Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Church Leadership

A man speaking on stage

Stewarding the Church in the 21st Century

Strengthening the ability of pastors to lead mission-focused, financially healthy, congregationally engaged churches.

This flexible, one-year program will provide ministry professionals with the opportunity to experience relevant, project-based coursework, to develop projects that will provide a direct benefit to the pastor and the church and to engage with ministry professionals.

Here's what to expect: 

4 Appropriately paced, three-credit, online learning sessions that teach church leaders how to raise funds, recruit and manage volunteers, oversee budgets, create and use strategic plans, and develop a congregation that is focused on your church’s purpose.

3 Face-to-face meetings to learn from ministry experts and engage with peers.

2 Applied projects designed to provide direct benefit to you and your church based on the content covered in the coursework.

1 Student-coach connection to help you understand material, execute your projects, and serve as a mentor.

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Courses:

This program includes 21-graduate credits.

The Path of Stewardship 1: NPCL Orientation

1 credit hour

Become familiar with the learning management system, establish personal learning goals and objectives, and get to know the purpose of the program.

Financial Stewardship: 21st Century Resource Development and Management

3 credit hours

Identify different approaches to gaining financial resources and a new understanding of financial management practices for your church. 

Stewarding Human Resources: Governance, Personnel, and Volunteer Management

3 credit hours

Evaluate different leadership and governance structures for nonprofit and church oversight. Assess best practices for human resource development and management. Understand methods for volunteer recruitment, development, engagement, and retention. 

Applied Project 1

3 credit hours

Apply concepts from the previous courses to solve a problem or create an improvement process within your church.

The Path of Stewardship 2

1 credit hour

Engage in oral presentation, reflection, and analytical skills by presenting your applied project. Reflect on strengths and challenges, and connect with mentors and other church leaders.

Stewarding Vision: Strategy Design, Implementation and Evaluation

3 credit hours

Compose vision, mission, values, and purpose statements. Understand elements of strategic planning, program design and evaluation.

Stewarding Community: Communication and Community Outreach

3 credit hours

Explore a variety of mediums and communication strategies to design (or modify) methods of internal and external communication, develop skills in marketing and messaging to and for their church, and evaluate and engage strategies for effective outreach.

Applied Project 2

3 credit hours

Apply concepts from the previous courses to solve a problem or create an improvement process within your church.

The Path of Stewardship 3

1 credit hour

Engage in oral presentation skills by presenting your applied projects. Reflect on strengths and challenges, and connect with mentors and other church leaders.

Webinar

Topic: Fostering Clergy Capacity

Bill Lewis

“What I believe has been established in the program is a trifecta of adult learning success: quality curriculum content, applied projects for application in the church, and coaching to support growth and development. The coaching piece is in many ways the secret sauce.  Most educational experiences provide content and curriculum.  Most also can look to application in various ways, at least encouraging. But, in the case of NPCL, the students are not alone.  With the coach, they have a safety net. A place to discuss application, a place to be mindful of the realities they face day-to-day as church leaders, a place to consider the possibilities…personally and professionally…in their development. Coaching can appear as, providing the answers when they don’t know - what they don’t know.” 

Bill Lewis, coaching coordinator, NPCL

Katie Ricke, Pastor at Beresford Zion United Methodist Church, Beresford, S.D., and program graduate.

“Seminaries prepare us well to be theologians, but they don’t always prepare us well to be administrators of the churches we serve. We need to be equipped to do both in order to serve effectively as pastors.”

Katie Ricke, Pastor at Beresford Zion United Methodist Church, Beresford, S.D., and program graduate.

Calendar dates for the 2020-2021 Cohort

NPA 600: The Path of Stewardship 1: 
July 6, 7 p.m. — July 8, 3 p.m.
First Gathering at Dakota Wesleyan University
*Note that this is our first gathering. We will have a dessert reception at 8 p.m. on the 7th with all incoming and outgoing students.

Students will be expected to log in to their Canvas classroom and complete the orientation, meet with their coaches, have their books ordered for their first class, and begin planning for their applied project throughout this week.

NPA 610: Financial Stewardship 
July 13 — Oct. 4
Online Class

NPA 620: Stewarding Human Resources 
October 12 — Jan. 10 (with one week off for Christmas)
Online Class

NPA 630: Applied Project I: 
July 15 — Jan. 10 
Online Class/Applied Project with Coaching Support

NPA 640: The Path of Stewardship II 
Jan. 11-12
Mid-term gathering Location TBD (SD or MN)

NPA 650: Stewarding Vision 
Jan. 11 — April 4 
Online Class

NPA 661: Stewarding Community: Communications and Community Outreach
April 12 — July 4 
Online Class

NPA 670: Applied Project II 
Jan. 11 — July 4 
Online Class/Applied Project with Coaching Support

NPA 680: The Path of Stewardship III 
July 7-8 
Final Gathering at Dakota Wesleyan University

2018-2019 NPCL Impact Report

Click Here

Apply Now

Dakota Wesleyan University is proudly affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

For more information about this program, please call 605-995-2650 or email admissions@dwu.edu

Alisha Vincent

Alisha Vincent

Associate Professor, Chair of the Nonprofit Administration Program, and Director of Special Academic Projects and Initiatives


Phone: (605) 995-2933