Education, M.A., Leadership in Learning

Program Overview

You don’t work in education because it’s easy – you do it because it matters. You want to be an educator who makes a difference in people’s lives. That’s what we want, too.

At PLNU, we are here for the same reasons you are: We truly believe in the power of education, and we care deeply about individuals — including you — who are living out their call to teach.

When you join PLNU’s Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in leadership in learning, you will challenge yourself to become a more effective teacher or workplace trainer. You will be prepared to advance your career and live out your calling to the fullest.

Everyone you encounter here will share that goal with you, from your admissions counselor to your professors. Rest assured, PLNU’s School of Education will take a personal interest in you and care about your concerns, experience, beliefs, and goals.

Relevant Topics to Meet Real Needs

District partnerships ensure PLNU’s curriculum addresses current needs and topics facing educators. In addition to offering accredited programs grounded in research, PLNU equips you to integrate your beliefs, values, and goals with your teaching practice.

Customizable, Deep, and Achievable

Whether you are a classroom teacher, or in a workplace or nonprofit teaching or training setting, this program can be tailored to meet your needs. Six certificate options allow you to specialize in an area of interest while developing transferable, employer-desired abilities and skills. Choose from multiple locations, full- or part-time schedules, and face-to-face, online, and hybrid course options.

Lifelong Network of Support

PLNU’s education alumni network, Education Associates, keeps you connected long after graduation. Faculty members have a reputation for staying in touch and continuing to mentor students. Career counseling and additional professional development opportunities are always available to you.


Jill Hamilton-Bunch Headshots

Jill Hamilton-Bunch, Ph.D.

Dr. Jill Hamilton-Bunch graduated from PLNU in 1990 with the desire to be a teacher, and that’s exactly what she’s done for the past 22 years — plus much more. As a PLNU grad, she directs the attention away from her own success and gives thanks for her spiritual growth during her undergraduate years. Read more

The Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in leadership in learning is designed to equip you to significantly improve student learning in diverse settings. You will learn to apply best practices and benefit from the latest research on effective teaching.

This program substantially builds on the foundation of initial teacher preparation and the California Standards for the Teaching Profession (CSTP). Outside the traditional education system, PLNU's program is also an ideal place to advance your teaching and learning practice with families, churches, businesses, or community entities.

PLNU's M.A. in Education with a concentration in leadership in learning is highly customizable to meet your specific interests and goals. You will choose one focus area as part of the program. Additional certificates and authorizations may be earned as stand-alone programs. Options for fulfilling the program elective requirements offer an in-depth emphasis/authorization to be chosen from a variety of areas, including:

When you and your classmates complete PLNU's M.A. in Education with a concentration in leadership in learning, you will be prepared to:


  • Engage in lifelong learning in an information-based, interactive society and explore the major classical and modern philosophies as they relate to contemporary educational theories and practices.
  • Develop and internalize the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions to conduct research that transforms teaching and significantly impacts learning in educational settings.
  • Communicate a cohesive personal educational philosophy, an educational mission, core values, and vision of teaching and learning as a servant leader.


  • Demonstrate evidence of an applied understanding of the five propositions of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, including a commitment to students and learning and distinguishing cultural and familial differences from one another to inform their practice.
  • Reflect on learning throughout the program and develop a professional development and research plan to continually extend and refine a philosophical, technological, and research application and orientation to teaching and learning.


  • Work within a professional educational learning community reflecting and contributing to instructional improvement within diverse educational communities.
  • Extend and refine the understanding of current challenges and trends in education, developing a response plan aligned with personal philosophy in addressing these situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply?

The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

What is required to be admitted into the Master of Arts in Education program?

To be admitted into PLNU's Master of Arts in Education program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript. You must also have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. If you don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement, please contact your enrollment counselor regarding the exceptions process. You will also need to take a basic skills test (such as the CBEST) if you are interested in earning a credential as part of your M.A. All applicants will also need to submit a writing sample and complete an interview.

See the application checklist to learn more about what's required to apply and be admitted into the program.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You will have the option to apply for scholarships, grants, loans, and other special types of aid through our Office of Student Financial Services. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

What if I would like to earn a certificate or added authorization without completing a master’s degree?

This option is available.

I am not yet working in education. Is this the right program for me?

The M.A. in Education is geared toward seasoned education professionals or business professionals who instruct others as part of their work. For aspiring teachers like you, PLNU offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT). The MAT is most likely to meet your needs if you have just completed your undergraduate degree or are transitioning to education from another field, but please contact your enrollment counselor if you would like more personalized information.

Course List

Detailed course information is available on the course catalog: 

Education, M.A., Leadership in Learning

Department Faculty

Application Information

Are you ready to take the next step and apply?

We're here to make the entire process a simple one. We'll walk you through the application process, answer your questions, and get you one step closer to earning your degree.

Application Deadlines:

  • Summer 2018 Quad II – May 28, 2018
  • Fall 2018 Quad I – July 16, 2018
  • Fall 2018 Quad II – September 10, 2018
  • Spring 2019 Quad I – November 5, 2018
  • Spring 2019 Quad II – January 28, 2019

Note: Not all programs offer entry for new students each quad. Check with your enrollment counselor for programs and start dates.

Start Application

The Selection Process

The educational context at PLNU will challenge you to live a full life that integrates the pursuit of knowledge with beliefs, values, and actions. While honoring diverse perspectives and beliefs, Christian values and principles are woven into the educational experience. We understand your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it reflects you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. Your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, but if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0, you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package as well as the exceptions policy per your particular program.* Therefore, we strongly encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

To be admitted into PLNU's Master of Arts in Education program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript.

If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

Application Checklist

Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  1. Submit an online application for admissions (including $50 non-refundable application fee, which is waived for PLNU alums, current or former military and their dependents, and PLNU employees).
  2. Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution.

    Official transcripts must be sent to:
    Point Loma Nazarene University
    Office of Graduate Admissions
    3900 Lomaland Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to:
  3. Submit a personal essay, 2-3 pages in length and double spaced, that addresses the following topics:
    • Describe your professional career goals for the next five years.
    • Describe the variety of experiences that helped you determine these goals.
    • Explain what motivates you to work in California’s diverse schools.
    • Explain why you are applying to PLNU, a private Christian university.
  4. Provide two professional recommendations. You will be asked to register your recommenders by providing their names, titles, and email addresses.
  5. For credential seekers only: Submit basic skills exam (CBEST or equivalent) scores. This can be demonstrated by taking the CBEST exam
    • OR Multiple Subject CSET plus writing skills examination
    • OR CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examination
    • OR providing proof of a valid California teaching credential

Start Application

*Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.0 GPA in your baccalaureate degree, you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for your particular program.

Financial Aid and Student Support

We take seriously the role of providing you with financial, academic, and career support so you have the tools you need to be successful at PLNU and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Financial Aid and Student Support

Career Opportunities

The Master of Arts in Education with a concentration in leadership in learning is designed to help you advance your teaching career.

The program is ideal for:

  • Elementary School Teachers
  • Middle or High School Teachers
  • Corporate or Workplace Trainers
  • Nonprofit, Church, or Organizational Instructors, Teachers, or Trainers