Master of Arts in Servant Leadership


Admission and Program Information

Change Your Life, Change the World.

Ready to do the inner work?
Become a change agent.

Our MA in Servant Leadership will help you serve the common good.


The Master of Arts in Servant Leadership (MASL) degree at Viterbo University, a Catholic Franciscan university, provides an opportunity for individuals to develop and deepen their vocation to engage in competent, creative, faithful leadership that works for the common good.


Application Requirements and Procedures

Applicants should complete the online application form and online promissory note.  Submit these along with:

  • a letter of reference from a person familiar with the applicant's ability to serve as a leader in ministry, non-profit organizations, or business. Applicants shall direct their reference to complete the Graduate Recommendation Form online at
    Letter of Recommendation;

  • a statement of goals in which the applicant reflects on why she or he wishes to pursue the degree in servant leadership and how she or he hopes to use the knowledge and skills gained through the program in the future;

  • an official transcript documenting a baccalaureate degree earned from a regionally accredited institution.
    Transcripts must be requested and sent directly from the institution to Viterbo University Admission Office, 900 Viterbo Drive, La Crosse, WI 54601. We also accept electronic transcripts from Parchment, National Clearinghouse, and Credentials Solutions. Please select "Office of Admission - Traditional Programs" as your destination, if given more than one option when ordering electronic transcripts. Faxed, emailed or hand-delivered transcripts are not acceptable.

Admission Criteria
Admission to the program is determined after review of the above materials. The following will be used to guide admission decisions:

  • Demonstration of leadership and service experience in addition to their undergraduate studies.

  • Strong recommendations highlighting the candidate's actual or potential gifts for servant leadership.

Probationary admission may be granted to applicants. Removal from probationary status will be granted if the participant successfully completes 12 credits of graduate work at Viterbo.

Requirements to degree:

See page 39, Viterbo University 2017 2018 Graduate Catalog

Successful completion of 10 graduate courses (30 graduate credits).

Master of Arts in Servant Leadership core/required graduate courses (12 courses)

  • SVLD 501 Servant Leadership Theory and Practice
  • SVLD 502 Theological Inquiry in Servant Leadership
  • SVLD 504 Ethical Decision Making for the Common Good
  • SVLD 690 Colloquium (prerequisites required).

  • 6 Master of Arts in Servant Leadership elective graduate courses (6 credits) or from any of the following graduate courses:
    • SVLD 530 Grant Writing
    • SVLD 518 Franciscan Servant Leadership
    • SVLD 546 Special Topics
    • SVLD 546/MGMT 546 Nonprofit Management and Leadership
    • SVLD 550 Building Community
    • SVLD 551 Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution
    • SVLD 553 Ritual and Celebration
    • SVLD 555 Servant Leadership and Global Change
    • SVLD 557 Prophetic Leadership
    • SVLD 559 Art of Leadership
    • SVLD 562 Serving, Leading, Healing
    • SVLD 565 Stewardship: Franciscan Theology of Environmental Stewardship
  • College of Business and Leadership, Ethics Institute graduate courses, offered during the summer semester.
    • ETHL 531 Interpersonal and Organizational Excellence I
    • ETHL 532 Interpersonal and Organizational Excellence II
  • College of Business and Leadership, Master of Business Administration graduate courses
    • BLAW 530 Ethical and Legal Decision Making
    • MGMT 512 Leadership Skills in Organizations
    • MGMT 525 Complex Systems Change Strategies
    • MGMT 584 Management Communication
    • MGMT 635 Globally Responsible Leadership
  • College of Education, Science, and MathematicsSchool of Education, Graduate Programs in Education, graduate courses:*
    • EDUC 600 Ethical Issues in School and Society: Past, Present, and Future
    • EDUL 603 Leadership for Learning: Foundations
    • EDUL 635 The Principalship I: Leadership

  • College of Nursing, Health, and Human Behavior, School of Health and Human Behavior,
    Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling, graduate course:
    • COUN 581Promoting Healthy Lifestyle Choice and Interventions*
  • College of Nursing, Health, and Human Behavior, School of Nursing, Graduate Program in Nursing, graduate courses:
    • NURS 710 Ethical and Theoretical Thinking*
    • NURS 730 Organizational Leadership and Health Care Policy for Advanced Nursing*

*Consult with your acedimc academic before registering for any EDUC, EDUL, NURS courses*.

Nonprofit Leadership Graduate Emphasis

Nonprofit Leadership Graduate Emphasis

  • Requirements are the MASL four core/required courses (12 credits)
  • 18 elective credits including 6 credits (2 courses) from the following list:
    • SVLD  530 Grant Writing
    • SVLD  546/MGMT 546 Nonprofit Management and Leadership
    • SVLD  550 Building Community
    • SVLD  553 Ritual and Celebration
    • SVLD  557 Prophetic Leadership
    • MGMT 525 Complex Systems Change Strategies
    • MGMT 584 Advanced Business Communication
    • MGMT 635 Globally Responsible Leadership.
  • Approval by MASL program chair.
  • SVLD 690 Colloquium research project is a topic related to nonprofits.

Transfer Credit

Participants may transfer up to nine credits of prior graduate coursework into the MASL program. Credit will only be granted for coursework completed within the last 10 years at a regionally accredited university. Requests to transfer credits should be made in writing to the program director by the end of the student's first semester of coursework. Requests must be accompanied by an official transcript from the institution at which prior credits were earned. To be considered for credit, students must: 1) demonstrate the relevance of the prior coursework to existing MASL program learning outcomes and 2) have earned a B or better in the prior coursework.

Course Cancellation Policy

In the event that a weekend class must be cancelled due to an event beyond the control of Viterbo University and/or the Master of Arts in Servant Leadership program (e.g., weather, faculty illness, etc.), every effort will be made to reschedule the class. The professor will issue a revised syllabus and make-up coursework.

MASL New Student Orientation

New student orientation will be scheduled. Contact your student advisor for current information. All new students are strongly encouraged to participate. In the event that a new student is unable to take part an online version is available.