My job includes directing a 36 hour graduate degree in missional leadership at Rochester College.
This unique degree assumes that the best place for persons to grow as missional leaders is in a real life ministry context. We think, therefore, of your ministry setting as the primary classroom, not the four walls of a room with desks located on the campus of Rochester College. Most of the degree, as a result, is online. We require one week of face-to-face contact each semester. Some of these happen on our campus, but we also go places where our students can look over the shoulders of missional leaders. For instance, we spend time with Scot McKnight in Chicago and visit Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove and his new monastic community in Durham, NC.
The degree is cohort based. Students take the same 12 courses in the same sequence with the same students over a two year period. The result is a rich learning community where we learn from each other’s ministry contexts and insights.
It is a ministry formation degree. Therefore, we emphasize the spiritual life of the missional leader. Each learning cohort composes a rule of life–spiritual commitments that they make together–that enriches them each step of the way through the degree. We have a “coach” with a master’s degree in spiritual formation who encourages students in relation to their rule of life. Each course within the curriculum has an assignment related to the rule of life.
There is no thesis or comprehensive exam at the end of the program. Instead, each student compiles projects into a portfolio that demonstrates their competency in five areas related to missional leadership. The portfolio capstone is a great way to both assess and learn from the work completed during the program.
Our student population and our faculty are diverse, representing several Christian traditions. We are tied together by our commitment to find ourselves and our missional communities within the mission of God. All are welcome at the missional table.