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Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Learn to Lead at the Next Level
With the Townsend Institute’s M.A. in Organizational Leadership Program

Are you ready to make a difference?

The Townsend Institute's program in Organizational Leadership at Concordia University provides intentional and engaging coursework to grow your leadership toolbox. Guided by Dr. John Townsend, the Institute Fellows, and our experienced faculty, students extend their effectiveness in leadership by gaining task-based skills such as aligning strategy to mission, vision, and values and executing systems.


Accessible: Online Classes


Affordable: $635 Cost Per Unit

WASC | Senior College and University Commission

Accredited: WSCUC Accredited


Accelerated: 12-20 Month Program

Start in March or August

  • Help people reach their fullest potential
  • Learn to lead change and enhance performance
  • Personally learn from Dr. John Townsend
  • Engage with world-class Christian thought leaders

Apply Now

Get Started Today

Our dedicated admissions counselors are here to help.

The Townsend Institute had such an immediate, positive impact on my character development, and my interactions with others, my manager asked what I was doing differently. I shared it was the Townsend Institute. My manager was so impressed with the results of this program that I was reimbursed for the entire cost!

Cheryl Todd
M.A. Organizational Leadership, 2018

Female student on her computer

Join us LIVE!

Experience a new kind of relational education. Join us online LIVE and hear from our faculty, academic advisors, current students, and alumni about their experience in the Townsend Institute.

  • Ask Dr. John Townsend your questions about the Institute and our offerings
  • Learn how our counseling and leadership programs can advance your career
  • Connect with other prospective students exploring our programs
  • Become eligible for scholarships and other prizes by participating in our info session

Founded by best-selling author and leading Christian thought leader Dr. John Townsend, the Townsend Institute at Concordia University Irvine brings together Christians from all across the country and across all walks of life. For years, Dr. Townsend, along with the Institute’s Fellows and faculty, have been transforming lives. Now you too have the opportunity to learn from master practitioners with decades of real world experience.

The M.A. Organizational Leadership will take approximately 1 - 1.5 years for a total of 33 credits. Students will take one or two 7-week courses at a time. Learning activities will involve approximately 10 to 14 hours of the student’s time investment each week. It is suggested that students working full time take only one course at a time.

You will be supported through virtual classroom sessions with your professors and classmates, and through experientially-focused assignments that connect you with fellow students.

Core Courses

  • ORGL 600: Personal Development Skills Process Group (3 units)
  • ORGL 601: Leadership Theory and Character Development (3 units)
  • ORGL 602: Building Healthy Organizational Culture (3 units)
  • ORGL 603: Mindful Leadership: Neuroscience and Emotional Intelligence (3 units)
  • ORGL 604: Leading Change and Motivation (3 units)
  • ORGL 605: Team Building and Conflict Management (3 units)
  • ORGL 607: Ethical Decision Making and Cultural Foundations (3 units)
  • ORGL 608: Capstone Seminar in Organizational Leadership (3 units)
  • ORGL 616: Essential Communication Strategies (3 units)

Elective Courses - Choose two courses

  • ORGL 611: Effective Strategy and Execution (3 units)
  • ORGL 615: Servant Leadership (3 units)
  • EXCC 607: Group Coaching (3 units)

For course descriptions, please see the Academic Catalog.

The Townsend Institute takes a different approach to academics. We know it’s the time you spend with people who have legitimate on-the-ground experiences and have accomplished their goals that has the greatest impact. That’s why we provide students with the opportunity to personally learn from Dr. John Townsend, our Institute Fellows and faculty. Together, they cultivate a relational learning experience, addressing the head and the heart through science and data.

We believe there is great value in frequent, real-time interaction with fellow students and your instructors. Our graduate programs launch with a 4-Day Residency where you will meet Dr. Townsend personally as he and our Townsend Institute Fellows conduct a series of trainings. You will also go through 8 process-focused growth groups – you will not leave the same person.

To learn more about the Institute’s 4-day Residency, attend a Townsend LIVE info session.

The Townsend Institute is housed within Concordia University Irvine, a private, Lutheran university. Located in Southern California, Concordia serves over 4,000 students annually, on campus and online. Centered by a Christian worldview, and guided by the Great Commission, Concordia is home to a thoughtful and caring community of learners.

The Townsend Institute experience invites you to study directly with Dr. John Townsend and master teachers who have decades of experience in leadership and know how to bring transformation, performance, and productivity to teams and organizations. The Townsend Institute has earned a reputation for its relational approach to begin with character growth as a building block for high motivation and performance. Through the Townsend Institute’s online program in Organizational Leadership you will:

  • Gain the skills needed to create high-performing teams.
  • Cultivate a culture that accelerates performance.
  • Create clarity and alignment to mission, strategy, and vision across an organization.
  • Learn how to lead both strategically and relationally.
  • Learn how to work with and direct difficult people.
  • Train in the art of managing your energy versus your time.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis but we encourage you to have all documentation in two weeks prior to the start of each term. If you have any questions about the admissions process or need any assistance, please don't hesitate to connect with us.

Application Requirements

  • An application with nonrefundable application fee of $50
  • Student Success Fee: $50
  • One official transcript from a regionally accredited college or university that shows your confirmed bachelor’s degree. Official college transcripts must be sent in a sealed envelope.
  • Must have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.00 on a 4.00 scale
  • Written essay (2 pages, 500 words) addressing the following items:
    • Personal, professional, and educational goals
    • In your experience, what is the best way that a person grows or changes? You can add an example of a characteristic about yourself that you wanted to change and how you went about changing it.
    • What interested you in applying to the Townsend Institute as opposed to other programs?
  • Minimum of 1 professional reference required.
  • A current professional resume

Apply Now

Concordia campus from French Hill Dr. Townsend and students in front of Grimm Hall

Start your application today.

Take your next step toward creating the career, and the life, you’ve been waiting for.

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