New Nonprofit Management Degree Program to Launch in Fall 2017

Unique program offers students a new opportunity to study business and theology together

Apr. 5, 2017 By Clavel Candelaria

Biola University’s Crowell School of Business will offer a new Master of Management, Nonprofit degree in Fall 2017. The rare degree program is designed for leaders in nonprofit and faith-based organizations who want to increase their leadership and management skills, while also pursuing theological training and spiritual transformation.


As a joint program between Biola’s Crowell School of Business and Talbot School of Theology, the program brings together elements of an MBA and a seminary degree — ideal for executive pastors or people serving in other leadership positions in churches, parachurch organizations, mission agencies or social enterprises.


“With this degree, graduates will understand both the business and pastoral side of working in nonprofit organizations — the language and approach of theologically and business trained professionals — and also gain an appreciation for those who have come up through those institutions,” said Gary Lindblad, dean of Crowell School of Business.


The program will be more affordable than completing both an MBA and an M.Div. for students who desired to gain understanding in both the business and theological realm, which would have been required previously.


“Gary and I both have seminary degrees and appreciate how this biblical and theological education underpins all we think and do. We both also have 25+ years experience in business education and entrepreneurship respectively -- and recognize the vital importance of gaining the business skills necessary to manage and lead nonprofits. It's all about giftedness and honoring the Lord with the work He has given each of us to do, said Robert Harp, director of strategic initiatives. "This degree is designed to give one the best of both worlds."


The degree program is expected to take 12 months as a full-time student or two years as a part-time student. It is a total of 35 to 37 credit hours that are online, on campus or hybrid. The classes are during the evening to give students who are working full-time an opportunity to attend classes. About one-third of the program’s courses are taken through Talbot. Students are given the option of choosing a specific track in either spiritual formation or biblical and theological foundations.


“Millennials appear to want to come out of the box and start pursuing what they want to do right now. This type of degree lets them have the business and theology skills to do that and be an entrepreneur in their field,” said Lindblad.


Lindblad, recognizes the unique value proposition of Biola having both a respected business school and esteemed school of theology. He now wants to provide a unique combination of these two degrees that is not seen anywhere else in the country.


“People who understand both perspectives, also having an appreciation for different gifts, will serve the church and nonprofits well,” said Harp.


Apply for the new Master of Management, Nonprofit degree program online from April 11 to May 27.


Written by Clavel Candelaria, iBiola Reporter. For more information, contact Jenna Loumagne, manager of media relations, at (562) 777-4061 or

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