Organizational Leadership, M.A.

Organizational Leadership, M.A.


Have you felt a desire for something more? Do you aspire to become the effective, supportive leader you’ve been called to be?

If you’re ready to take the next step in your career and to assume a greater level of leadership and control over your future, the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) will equip you to lead others with genuine confidence and balance. This program is offered both online and in-person so you can have the flexibility to earn your degree while continuing to work full-time. 

PLNU’s MAOL will equip you to fulfill your calling, building vital skills such as:

  • Managing in a changing environment, 
  • Negotiation and conflict resolution, 
  • Team leadership and collaboration, 
  • Ethical decision-making,
  • And more. 

Concentrations to fit your goals

This program is designed to be flexible and customizable so you can become an effective, well-rounded leader in a wide variety of industries. We offer three (3) optional concentrations to help you specialize in the areas you’re passionate about:

  • Project management
  • Global leadership and business
  • Sport Management



Effective leadership

Becoming a leader requires a set of unique skills; the ability to understand and lead people, time, and relationships requires strength, confidence, and creativity. 

PLNU’s MAOL is a direct response to the need organizations have expressed for individuals to understand how to lead thoughtfully in today’s complex and changing social and economic environment.

In this program, you will examine the art and skill of ethical decision-making and problem-solving within the political and cultural context of an organization. 

Whether you choose the 100% online option, the face-to-face classroom experience, or a combination of both, you will work in a collaborative learning environment that will provide you the opportunity to develop a professional and personal network of people who share your goals. You will also use technology to test team building and communication skills, a dynamic that mirrors what you will experience outside the classroom in the marketplace. 

Headshot of Candace Gray

Student Profile

Designing a Leader

Candace Gray, M.A. in Organizational Leadership (20) shares the indelible impact PLNU's master's program has had on how she leads her team as a mechanical engineer at technology company General Atomics.

Read More

The M.A. in Organizational Leadership is an approved program under PLNU's WASC Regional Accreditation, WSCUC. Since it is not a business degree, it is not an Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) approved program.

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.

Program Start Date(s):

  • Fall 2024 Quad I — September 2, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Quad II — October 28, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad I — January 13, 2025
  • Spring 2025 Quad II — March 17, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad I — May 12, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad II — July 7, 2025

Application Deadline(s):

  • Fall 2024 Quad I — August 21, 2024
  • Fall 2024 Quad II — October 16, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad I — December 11, 2024
  • Spring 2025 Quad II — February 28, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad I — April 25, 2025
  • Summer 2025 Quad II — June 20, 2025

All applications submitted after these dates will be reviewed based on availability of space.

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. However, if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of 3.0, you may still be eligible for admission based on your application package and the exceptions policy.* 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 MAOL 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.

*Exceptions Policy: If you have a GPA below 3.0 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.

Application Checklist

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

  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.* (If you are a PLNU alumnus, please notify your counselor to have your transcripts retrieved. You do not need to request transcripts from the PLNU Office of Records.)

    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:

    *Please note, official transcripts must be sent directly from the regionally accredited institution.
  3. Provide a personal statement on why you wish to participate in the MAOL program in which you address the following:
    • Describe your current philosophy of leadership.
    • Explain your relevant academic and professional experience.
    • Describe your future career or life goals.
  4. Submit professional resume.

Start Application

Career Opportunities

PLNU's MAOL program develops leaders who are well prepared to serve in today’s dynamic organizations. Students will gain knowledge and skills that are necessary to lead by transforming their organization through the development of people and processes, and implementing initiatives to maintain a competitive advantage.

You will be prepared for careers in business, industry, government, and the nonprofit sector. Opportunities include leadership and management positions in the following areas:

  • Human resources
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Project management
  • Healthcare
  • Sport management
  • Talent development
  • Education
  • Business operations
  • Ministry

Professionals working in nonprofit organizations, government agencies, churches, community-based institutions, and businesses will further enhance their leadership competencies through this degree designed to apply leadership principles to real-world situations. Students will examine the art and skill of decision-making and problem-solving within the political and cultural context of an organization. Working in collaborative learning teams will provide students the opportunity to use technology to test team-building and communication skills, a dynamic that mirrors today's real-world work environment.

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7 Values of Servant Leadership

Learn about the seven values — and how to apply them in word and in deed — that will exponentially multiply your effectiveness as a leader.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

What is required to be admitted into this program?

To be admitted into PLNU's Organizational Leadership, M.A. program you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript that indicates the completion of an undergraduate degree. You must also have an undergraduate cumulative GPA of at least 3.0. If you don’t meet the minimum GPA requirement, please contact your enrollment counselor regarding the exceptions process.

Can I work while completing the program?

Absolutely. The MAOL provides two delivery options to ensure you have the flexibility to earn your degree while working in your current role. Choose the 100% online option and study from anywhere, or enroll in the face-to-face in-person format that meets two nights per week at our Mission Valley Regional Center in San Diego.

What scholarship and financial aid opportunities are available to me?

You will have the option to apply for a number of scholarships through Student Financial Services. This program qualifies for state and federal financial aid options. Contact your enrollment counselor for more information.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The expected completion time is 16 months.

How many days a week do classes meet?

Classes meet two nights a week. There are no meetings for the online program. 

How large will the classes be?

Class sizes are estimated to be 20 people.

Are international students eligible to apply?

International Students are not eligible for our online programs, but are welcome to apply to our face-to-face programs.  As an international student, you can apply as a senior in university or any time after you obtain your bachelor’s degree. If you earned your baccalaureate degree outside of the United States, all documents must be translated into English and evaluated by members of National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). You must also submit official proof of English proficiency (TOEFL). Please contact Graduate Financial Aid and Student Support Services for more information.

PLNU is a Christian university, but I am not a Christian. Would I feel out of place in this program?

We welcome and encourage people of all backgrounds as students in our programs. Issues that relate to faith may be discussed in some classes, and engaging in discussion with individuals with alternative points of view will be encouraged as learning opportunities. Students will work within a learning community that is supportive academically, spiritually, and emotionally.

What are the professional and personal benefits of an MAOL degree?

Graduate degrees that emphasize leadership and management skills are in high demand in our ever-changing job market. According to the Education Advisory Board report, “From 2010 to 2013, the number of job postings for employees with a master’s of management skills increased 61.8 [percent] nationally.”

PLNU’s MAOL is built on a model of selfless leadership, an approach that will help you be the most successful type of leader — one who is respected, trusted, and genuine.

In short, this program will prepare you to be a strategic, effective, and agile leader and manager in your organization.

How does the MAOL compare to a business degree or an MBA?

While many of the outcomes of a business degree are similar to those of the MAOL, MBA programs focus more on analytic skills in accounting, economics, and finance. While the MAOL also includes skills like these in our coursework, the emphasis and strength of the MAOL are in skills like leadership, management, and organizational fluency.

What types of people are enrolled in this program?

We have business and nonprofit leaders, individuals working in higher education, ministry leaders, human resources representatives, and more. This program really is applicable for any organization because all organizations need great leaders!

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Organizational Leadership, M.A. program, view the PLNU Catalog

Course Information