Leadership and Innovation, M.A.


The mission of the Crowell School of Business Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation is to equip women and men in mind and character to impact the world for Christ through business as ministry.

Program Description

The Leadership and Innovation, M.A. degree is designed for individuals who understand that the need for strong, Christ-centered leaders is growing, and that these leaders will need to understand how to leverage innovation. In every course, the leadership and business topics are integrated with one another and with Scripture, so that those who participate can correctly and confidently become highly adept leaders within their organizations. The Leadership and Innovation program is available fully online.

Distinctives of the program are:

  1. To truly integrate the teachings of Scripture throughout the curriculum, Biola University and the Leadership and Innovation program accept students who are committed followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Seventeen percent of the core courses for the degree qualify as Bible courses and are either taught or co-taught by Talbot School of Theology faculty.
  3. The program provides a one-on-one mentoring opportunity for every student. Mentors are committed and growing Christians who also are successful business people.
  4. Every course provides a strong link between theory and practice. Most courses are taught by Ph.D.'s in the field of study, who have successfully published and have substantial business or consulting experience.
  5. Students will have the opportunity to develop meaningful personal relationships with Ph.D. faculty, additional resource faculty, mentors, and peers which, in turn will lead to a wide range of personal growth outcomes, including:
    1. Foundational knowledge of current business contexts and issues.
    2. The ability to integrate Christian thought within the context of the leadership and innovation process.
    3. Possession of Christian attitudes conducive to the development of professional excellence and witness to the business community.
    4. Commitment to lifelong learning and professional growth.
  6. A fully online curriculum provides flexibility for busy students.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation, students will be able to:

  1. Business Competencies: Students will obtain the knowledge and competency of business principles and practices, and demonstrate the ability to apply them to leading and managing organizations (ULO 1).
  2. Innovation: Students will demonstrate an ability to think creatively and to develop new ideas and strategies to produce original and useful solutions to the challenges they face in their professional practice (ULO 3).
  3. Leadership: Students will develop an awareness of personal character, leadership potential and the qualities needed to lead, improve and transform organizations (ULO 3).
  4. Theological integration: Students will articulate a theology of leadership and demonstrate the ability to apply their biblical and theological worldview to innovatively lead organizations (ULO 2).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Graduation Requirements

The Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation degree program has five distinct elements:

  1. Participation in the Orientation Intensive online course (fee applies).
  2. A common core of graduate courses (30 credits).
  3. A required theology course (3 credits).
  4. An integrative theology of leadership course (3 credits).
  5. Participation in the Crowell Mentor Program.

A minimum of 36 credits of graduate coursework is required for the Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation degree. A student must maintain a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA, and no single grade lower than a "C" to graduate and progress to any courses with a prerequisite. 

Students must meet with their department advisor and graduate academic records and degree specialist in the Office of the Registrar one year prior to graduation to declare intent to graduate. (See Graduate Graduation Check description in the Admission, Enrollment and Graduation Requirements section).

Transfer of Credits

Students transferring from a regionally accredited graduate program may transfer a maximum of 6 credits. The courses transferred must be equivalent, have direct applicability to the student's program, and be approved by the Chair. Only courses with a grade of "B" (3.0) or higher will be considered for transfer toward the degree; a grade of "B-" is not transferable.


The program utilizes three 15-week trimesters (Fall, Spring, and Summer). Each trimester is divided into two 7-week terms (for example, Fall Session A and Fall Session B). Students typically take one or two courses at a time in each 7-week section.

Admission Requirements

The Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation program allows students to customize their program experience. Students may take a part-time or a full-time academic load. Applicants have the option to choose to attend full-time if starting in the fall, or may choose to enroll part-time in a fall or spring start. A typical part-time load is 6 credits per trimester, which is an excellent option for professionals who wish to further their career, but want to continue working while earning their degree. The full-time load is optimal for students who have recently completed their undergraduate degree. Candidates must:

  1. Be a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Applicants must have completed all bachelors requirements (Business Administration or other field) prior to the start of the program and must have a baccalaureate degree earned either from a regionally accredited institution in the U.S. or a recognized baccalaureate degree equivalent earned outside the U.S. prior to the start of the second term.
  3. Preferably have three years of professional experience and be fully employed when admitted to the program. If applicant is a recent graduate and this requirement is not met, then applicant is strongly encouraged to participate in a part-time internship or job that he or she has personally arranged, in order to gain valuable real-world experience while earning the degree.

Admission is competitive and based upon a committee review of each applicant’s undergraduate grade point average, personal experience and professional background. A GMAT or GRE score is not required for admission but will be considered if submitted.

Official documents presented for admission or evaluation become part of the student's academic file and normally cannot be returned or copied for distribution.

Admission of English Language Learners

This section applies to applicants for whom English is not a primary language. It is essential that applicants for whom English is not a primary language be able to understand directions and lectures in English and be able to express their thoughts clearly in spoken and written English. Preference in admission will be given to those with an overall score of at least TOEFL: 100 iBT or IELTS 7.5. The admissions committee will also require an oral interview and may require a writing sample.

For more details on how, when, and where to take language tests, visit online:

Language tests are administered only at specific times, so candidates for admission should inquire about testing dates well in advance of the date of anticipated school term in the US.

Students admitted to the United States on an F-1 student visa are required by law to be registered as full-time students (a minimum of 9 credits per trimester). Additionally, no off-campus employment is permitted for students on an F-1 visa without written permission of the United States Immigration authorities. However, students on an F-1 visa may work off-campus in an unpaid internship in order to fulfill the internship requirement of the program.

Curriculum Requirements

Thirty-six credits of graduate courses are required for the Leadership and Innovation, M.A. degree in the Crowell School of Business, which include 3 graduate credits of theology and 3 graduate credits of business ethics.

Core Program
MBAD 611Management Theory and Practice3
MBAD 621The Innovative Leader3
MBAD 622Theology of Leadership3
MBAD 623Sources of Innovation3
MBAD 625Organizational Change and Leadership3
MBAD 670Capstone for Leadership and Innovation3
TTTH 630Theology of Work3
Select 15 credits from the following: 115
Marketing from the Management Perspective
Accounting and Finance for Decision Makers
Organizational Financial Policy
Advanced Financial Management and Control
Business Intelligence and Data Analysis 2
Biblical Management and Ethics
Social Entrepreneurship
Current/Advanced Topics in Business (May be taken up to 2 times for credit)
Nonprofit Management
Cross-Cultural Leadership
Total Credits36

Not all classes are offered every trimester. Consult the Graduate Coordinator for academic advising. 


Students who choose to take MBAD 610 must meet the leveling requirement in Information Systems through previous undergraduate coursework or online content.