University of Chester

Programme Specification
Missional Leadership MA
2017 - 2018

Master of Arts

Missional Leadership

Missional Leadership (Regents)

University of Chester

Regents Theological College

West Malvern Campus

Postgraduate (Taught)


Work-Based inc.(practice / placement)

3 years part-time

6 Years

Annual - September


17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Arts and Humanities Theology & Religious Studies

Theology and Religious Studies

University of Chester

Theology and Religious Studies

Tuesday 1st May 2012

The MA in Missional Leadership programme aims to offer Christian leaders and ministers research opportunity, and to develop facility, in the professional skills of leadership, management and organisational development. It aims to equip graduates for effective leadership of Christian churches and organisations in the present-day postmodern, globalised and multi-cultural context.

Specifically the programme aims to:

  • develop the personal leadership qualities and professional skills required for contemporary Christian leadership, and encourage ongoing professional development which will influence the shape and structure of their employing/sponsoring institution;
  • critically evaluate key concepts and provide tools for proficiency in such areas as organisational development and growth, human resource management and personal development and interaction, leading transformational change, strategic leadership styles, the development of organisational culture, handling conflict, strategic vision and planning, etc.;
  • develop key leadership strategies and skills, particularly relating to Christian ministry and mission, including the gathering and analysis of strategic information, developing a learning culture, leadership development, and strategic decision making.

 Other aims include:

  • To offer a postgraduate degree programme in missional leadership in a Christian context in part-time mode. 
  • To develop systematic conceptual understanding in missional leadership that enables the student to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline. 
  • To develop comprehensive facility with skills in missional leadership to review, consolidate and extend their knowledge and understanding; 
  • To develop the application of  a number of complementary methods of study, such as philosophical, historical, systematic, dogmatic, phenomenological, linguistic, hermeneutical, empirical, speculative, social scientific, and to evaluate these methods.  
  • To encourage students to act autonomously in planning and implementing a negotiated study demonstrating critical reading of a wide range of scholarly and professional resources including refereed research articles and primary sources, with evidence of originality in the application of knowledge and critical awareness. 
  • To offer personal and professional development in Christian missional leadership. 
  • To prepare students for further research.

Students will be assessed on their ability to:

  • demonstrate a competent, critical, self-reflexive engagement with the study of Christian missional leadership; (e.g.  TH7161, TH7162, TH7163, TH7164, TH7175)
  • develop methodological and epistemological frameworks appropriate for the study of Christian missional leadership; (e.g. TH7166, TH7175) 
  • develop a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights at the forefront of missional leadership in context and practice; (e.g. TH7162)
  • demonstrate originality in the application of knowledge, together with an understanding of how methodological assumptions are related to theorectical and practical logical content in the study of missional leadership; (e.g TH7165)
  • use and evaluate a range of appropriate methods: philosophical, historical, phenomenological, hermeneutical, linguistic, speculative, social scientific etc., and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses; (e.g TH7165, TH7175)
  • develop the ability to interpret primary and secondary sources, and to develop an appreciation of the complexity of the relationship between texts, institutions, traditions, philosophy, experience and other sources of authority within missional leadership. (e.g. TH7161, TH7162, TH7163, TH7164, TH7165)



Students will be assessed on their ability to demonstrate:

  • skills appropriate for the academic analysis of key issues and concepts associated with the study of missional leadership;( e.g. TH7166)
  • the ability to interpret and express balanced and informed independent opinions on significant issues, drawing on appropriate methodological tools; (e.g. TH7161, TH7162, TH7163, TH7175)
  • research skills, appropriate for Master’s level, which could provide a basis for further postgraduate studies and/or professional development; (e.g. TH7165)
  • an ability to understand how people have thought and acted in contexts other than the student’s own, with an awareness of the effects of historical, geographical, philosophical and linguistic contexts on the articulation of missional leadership; (e.g. TH7161, TH7162, TH7163)
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively; make sound judgements based on the evidence available; and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audience; (e.g. TH7161, TH7162, TH7163, TH7165, TH7175)
  • self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level. (e.g. TH7161, TH7162, TH7163, TH7165)

Christian leaders completing this programme should have developed their research and communication skills to the level that their professional competence is significantly enhanced. This will make them more effective in providing missional leadership within their own context, based upon informed decision-making and the ability to think through leadership, theological, ecclesiastical and social scenarios analytically and consistently. The applied perspective of the programme material should assist them to consistently assess and respond to the interaction between the theoretical and practical elements of Christian leadership. all modules

Transferable Professional Skills

Students will be assessed on their ability to act autonomously in planning and implementing a negotiated study demonstrating critical reading of a wide range of scholarly and professional resources, including refereed research articles and primary sources, with evidence of originality in the application of knowledge and critical awareness. They will demonstrate the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations and the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development. The ability to apply their insights into practical situations and contexts of Christian and other leadership contexts will also be demonstrated (All modules).

Level 7 students should be able to:

  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively , make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to a specialist and non- specialist audiences (e.g. TH7150, TH7166) 
  • express themselves clearly through assessment , observing academic form; (in written work) accuracy in spelling and grammar; communicate conclusions  clearly for specialist & non-specialist audiences as appropriate (All modules).

For the MA in Missional Leadership the structure is four of the five optional modules (4 x 30 credits =120 credits); plus the dissertation TH7165 (60 credits)

For the Post-graduate Diploma the structure is four of the five optional modules. (4 x 30 credits = 120 credits)

For the Post-graduate Certificate the structure is two of the five optional modules. (2 x 30 = 60 credits)

Students who do not hold an initial BA Hons degree in Theology (or methodological equivalent) must take TH7166 Research Methodology and Skills, plus 3 of the other 4 optional modules for the MA in Missional Leadership and the PG Diploma. For the PG Certificate they must take TH7166 plus 1 of the other 4 optional modules.


Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
TH7161 7 Christian Leadership Development 30 Optional
TH7162 7 Christian Self-Leadership 30 Optional
TH7163 7 Strategic Christian Leadership 30 Optional
TH7164 7 Organisational Leadership in Christian Context 30 Optional
TH7165 7 Dissertation 60 Comp
TH7166 7 Research Methodology and Skills 30 Optional
TH7175 7 Towards a Theology of Whole life Discipleship and Mission. 30 Optional

Postgraduate Certificate 60 credits
Postgraduate Diploma 120 credits
MA in Missional Leadership 180 credits

 There are three normal  alternative routes for admission:

  • Initial degree in a biblical, theological or mission-related subject, with normally at least three year’s relevant work experience (i.e., in a leadership, senior management or senior administrative position), though lessor experience will also  be considered.
  • Initial degree in another subject with some experience of missions work or pastoral or cross-cultural ministry and normally at least four years’ relevant work experience though applicants with lessor experience will also be considered.
  • For mature applicants only,  normally at least five years’ relevant work experience though applicants with lessor experience  will also  be considered.

In respect of these three routes applicants with no experience will also be considered for the programme and assessed through the interview process. The applicant’s perceived ability to successfully complete the course and the anticipated relevance of the qualification to their professional development and future career will be major factors in considering their suitability for the programme.  Candidates will normally  be accepted for the course with the formal agreement of the organisation by which they are employed to participate in the programme by accommodating and facilitating the student’s study and research (which should directly impact and benefit the sponsor organisation).

Normally all candidates will be interviewed.

Where applicants do not meet the entrance requirements  of the above or where it is deemed that mature students would also benefit from prior study before entering the programme an opportunity for applicants to study a stand alone module will be offered. If applicants are successful in passing the module then entry to the programme will be considered.

The Theology and Religious Studies Benchmark Statement, published by the QAA in 2000 and revised in 2007 and 2014, details the range of subject knowledge (TRS Benchmark 3.1), the qualities of mind (3.2), and generic skills acquired and developed in TRS degree programmes. Appendix A of the subject Benchmark Statement states that a Master’s degree in theology and religious studies is awarded to students who have demonstrated these Graduate standards as well as the more specific standards set out for MA programmes. Level 7 modules on the MA in Missional Leadership build on and extend the benchmarks developed in TRS BA degree programmes, and are in line with the current MA draft benchmarks.

The programme equips students with an ‘expanded range of research and study tools’ (A4.3) beginning initially in the core module TH7166 where students learn the research skills needed to engage in advanced independent research, and developed then in a range of optional modules. Students cultivate appropriate knowledge of research methods and ethical research (A4.2, A6.1) and are required to demonstrate an advanced ability to use primary and secondary sources. Optional modules enable students to extend these skills allowing for broadness of scope both in terms of disciplines and theories, and in terms of religious traditions. Field work skills (developed in modules such as TH7161, TH7162, TH7163, TH7164, TH7175) encourage students to integrate theoretical literature with practice (A6.1) and to critically reflect on their own position. Independence and originality of research is encouraged as students design their own projects and form their own – sometimes original – conclusions. The research dissertation (TH7165) allows students to expand their skills in self-directed learning, and to show an advanced ability to source material, think independently, and critically engage with and reflect upon a key area within the study of religion.







At level 7 a wide range of learning and teaching methods will be adopted. The course offers an integrated programme of lectures, seminars and tutorials, together with opportunities for individual consultation with the module lecturer.  There will be 25 contact hours per module. 

Lectures are intended to give the students the basic knowledge needed for them to develop their own ideas and arguments. It will be the responsibility of the tutor to facilitate discussion and interaction within the group.  During the periods of modular instruction, guidance will be offered for the on-site research and development that will occur during non-contact occasions.

A particular aspect of the module contact sessions will be the preparation by students before the module sessions begin, involving pre-reading and preparation of a class presentation. These presentations and the peer discussions they evoke form a substantial component of the teaching process. The degree is intended to be viewed as a meeting of practitioners where the tutor is the facilitator of the discussion and the attendees all play a part in the presentation of the classes.

Students will have access to module leaders and tutors via email, telephone, skype or face-to-face interviews as they prepare their research projects. Students will be supported by means of one-to-one supervision of the dissertation process.

Immediately preceding the first day of the first module that students take for this programme a half-day campus orientation will take place at Regents Theological campus, to introduce the students to the postgraduate programme. It will incorporate matters relating to library usage, financial administration, campus operations and facilities.

Each module would consist of 25 hours residential teaching, taken as two-day couplets over consecutive weeks according to an annually devised and publicised module calendar from September-May each academic year.

Students are expected to be able to compile a substantial research paper for each module they complete, according to the appropriate methodology for the theological discipline and research topic within missional leadership they are addressing.

One research paper of 6,000 words will be required per module for all modules (except TH7166 Research Methodology and Skills) including, appendices, charts and diagrams, but excluding footnotes and bibliography.  While the module lecturer may allow students to submit their own suggested research paper topics, the final decision on the titles for module papers remains that of the lecturer, in consultation with the Director of Postgraduate Studies.

For TH7166 the assessment consists of a 4500 word publication-ready journal article and a 1500 word Masters dissertation research proposal.


Students will be required to submit a full draft of the research paper for the first module they undertake, which will be marked by the lecturer, with a provisional grade being indicated.  This will enable students to submit a finalised improved draft.  Students will not be permitted to present the latter if initial draft papers have not been first submitted and marked. 


The MA in Missional Leadership and its associated PG Diploma and Certificate intend to meet the increasing need for professional training for people interested in leadership issues, senior leaders of churches and para-church organisations in the fields of management and administration. Among the distinctive features of the programme is its emphasis on leadership issues from the perspective of Christian theology, and also the mode of delivery, which will reflect the professional needs and employment circumstances of students.

Modules in the programme offer opportunities for addressing questions of gender, sexuality, race and religious identity. There are no confessional requirements for entry to or success in the programme.

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