Nonprofit Leadership | University of Northwestern, St. Paul
UNW Response to Covid-19
Department of Christian Ministries

Nonprofit Leadership

Student working with nonprofit organization
Department of Christian Ministries

Nonprofit Leadership


  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Undergraduate

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

PSEO/Early college online classes

125 credits

125 credits

required for program

Minor Available

PSEO/Early college online classes

Prepare to work in nonprofit organizations alongside fellow Christians who have been called to serve around the world. The nonprofit leadership degree combines multiple ministry and business courses, along with an internship to provide real life experience with nonprofit organizations.

Why study nonprofit leadership at Northwestern?

You will develop skills in relational and ethical leadership, managerial leadership, and missional leadership as a Nonprofit major. You’ll be well-equipped for a career in nonprofit leadership and administration when you graduate because you’ll have spent 200 hours ministering during required internships. You will grow closer to God as you learn from experienced professionals serving communities. For more information about internships in our department, please click here.

Students at Northwestern have the opportunity to intern in a variety of church-based and nonprofit ministries around the Twin Cities. With campus so close to downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul, students can take advantage of opportunities in Minnesota’s thriving nonprofit and church organizations.

If you are mission-oriented, interested in humanitarian outreach, have a cross-cultural mindset, and are interested in a career working in the nonprofit sector, this might be the right degree for you.

What will you learn?

You will develop a business mindset and establish strong written and verbal communication skills for work in nonprofit organizations.

Some classes include:

  • Introduction to Entrepreneurship
  • Grant Writing
  • Business Ethics
  • Business as Mission
  • Ministry in a Globalized World

Accelerated M.A. in Ministry Leadership

Students may apply through the Ministry department to combine an undergraduate degree in Nonprofit Leadership with an accelerated Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership. Nonprofit majors complete up to 14 credits of the MA degree during their undergraduate program and the remaining 22 credits during a fifth year of study. The fifth year can be completed on site or through online learning. This pathway saves students time and tuition expense as they add a graduate degree to their portfolio.

View Course Catalog
We equip men and women as they respond to God’s call on their lives. Whether it is in business, professional and volunteer ministry, or in life, all Christians are called to represent Christ in their spheres of influence. We help students to listen carefully as they look to discover God’s design for them, as they develop the heart, knowledge and skills needed for their profession.
Rick Thoman
Dean of the College of Professional Studies-Retired; Department Chair, Professor of Christian Ministries

Careers in nonprofit leadership

There are a variety of career and academic pathways that begin with a degree in nonprofit leadership.

What types of work are related to this degree?

  • Administration
  • Management
  • Public relations
  • Fund raising/development
  • Research
  • City or county boards or management
  • Grant writing
  • Direct service
  • Ministry development
  • Finance or budget analysis
  • Community affairs
  • Program development or program direction
  • Emergency services management
  • Camp or missions trip administration and leadership

Who employs people with this degree?

  • Local and national nonprofit agencies
  • Foundations
  • Churches and parachurch ministries
  • Humanitarian aid organizations
  • Charitable organizations
  • Trade or professional associations
  • Special interest groups
  • Labor unions
  • Libraries
  • Museums
  • Historic sites
  • Historical societies
  • Research organizations and think tanks
  • Educational institutions
View Career Guide
96%

of seniors feel prepared to integrate their faith with their academic field

Combine
%}

business and ministry skills for Kingdom impact

97%
%}

of seniors felt their major encouraged critical thinking

Preparing for a Career

College graduation rates continue to increase each year making competition for jobs even greater. Set yourself apart from the crowd with the following strategies for getting started, networking, and gaining experience.

Strategies for success:

  • Obtain leadership roles in relevant campus and community organizations.
  • In addition to grant writing coursework, try to obtain actual practice in grant writing.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area (e.g. public health, environment, urban issues).
  • Research organizations’ values to find a good fit with yours. It is critical that you are knowledgeable about and committed to the work you’re going to do.
  • Investigate term of service or service corps positions as a way to gain entry into the field. Internships and experiences are crucial.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree for more job opportunities and advancement.
  • Build a strong personal network through informal contacts. Political connections are helpful for appointed positions. Most agencies respond to professional connections.
  • Explore application to government internship programs specifically for college students, such as the Pathways Program at the federal level.
  • Plan on following a flexible career path to higher positions. Many people begin on the clerical or entry-level in order to gain experience and network.
  • Many students of nonprofit administration intend to stay within the nonprofit sector, using their degree to prepare for and transition into leadership positions at organizations of all sizes as staff or board members, and perhaps even founding their own nonprofits.

You might also be interested in:

You might also be interested in

Become a Student

Apply

Visit Campus

Schedule

Contact Us

Connect