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Mark Weedman
Program Director


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Program Overview

The Master of Arts in Ethics and Leadership equips graduate students to become effective Christian leaders in public contexts. The MAEL degree builds on the premise that ethical leadership involves critical engagement with contemporary culture on both a theoretical and experiential level. Accordingly, this is an interdisciplinary program that combines instruction in theological and biblical foundations, critical analysis of modern culture, and the development of service and leadership practices.

This program assumes an ethical leader influences organizations, communities, and individuals through:

  • Developing spiritual formation practices that foster self-awareness, other-centeredness, and soul-nourishing connection to God and others;
  • Exploring, analyzing, and adapting to their leadership context(s) in the light of theological, cultural, and moral frameworks;
  • Demonstrating the moral courage and adaptive leadership skills required to foster thriving workplaces, cities, and congregations.

Johnson offers the MA in Ethics and Leadership through the Knoxville Fellows program and the Knoxville Thriving Congregations program. Both programs include three 3-credit classes and one 4.5-credit field experience per term, and a final 3-credit Capstone project for a total of 30 credit hours. See the core classes on the left sidebar for more!

The Knoxville Fellows Program
Johnson University offers the Master of Arts in Ethics and Leadership through face-to-face classes in partnership with the Knoxville Fellows program. The mission of this program is to increase God-principled leadership in Knoxville by equipping and developing the next generation of servant leaders to seek the peace of our city. Each year, 14 recent college graduates are chosen to live, learn, and serve together in downtown Knoxville. The Fellows is a residential program where students live and study at the 4 Market Square building in Knoxville, Tennessee. These courses will meet on Fridays at this location.

Interested students should first apply to the Knoxville Fellows program and, once accepted, complete their application to Johnson University.

The Knoxville Thriving Congregations Initiative
Johnson offers the Master of Arts in Ethics and Leadership in a hybrid format in partnership with the Knoxville Thriving Congregations initiative and the Three Rivers Collaborative. The mission of the Knoxville Thriving Congregations initiative is to help congregations strengthen their ministries and thrive so they can better help people deepen their relationships with God, enhance their connections with each other, and contribute to the flourishing of their communities and the world. Thriving Congregations cohort members hold positions of leadership in churches, schools, businesses, or nonprofits in the greater Knoxville area (Chattanooga to Asheville to Nashville). Space is limited and contingent upon the candidate’s ability to commit to weekly attendance at Saturday classroom sessions on the Johnson University campus in South Knoxville for the duration of the ten-month program.

Interested students must be approved by the Master of Arts in Ethics and Leadership program director before submitting your application.

Final acceptance for qualified applicants requires nomination from their pastor or previous cohort member and an interview with the program director and/or admissions committee. Once accepted, applicants should complete Johnson’s graduate application form.

Click here for more information about Johnson University’s Three River Collaborative.

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