Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership

Graduate Degree, Graduate Certificate

School of Education

5 Semesters (18 months)

Student standing outside in a crowded area

The Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership Program at Westminster University 

The Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership (MACOL) program equips students with valuable skills in management, communication, outreach, advocacy, and community organizing. You will thrive in a rigorous yet supportive learning environment that translates to new career possibilities in the field you care about most.

Class schedules can accommodate students who are working professionals—and the coursework features hands-on, interactive learning among outstanding faculty and highly engaged peers.

This program allows students to focus on the causes that they have a personal connection with so they can work toward career goals while learning together. You will enjoy flexible and customizable coursework that lets you hone in on what matters most to you. Evening and Saturday classes make it possible for working professionals to complete their master’s degree without sacrificing their work schedule.

Who the Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership Program Is For

If you’re drawn to this program, you probably care deeply about making a difference in the world. Many of our students are committed to a particular issue or cause already and currently work in nonprofits, government, or community groups. This is where you’ll acquire the skills and knowledge needed to create powerful social change.

What You'll Learn in the Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership Program 

Graduates of the Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership program will be equipped with specific skills and knowledge they can use to serve the community today, as well as the ability to learn, reflect, and adapt to the rapidly-changing contexts in which they will be working.

  • Leadership
  • Management
  • Critical Thinking
  • Communication
  • Global Responsibility
  • Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Community Development, Organizing, and Advocacy

What Are the Benefits of the Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership Program?

  • Craft your studies around what you care about most. Learning-emphases and elective options are customizable.
  • Make lasting connections that go a long way. We connect students with organizations, peers, and community-based research opportunities. This fosters vital hands-on experience, fulfillment, and networking opportunities.
  • Culminate with a capstone project. Students complete the program by applying and solidifying everything they've learned.


sample courses

  • MACOL-606: Envisioning Futures
  • MACOL-624: Leadership, Conflict and Change
  • MACOL-640: Trauma-responsive Organizations
  • MACOL-643: High-performing Organizational Cultures

completion time

5 semesters if started in the fall, 6 semesters if started in summer, or 6-7 semesters if started in spring. Requires the completion of a minimum of 35 semester hours.

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Application Deadline

Completed applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

Entry Terms: Fall, spring or Summer


Admissions events

There are no current events.


Our Faculty

Peggy Cain, PhD

Shawn Coon, PhD
Assistant professor

Shellie Erickson


Leadership career opportunities

Our graduates find leadership positions in nonprofits, advocacy groups, outreach programs, and government agencies, including...

The Leonardo Museum; the University of California, Berkeley development offices; University of Utah Student Health Services; Refugee & Immigrant Center, Asian Association of Utah; National Ability Center; and the Sundance Institute.

potential Employers

  • Salt Lake Community College
  • Utah Association for Justice
  • Utah Community Action 


"The Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership program was a really unique program to be able to allow people to come up with ideas that were important to them, but then give them the parameters and support to get the project done."

Read The Story

Carly Cahoon

Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership Plan of Study

Coursework is designed with input from nonprofit and governmental leaders. Curriculum includes the most up-to-date practices and strategies co-created by the people and causes you ultimately want to impact.

You’ll become most effective in bringing about change through evidence-based practices and an understanding of “why” the practices work. Whether you’re interested in fundraising for the arts, crafting engaging social media marketing, focusing on nonprofit leadership, or gaining a global perspective, there’s an emphasis in the program for you to gain applicable skills and complete a relevant capstone project.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Emphasis EMPHASIS

The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion emphasis is unique in the Intermountain West. Gain an understanding of equity issues and systems thinking to create change in government, business, education, or nonprofits. You will develop the expertise to:

  • Foster an equitable and inclusive workplace
  • Develop deeper relationships with community members
  • Lead processes of organizational change
  • Communicate with relevant audiences
  • Lead and manage non-profit organizations, business human resources programs, and social service and community outreach programs

Trauma and Restorative Justice EMPHASIS

The Trauma and Restorative Justice emphasis develops leadership skills for a world where people have experienced significant individual and collective trauma. Gain leadership approaches that are sensitive to peoples’ experiences and help build healing and transformation into our organizations and communities. You will develop expertise to:

Build organizational practices that support people who have experienced trauma
Apply your understanding of impacts of individual and collective trauma to your work
Lead restorative justice practices within your organization and in the community
Lead and manage nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and community outreach programs
Participate effectively in advocacy and policy making

Comprehensive Track

The Comprehensive Track allows you to customize the Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership program coursework to develop your unique expertise in an area such as executive leadership, fund-raising, policy, or trauma-informed and restorative practices. You will develop the expertise to:

  • Hone your leadership and management skills
  • Advocate in public policy arenas
  • Organize grassroots efforts and dialogue
  • Build support for your organization and its cause
  • Develop your specialization in an area of leadership

Master of Arts in Community and Organizational Leadership Graduate Certificates

Trauma-responsive leadership certificate

The Trauma-Responsive Leadership Certificate will help you develop skills for nurturing and leading organizations that use trauma-informed and restorative justice practices. You will develop an understanding of the impacts of trauma, guide changes in policies and practices in your organization, and manage this change process.

Organizational leadership certificate

The Organizational Leadership Certificate will help you develop skills in leading organizations through processes of change, especially in the ways the organization supports diversity, equity, and inclusion of clients and staff. You'll gain the ability to foster a more equitable and inclusive workplace and lead processes to strengthen positive organizational cultures.

Community and organizational leadership certificate

The Community Leadership Certificate will help you develop skills for leadership positions in a variety of community organizations and settings. You'll develop skills in organizing grassroots efforts and deepen relationships with community members.

LEARN MORE ABOUT certificates

There's No Better Investment Than You

Tuition and Fees

At Westminster, we are committed to making your education affordable.

View Current Tuition and Fees

Financial Aid

Westminster works with all students to determine the financial aid opportunities available to them. Federal financial aid is available and will be awarded on an individual basis to students who have filed the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Some federal financial aid programs require students to maintain the equivalent of full- or part-time enrollment. Westminster also offers scholarships for graduate students.


Students who completed an undergraduate degree at Westminster are eligible to receive the Westminster Alumni Scholarship.


Graduate students are eligible for Direct Unsubsidized Loans and Direct (grad) PLUS loans through the U.S. Department of Education’s federal student loan program.

Federal Work-Study

Federal Work-Study is a federally funded program that provides job opportunities for students to earn money to help pay for college. Westminster employs hundreds of students each year in different areas.