Online. On campus. On your terms.


Gonzaga University’s Master of Arts in Theology and Leadership program empowers graduates to explore their faith and to lead in their communities by bringing together theological reflection and leadership formation. You will find our most frequently asked questions below.  If you don’t find what you need, feel free to give us a call at 1-866-380-5323.

When is the application deadline?

May 2017 Start Application Deadline:

Online. On campus. On your terms.

Online, on-campus, or hybrid. What are my options?

  • We want your education to be as flexible as possible. That is why we offer this degree online (with two required visits to campus). We want to reach you where you are so you can maintain your work and family life. We also take community-building seriously. You will have substantial interaction with instructors and classmates online and, of course, during the residency experiences. Class sizes and cohorts are kept small to further foster the program’s learning community.
  • Semesters are split into two intensive eight-week sessions. This means you can complete two courses in one semester while dedicating your attention to one course at a time.
  • There are only two required on-campus immersions, although we hope you will visit us more often. We can’t wait for you to see the power of face-to-face interactions and enjoy this beautiful campus! Watch this video about how our flexible offerings work for you and what to expect when you come to campus!

Is an online degree from Gonzaga the same as the campus degree?

Your final degree will be from Gonzaga University. It will read “Master of Arts in Theology and Leadership” from Gonzaga University.

The Course Experience

Why are there required visits to Spokane for an Immersion?

  • We believe the best learning is experiential and occurs in the context of community. The first residency is designed to be taken early in your graduate degree journey so that you can come to campus, meet fellow classmates, get to know faculty, and ground yourself in the sense of what it means to be a Zag. Students say that this experience is one of the best parts of the program. We think you will find this to be true!
  • The summer immersion experiences are central to the MATL program. Students entering the program will participate in an on-campus orientation during their first summer. In the second summer, students participate in the Theology and Leadership Institute. This event provides students an opportunity to meet experienced professionals in mission and ministry fields and to hone practical leadership skills in a workshop environment.

Where is Spokane and how do I get there?

Spokane is located near the eastern border of Washington, about a half hour from the Idaho border. Most major airlines fly into Spokane. We are about 10 minutes from the airport. Check out the Visit Spokane website for more information.

Why a cohort model?

This program is offered as a cohort model in order to provide a unique student-centered experience. Cohorts include 20-24 students. Cohort education provides a model for the kind of communities students will strive to build in their work and life environments long after they graduate.

You will move through the program with the same group of students–your cohort–to encourage an interdisciplinary, collaborative, and supportive learning environment. Students in each cohort will grow together by teaching each other, learning from each other and supporting each other. One cohort is admitted each May.

“The cohort is my favorite part of this program. Working with the same people on a regular basis has allowed me to interact more fully with them in order to get the most out of my learning.” – Josh Barnes, current student

How many students are typically in an online course?

Typically 20-24 students are in a cohort and course, which is often split into smaller discussion groups. Class sizes are kept small to allow professors more one-on-one time with individual students.

When and where are classes held?

All graduate courses are offered online during the academic year. Students will attend two summer residency experiences in Spokane.

Who will be teaching my classes?

Every class is designed by our Gonzaga faculty. All theology courses will be taught by faculty who hold a PhD in a relevant field (see faculty page). Organizational Leadership courses are taught by faculty who have a PhD in the field of Leadership or who have an M.A. degree and extensive experience as a practitioner in the field.

How much time is required per week to be successful in the program?

This will vary, depending on the courses you are taking, your learning style, and your course load. 10-15 hours per week towards coursework. This may fluctuate up and down. During a week with a major paper or project due, you might spend more time on coursework than other weeks. What remains true is that you will get out of this program what you put into it. Work hard, get personally invested, and have a great time!

How do I purchase textbooks and other course materials if I am an online student?

There are two options for you to purchase course materials. To see your options visit our Student Resource section about Textbooks.

What type of support services will I receive?

General Questions about MATL

Do I have to be ordained or seeking ordination to be in this program?

No, the program is open to lay-persons who work in the private sector, who work in non-profits or charitable organizations, or in church settings, and those seeking to enter into these fields. It is also open to ordained clergy, and religious women and men who seek additional theological or leadership education, or those pursuing ordination.

Do I need to have a religious studies undergraduate degree (or similar)?

The program does not require students to have an undergraduate degree in theology or religious studies. Students with a degree in another discipline and experience in mission or ministry related fields are encouraged to apply. All students will complete the Graduate Pro-seminar, which will provide an introduction to the field of theology.

Will I obtain ordination through this program?

This program is not a seminary program, and does not secure ordination. However, in some instances, it may provide a portion of the theological education necessary for ordination. Consultation with a student’s local church officials is necessary to make this determination.

Can I transfer credits into the program?

  • Graduate students may transfer credits into their program with the approval of their Department Chair, the Dean of the student’s program, and the Registrar’s Office. A maximum of 1/5 of program credits (usually 6 semester credits for graduate level students) may be transferred.
  • Course work must be distinctively graduate level by the transfer institution and must have been taken within the last five years. A minimum grade of a B (P grades must be defined as B or better) must be earned. Courses previously applied to a completed degree are not transferable to the student\’s current program. It is important to note that all credits are converted to semester credits and are awarded after signatures have been obtained.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The average student completes the program in 8 semesters or a little over 2 1/2 years.

What jobs do graduates pursue?

The MATL program prepares graduates for leadership positions in non-profit, charitable or other mission-focused work, or work in a parish or diocesan setting within their particular denominations. Some graduates go on to pursue a doctoral degree in ministry or theology. Others come simply to enrich the work to which they are already committed. The range is dynamic, illustrating great creativity on the part of our graduates.

Is Gonzaga’s MATL program accredited?

Yes, Gonzaga is regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Schools (NWCCS). Gonzaga is also member of the Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities.

What is required to graduate?

Students will complete a comprehensive examination upon completing the core curriculum and will submit a Thesis/Integration project a the conclusion of the program.

Scholarships, Tuition Discounts & Reductions

Are there scholarship or tuition reduction opportunities available?

The M.A. in Theology and Leadership Program is now offering scholarships for new students. Click here to download the Scholarship Application. Gonzaga’s Financial Aid Office also maintains a database of scholarships. Click here to search our list of scholarships.  For more information about scholarship opportunities, call or text the admissions department at 1-866-380-5323.

Tuition Reduction:
Gonzaga University provides a 35% tuition reduction to qualified persons in the Diocese of Spokane who are working full-time professionally as Catholic School Teachers, Principals, and Pastoral/Diocesan Ministers in schools or parishes under the auspices of the Diocese of Spokane. For more information about this tuition reduction please inquire with the admissions department at 1-866-380-5323.

Program information is subject to change.

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