Master of Ministry Leadership


The unique delivery of this 33-hour Master of Ministry Leadership Degree (MML) allows you to stay in your current role throughout the 18-month program. You will learn at home through online teaching from some of the world’s leading experts, while tackling class projects that are applicable to your ministry work right now. The Master of Ministry Leadership will feature curricula based on strategic topical areas and a capstone course. The curriculum will therefore consist of 20% foundational studies and 80% functional studies.

Belhaven’s MML degree will begin with deep self-evaluation of your individual leadership gifts, style, and challenges. And after you grapple with the big leadership ideas as your studies program gains momentum, you’ll be paired with a senior mentor to learn deeper insights and confidentially evaluate your toughest challenges in leadership.

Who Should Consider This Degree?

Leading a Christian ministry organization has never been more complex. New leadership challenges arise every day in our rapidly changing culture. They range from the broad issues of message, marketing-communications, and corporate culture to the vital details of funding, management, board relations, and many other hot topics. The Belhaven University Master of Ministry Leadership (MML) will equip present and future leaders of churches, parachurches, and all varieties of organizations seeking to minister biblical truth. The Belhaven MML was designed by a partnership of the finest of academic excellence in leadership plus seasoned practitioners "in the trenches" of ministry leadership right now.

The Belhaven MML addresses 158 specific leadership competencies identified through a survey of Christian organizations, plus Belhaven's own knowledgeable faculty and leaders.


Admission Information

  • Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally-accredited college or university with a 2.5 cumulative GPA or have earned 9 hours of graduate credit with a B in each course.
  • Provide a professional resume showing five years of relevant experience.
  • Applicants who do not meet the regular admission requirements, but show the potential for success in the Master of Ministry leadership program, may be admitted on a conditional basis. The student should submit an essay and 2 letters of recommendation for review by the program committee. Students admitted on a conditional basis to the Master of Ministry leadership program must earn a 3.00 grade point average in the first six semester hours of graduate work to continue in the Master of Ministry leadership program.

Tuition Information

The tuition cost of the Masters of Ministry Leadership degree is $16,050.  This includes all instruction and seminars.  Limited travel and lodging during the face-to-face seminars is additional.  Students can arrange to make tuition payments as they progress through the 18 month program or if sponsored by their church, payments can be spread out over a 48 month period.

MML Course Descriptions and Competencies

MML 600 focuses on helping the student understand the meaning of leadership, and the qualities of leadership excellence modeled by Jesus Christ, along with the unique gifts, talents, and skills he or she brings to the leadership task, and where his or her personality and style fit in the leadership spectrum. You will study these topics: Jesus Christ and the Qualities of Leadership Excellence, You and Your Leadership Calling, Your Personal Zone of Excellence, From Hubris to Hope: Stages of Leadership Growth, Developing Your Personal Leadership Strategic Plan, Case Studies in Leadership Preparation, Staying the Course, Your Leadership Future


  1. You will grasp the practical importance of the servant leadership model taught and exemplified by Jesus Christ, and its relation to the types of leaders who take their organizations “from good to great,” as described by Jim Collins
  2. You will have fresh appreciation for a teachable spirit
  3. You will learn where they are on the Visionary-Strategist-Tactician scale
  4. You will learn how to align your personal Gifts, Talents, and Skills for functional excellence
  5. You will be inspired to integrate biblical grace and values in your personal day-to-day decisions and behaviors
  6. You will gain fresh insight into the importance of character qualities: integrity, trust, justice
  7. You will learn the differences between authority and power, and how to provide catalytic leadership without authoritarian control


This is the introductory overview course for the MML. Beginning students will gather for a week of intensive interaction with faculty, one another, Course content, themselves personally, and mentors. MML 601 will meet on the beautiful Belhaven Campus in Jackson, Mississippi. In addition to stimulating lectures designed to inspire, inform, and encourage, students will participate in SYMBIS, a powerful assessment that will help them understand themselves as persons and leaders with fresh insight. Students will have opportunity to specify and communicate to faculty their own needs and expectations from the MML program. They will also be equipped to use SYMBIS in their own ministry organizations. Students will earn 3 hours of credit for this introductory course. Travel scholarships will be available. Students will be lodged on or near the Belhaven Campus. Housing and food will be provided.


  1. You will have a fresh awareness of your own identity and personality through a powerful assessment tool, plus time with a personal mentor/coach
  2. You will know how to capitalize on your leadership motivations and consequent style
  3. You will know how to maximize positive benefits of criticism and receive guidance from others in the context of your own understanding of yourself as a leader
  4. As a certified SYMBIS facilitator you will know how best to assess individual gifts and encourage people into their strength areas


MML 605 shows how the Kingdom of God must be the focus, passion, and priority of all ministry leadership. You will probe these powerful topics: Kingdom Overview: A Survey of Kingdom Theology, The Leader as Shepherd, Kingdom Leadership in the Church, Kingdom Leadership in Family and Education, Kingdom Leadership in Government, Kingdom Leadership in Business and the Marketplace, Kingdom Leadership in the Media and Arts


  1. You will learn various major theologies of the Kingdom of God
  2. You will understand the proposition that the Kingdom of God and its advance in the world is the whole purpose of history, according to Jesus Christ
  3. You will learn the biblical background for the proposition that the Kingdom of God as revealed in the Bible, and especially the teachings of Jesus Christ, is the highest form of civilization and its prototype
  4. You will gain an appreciation for the way human institutions of Church, Family, Education, Governance, Business, and Media-Arts are to be vehicles of the order of the Kingdom and its civilization
  5. You will see the biblical concept of shepherding as a major paradigm for leadership in all spheres of human endeavor
  6. You will be challenged to think broadly about ministry’s growth and wider influence.
  7. You will have a broadened understanding of how your ministry fits into the greater picture of God’s Kingdom plan for the world


MML 610         Building, Leading, and Sustaining the Dynamic Organization
MML 610 teaches the nature of the “dynamic organization” as one energized by passion for its Vision, Values, and Mission. It is led by authoritative rather than authoritarian leaders who recognize and resist the tendencies leading to the loss of dynamism. The dynamic organization links employees and/or volunteers relationally and structurally, helping them use their individual gifts, callings and vocations to create services and products that bring transformation and benefit to the markets they serve. Topics include: The Wheel Model of Dynamic Organizational Development, Dynamic Organizational Government, Dynamic Strategic Partnerships, Dynamic Organizational Work, Dynamic Organizational Impact, Overcoming Organizational Entropy, Maintaining Your Personal Leadership Dynamism


  1. You will understand the nature of dynamic organizations
  2. You will learn how to assure the spiritual health of the organization
  3. You will see how to create worship experiences within the ministry organization
  4. You will understand how to deal effectively with crisis that affects your ministry and organization and your staff
  5. You will learn how to harness the power of brainstorming sessions
  6. You will know how to create an environment of participation, collaboration, and teamwork
  7. You will examine theories of institutional life-cycles, organizational entropy, and the inevitability of organizational redefinition and how to do it
  8. You will recognize the difference between ‘dry-bones’ institutionalism, and wind-filled dynamism
  9. You will know how to choose the right team members to build effective teams
  10. You will know how to make the best use of strategic partnerships, including relationships between churches and parachurch organization
  11. You will study how to achieve consensus and compromise among strong leaders
  12. You will recognize the value of working within diverse cross-functional team
  13. You will how to coordinate decision making by incorporating the wisdom of others
  14. You will see how to build self-esteem in others
  15. You will help staff and volunteers by enabling them to match individual callings with ministry needs
  16. You will comprehend the importance and ways of establishing effective internal communications within the organization
  17. You will gain practical knowledge of major organizational structure theories
  18. You will know how to draft guiding documents such as vision, values, and mission, along with policy procedure manual
  19. You will see how to convey vision contagiously
  20. You will learn how to compose a strategic plan for ministry success
  21. You will understand how to assess the success of the organization in progressing toward vision realization through achieving the objectives that fulfill the goals that accomplish the mission in line with the values
  22. You will understand how to determine project goals precisely
  23. You will develop an understanding of governance models in ministry
  24. You will comprehend how to relate to governing boards and carry out their directives
  25. You will learn how to exercise executive leadership in board activities, priorities, and deliverables
  26. You will know how to operate within the complexity of board governance
  27. You will see how to synergize separate functions operating independently and unnecessarily, thereby reducing waste of money and effort
  28. You will know how best to evaluate organizational effectiveness
  29. You will discover ways to identified organizational strengths and weaknesses, and incorporate “best practices” into your organizational function
  30. You will understand better the use of technology in enhancing organizational effectiveness
  31. You will learn a practical model for developing the dynamic organization
  32. You will comprehend the importance and characteristics of good governance of a dynamic organization
  33. You will see the possibilities arising from strategic partnerships, and how to develop them to maximize dynamism
  34. You will study the nature of the dynamic organizational work that produces transformation and benefit to its constituents and markets
  35. You will recognize the characteristics of positive organizational impact
  36. You will be alerted to the dangers of organizational entropy that stifles dynamism and how to resist it
  37. You will discover how to maintain your own personal dynamism and the importance of your individual contributions to the dynamic work and impact of the organization


MML 615 will show how corporate culture is the “personality” and “face” of the organization to all of its constituents, stakeholders, members, and markets. The culture must be clearly understood and embraced internally before it can be clearly seen and appreciated externally. Thus the corporate culture must be like the “breath in the bones” of the organizational structure, and infused throughout. Topics: The Importance of Corporate Culture, Corporate Culture and the Kingdom of God, Types of Corporate Culture, Leadership Worldview and Corporate Culture, Forming Corporate Culture, Infusing Corporate Culture Throughout the Organization, Case Studies in Corporate Culture Breakdown, Case Studies in Corporate Culture Consistency


  1. You will learn what corporate culture is
  2. You will understand the importance of healthy corporate culture
  3. You will see the Kingdom of God and its culture of righteousness/justice, peace, and transcendent joy (Romans 14:17) as the core of healthy corporate culture whether the organization is a Christian ministry entity or a secular organization that is Christian in its worldview and values
  4. You will learn how to bring a biblical worldview into the formation of corporate culture
  5. You will survey types of corporate culture
  6. You will learn characteristics of a toxic corporate culture
  7. You will study how to form a healthy corporate culture
  8. You will know how to infuse healthy culture into the whole of the corporation, gaining buy-in of the culture from all employees, volunteers, constituents, stakeholders
  9. You will understand how to gain public awareness of your organization’s culture
  10. You will examine practical examples characteristics of both successful and failing corporate culture
  11. You will learn how to create a learning culture within your organization
  12. You will know how to train staff for effective ministry success
  13. You will have an understanding of how to use information for training across the organization


MML 620 explores the special challenges, opportunities, and best practices relating to funding and financial management for the ministry organization. This course will address the principles and practicalities of raising money from contributors, accessing grants, 501 c 3 status, and other sources, as well as providing learning on sound financial and asset management. You will study these topics: Biblical Principles of Financial Management, Funding the Ministry Organization, Budgeting for the Ministry Organization, Accounting in the Ministry Organization, Developing a Financial Dashboard, Understanding the Spreadsheet, Essentials of Financial Accountability, Financial Analysis and Planning


  1. You will learn basic biblical principles of financial management and how they are applied in the organization
  2. You will discover ways to manage ministry resources for maximum impact
  3. You will survey various sources and methods of funding the ministry organization
  4. You will review basic principles of budgeting, especially as it relates to the ministry organization
  5. You will study sound accounting practices
  6. You will survey key financial planning and management tools, like the financial dashboard and spreadsheet
  7. You will learn the importance and means of financial accountability
  8. You will understand the importance and methodologies of effective financial analysis and planning for the ministry organization
  9. You will examine special financial management challenges for the non-profit ministry organization
  10. You will learn how to oversee budget processes that stewards resources effectively
  11. You will know how to design a financial dashboard to monitor budget compliance and efficiencies
  12. You will comprehend how to use financial data to move the organization forward
  13. You will see how to design fund-raising activities appropriately for major and smaller donors
  14. You will learn about raising resources from foundations, grants, direct mail, and the internet
  15. You will understand how to manage a deferred giving strategy
  16. You will study how to develop zero-based budgets, and how to allocate project resources to maximize results
  17. You will know how to create financial control models


MML 625 explores the principles and best practices of overall organizational leadership and management, especially in the context of the ministry organization. The course shows how application of effective management related to all organizational issues and functions leads to successful realization of organizational vision through accomplishment of mission in line with the organization’s stated values. Topics are: Biblical Principles of Effective Management, The Satisfaction Index and Effective Management. Big-Data Decision Making, Human Resource Stewardship and Development, Strategic Planning Essentials, Effective Change Management, Conflict Resolution, Building, Deploying, and Sustaining Effective Teams


  1. You will survey principles of effective management-leadership revealed through biblical principles and examples
  2. You see how to create and manage an administrative structure that is effective and efficient
  3. You will learn how to delegate authority and responsibility to others, and how to hold them accountable for results
  4. You will understand best practices of decision-making, and how to implement them
  5. You will know how to discipline while maintaining the balance between diplomacy and authority
  6. You will know how to create an environment of openness through dialog and participation
  7. You will know how to determine organizational priorities and pursue them proportionately
  8. You will comprehend how best to determine organizational needs and how best to address those needs
  9. You will learn how to apply a practical tool for measuring overall corporate satisfaction and success based on customers/constituents/members, human resources, and cost effectiveness
  10.  You will understand basics of decision-making, especially in the age of big data information, and the challenges and opportunities for the ministry organization
  11. You will gain insight into how to develop, lead, and care for employees and/or volunteers—human resources
  12. You will study how to apply human resource law professionally
  13. You will study hiring, training, evaluating, and terminating for ministry effectiveness
  14. You will understand how to determine fair pay structures that retain the most valuable staff
  15. You will be challenged to both understand an apply essentials of strategic planning
  16. You will learn how to lead a ministry organization successfully through change
  17. You will grasp the importance of effective conflict resolution, and how to bring it about as an opportunity for the growth and health of the organization
  18. You will understand the dynamics of team-building, leading teams in their assigned tasks and projects, and sustaining them throughout their work assignments to successful conclusions
  19. You will know how to institute organizational change as smoothly as possible
  20. You will comprehend how to introduce new models and options to achieve ministry goals


MML 630 teaches students how to understand the markets a ministry organization seeks to impact, and effective means of analyzing, planning, and executing an effective communications strategy, utilizing social media, as well as traditional strategies and instruments. Topics include: A Biblically Centered Philosophy of Markets and Marketing, Social Media Marketing for Ministries, Market Research, Search Engine Marketing Maximization, Advertising, Event Planning and Promotion, Effective Follow-up Strategies, Entrepreneurship and the Ministry Organization.


  1. You will study a biblically centered approach to identifying, understanding, and communicating with potential markets for ministry organizations
  2. You will learn how to create an easily communicated yet comprehensive message to the public
  3. You will see how to develop consistent message for all internal and external constituents
  4. You study how to develop a synergetic marketing plan presenting the totality of the organization
  5. You will study how to communicate clearly, precisely, and economically
  6. You will sharpen communication skills to organize and effectively deliver information meaningfully
  7. You will grasp the importance and some means of selecting appropriate media for formal presentations, written and oral
  8. You will understand how best to communicate and “sell” your ministry vision to potential donors, and how to build donor relations
  9. You will survey latest developments, opportunities, and best uses of social media
  10. You will learn basics of market research
  11. You will study how to maximize search engine marketing
  12. You will understand basics of good advertising
  13. You will study the most effective approaches to event planning and promotion
  14. You will examine methods of effective follow-through with regard to markets
  15. You will learn how entrepreneurship relates to developing to the ministry organization


MML 635 explores current trends, the potential futures that could arise from them, along with developments not yet evident, and the implications for ministry organizations both in the contemporary setting as well as in planning for the future. Topics are: Socio-Cultural Cycles and Ministry Implications, Ministry Implications: The Future and the Church, Ministry Implications: The Future and the Missions Task, Ministry Implications: The Future and the Family, Ministry Implications: The Future and Education, Ministry Implications: The Future of Governance, Ministry Implications: The Future and Business, Ministry Implications: The Future and the Arts and Media


  1. You will have an awareness of current trends and potential impacts on shaping the future
  2. You will discover socio-cultural cycles and their implications for the future of ministry
  3. You will see future implications for churches and other ministry organizations
  4. You will examine the impact of future trends on the mission task
  5. You will learn about future impact on family ministry, education, governance, business-marketplace, media-arts
  6. You will understand present strategies to prepare your ministry organization for potential futures


MML 640 focuses on the fact that, by definition, ministry organizations are to be transformative in their impact on individuals, institutions, and society itself. The course will examine what genuine transformation is, and how leaders can build and provide continuing leadership of ministry organizations that are truly catalytic. Topics: Revolution, Transformation, and Catalytic Ministry, The Catalytic Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, The Catalytic Ministry of the Old Testament Reformer Kings, The Catalytic Ministry of the Apostle Paul, The Catalytic Ministry of the First Century Church in Rome, Catalytic Ministry in the Medieval Period, Catalytic Ministry in the Age of Luther and Calvin, Developing Catalytic Ministry Today


  1. You will learn the meaning and characteristics of true transformation rather than mere revolution
  2. You will examine the way Jesus Christ brought about transformation through His incarnational ministry
  3. You will gain insights about how the reformer kings of the Old Testament brought transformation in their societies
  4. You will understand the transformational nature of the ministry of the Apostle Paul
  5. You will comprehend the challenges and opportunities for the First Century Church in the Roman Empire, and how it brought transformation to that world
  6. You will grasp the transformation nature of the authentic Medieval Church, and the foundations it laid for the future of “Christendom”
  7. You will survey the ministries of Martin Luther and John Calvin, and their transformative impact
  8. You will gain insight into transformative ministries in the modern period of the 20th century, and the post-modern (post-denominational and progressivist) age characterizing the contemporary period
  9. You will study how to respond to the impact of rapidly changing culture and society on your organization and what to do about it
  10. You will learn how to develop relevant ministry strategies to differing generational constituents
  11. You will comprehend the effects of socio-cultural change on ministry institutions and their work and how to respond
  12. You will see how to lead by directing staff to Christ and growing in their personal relationship with Him
  13. You will learn the importance and ways of discipling direct reports into a deeper and more relevant walk with Christ so they experience His catalytic transformation in their own lives
  14. You will be able to encourage creative and innovative exploration, recognize and seize opportunities to be a transformational force
  15. You will see how to move an idea from theory to practice successfully


MML 670, as the capstone course, brings together the teaching in all previous courses under the categories of essentials for effective ministry leadership. Topics covered: Influence and Ministry Leadership, Smart Goals and Ministry Leadership, Effective Personal and Inter-Personal Communications and Ministry Leadership, Problem-Solving and Ministry Leadership, Attitude and Ministry Leadership, Succession and Ministry Leadership, The Character of the Ministry Leader


  1. You will understand the quality of influence a leader should bring to the ministry organization and how to achieve it
  2. You will see the importance of setting smart goals for themselves as leaders and for the ministry organization they lead
  3. You will comprehend the importance of integrity in ministry leadership, especially in an age of ethical challenge
  4. You will know the importance and optimal styles of personal and inter-personal internal communications within the ministry organization
  5. You will gain insight into basics of problem-solving in leadership practice
  6. You will grasp how your attitude as a leader impacts the ministry organization and how to nurture and maintain the attitude proper to a ministry leader
  7. You will understand the importance and methods of leadership succession planning and to accomplish it successfully
  8. You will have an overall view of the character attributes of an effective ministry leader
  9. You will recognize how to make reasonable, prudent judgments in light of core commitments
  10. You will understand how to build trust from those within the organization as well as external publics
  11. You will know how to identify and mend character deficiencies that hold a ministry back
  12. You will comprehend the importance of knowing when to ask for help
  13. You will recognize the importance of encouraging diversity as a vibrant resource
  14. You will see the importance of managing personal priorities within reasonable time limits
  15. You will know the importance of committing to continuous organizational improvement
  16. You will understand the importance of a teachable spirit within the leader
  17. You will recognize the importance of managing one’s personal life as foundational for ministry leadership