Master of Religious Leadership (MRL)

The Master of Religious Leadership (MRL) is designed to enhance the leadership potential of those interested in Christian service. 

Aims of the Program

The Master of Religious Leadership (MRL) is for those students interested in engaging in Christian service. The curriculum is designed for completion by a part-time or a full-time student in two to six years.

Conversations with prospective students and church leaders reveal increased desire for theological education opportunities aimed at preparing students for forms of ministry beyond congregational-based pastoral ministry. These areas include pastoral care, conflict transformation, missions and ministries with youth. It is this interest that MRL intends to address.

This program offers students interested in specialized ministries a graduate theological program that provides a biblical, historical and practical foundation for their work.

Program of Study

MRL students may choose to concentrate in any one of the following:

Mission, Evangelism and World Christianity produces practitioners who are critically aware of the complexity of the church universal as it engages in God’s mission in the world.

Justice, Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation contributes to the formation of religious leaders who are equipped to engage conflict constructively within their congregations and their communities.

Pastoral Care prepares students to provide general pastoral care in congregational and community settings and in chaplaincy contexts. This concentration also provides initial training for those who may seek more advanced training in pastoral theology or pastoral counseling.

Ministries with Youth prepares students for a range of ministries with youth in and beyond the congregation.

Worship and Music equips music and worship leaders with creative and faithful ways to integrate music and worship.

Also included in the curriculum is six hours of Contextual Education to provide practical experience in social ministry or ecclesial settings aligned with the program’s five concentrations.

For more information about the MRL program, contact Candler’s Admissions Office at 404.727.6326 or