundation desired by churches while also providing flexibility in course selection. We also offer an MA in Theological Studies (MATS) degree. The MATS degree is also 40 hours, but it is a more generalist program which allows students to pursue ministry vocations as well as further academic study.

Ministry in a multifaceted world requires multifaceted preparation. The embedded certificate allows you to receive the theological and biblical preparation you need for a sustained ministry, together with focused training to equip you for the ministry to which God has called you.


Through close interaction with experienced faculty in small, seminar-style classes, students in HCU’s MACL program will be challenged to grow intellectually and spiritually in their servant leadership. One of the greatest strengths of our program is the personal interaction with faculty. Our MACL classes are capped so that we can achieve our target of 12 to 15 students in each so we can get to know you personally. In addition, rather than always lecturing and merely giving you all the right answers, our classes are primarily seminar-style, in which we read texts together and discuss them in community, which allows us all to learn from the diverse ministry experiences of those in the classroom. This not only encourages a deeper engagement with texts and ideas, but also prepares you to engage in ministry through empathy and discussion.

We offer the majority of our classes in the evening, in classes that meet one night a week, so you can easily wrap your studies around your work commitments. In addition, we have a growing number of 8-week online classes that allow students the flexibility to fit your lifestyle.

We especially value and draw from our Baptist heritage, but our faculty and students represent a range of evangelical traditions and denominations. Thus, we welcome anyone who would wish to study with us. The majority of our students are pursuing a vocation of church ministry, and our ecclesially engaged faculty are well suited to help you in your preparation. Besides the variety of past church ministry experiences that we bring, many of our faculty are currently serving as pastors and interim pastors.

After Graduating

Besides the personal enrichment from studying the Bible, theology, and ministry with great faculty, graduates of the MACL program will be equipped for a variety of opportunities, including most ministry and teaching opportunities.

Costs, Scholarships, and Financing

To find the costs of the program, see the current year Graduate Tuition and Fees for the MACL degree program.

HCU offers several types of scholarships to help our incoming students. Important Deadlines: Your application file must be completed and scholarship application must be submitted by these dates to be considered for scholarships: Summer: April 1, Fall: July 1, Spring: November 1.

Students may take out loans to help finance the cost of their graduate education. To be eligible for federal loans, students must take at least 5 hours for a fall or spring semester or 4 hours in the summer.

There are a variety of ways to engage with the Department of Theology: we’re on Facebook,  we offer an annual Theology Conference, and we have regular lectures by preeminent scholars as part of the A.O. Collins Lecture Series.

Degree Plan

Adobe Acrobat PDF format documentMaster of Arts in Christian Leadership