Master's in Urban Ministry Degree

Master of Arts in Urban Ministry

Offered By: College of Theology

Reach Urban and Inner City Communities by Sharing the Gospel

Urban ministry recognizes the need to bring the love of Christ to urban areas and inner city neighborhoods. The Master of Arts in Urban Ministry degree, offered by the Grand Canyon Theological Seminary, is a Christ-centered course of study that can prepare future Christian leaders to serve congregations amid the hectic pace of city life. 

Benefits of Earning an Urban Ministry Degree from GCU

Grand Canyon University’s urban ministry Master of Arts degree emphasizes the power of the gospel for transformation while also making it accessible and contextually appropriate for an urban, 21st century audience. Examine theological and biblical knowledge while closely exploring the unique problems and needs associated with urban settings. Be taught how to offer pastoral guidance to inner city congregations in a way that addresses their unique challenges.

A modern curriculum demands a modern method of learning, and GCU has risen to the challenge with our flexible online learning platform. Earn your online urban ministry degree while fulfilling your familial and professional obligations. Access your coursework from anywhere, and enjoy engaging discussions with your peers. 

You may prefer face-to-face interaction and in-person discussions as you work through the urban ministry curriculum. Enroll in evening classes on our campus in Phoenix, where you can benefit from immersion within our Christian learning community. 

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Competencies and Skills Taught in This Ministry Program 

You will be taught foundational knowledge and skills in biblical interpretation and ministerial ethics. Prepare to review strategies for leading and inspiring others who desire to know the Word of God. Understand at-risk communities, biblical justice, crisis, conflict and change in the urban setting. Explore the value of social services, community-building, urban leadership and holistic ministry strategies within a multicultural setting. Other core competencies include:

  • Specific contexts for the connections between biblical teaching and ministry
  • Christian character formation, self-care and personal morality for Christian leaders
  • Historical and theological development of Christian doctrine
  • Hermeneutics and the proper interpretation of the Old and New Testaments

During this master’s in urban ministry program, you will be encouraged to examine today’s challenges for the church and of the dynamics of the urban communities you can minister to. Examine strategies for communicating effectively with culturally diverse audiences, and explore how to help others to know and love Christ. Prepare to embrace holistic ministry service that answers God’s call and preserves the fundamentals of evangelism and discipleship.

Ministry Courses You Can Expect in This Master's Program

Throughout your courses, you will examine some of the pressing matters of today’s congregations, including:

  • Social services, community building and holistic ministry strategies
  • The foundational principles of effective urban ministry, with a look at best practices for cultural transformative urban ministry
  • The ethical implications for decisions made in urban ministerial settings

Additionally, you will be required to complete supervised ministry hours. These field experiences are opportunities for you to demonstrate academic progress in theology and the practical application of biblical principles.

Career Paths for Master’s in Urban Ministry Degree Graduates

An academic background in urban ministry enables graduates to pursue meaningful work improving the lives of others in your local communities. Bring the love of Christ to urban and inner city neighborhoods by potentially pursuing a ministerial or related position at: 

  • Urban churches
  • Suburban churches with an urban outreach component
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Social service programs
  • Faith-centered educational organizations

GCU Proudly Offers Institutionally Accredited Ministry Programs

While you’re weighing your choice of urban ministry degree programs, it’s important to ensure that the college or university you choose is institutionally accredited. Accreditation is an indication of the quality of a university. GCU is proud to be an institutionally accredited university that offers biblically rooted college education.

Our MA in Urban Ministry degree is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS). The Commission of ATS aims to accredit programs that are designed to further enhance and improve theological education. It focuses on educational quality, accreditation clarity and contextualized flexibility. 

Master’s Degree in Urban Ministry FAQs

Before enrolling in an urban ministry degree program, take the time to research your career path choices and related degree options. The following frequently asked questions and answers can help guide your research.

One simple reason why urban ministry is important for today’s church is that cities house a large percentage of the population. While ministerial leaders are also needed in suburban and rural areas, urban settings offer the opportunity to minister to a larger number of people.1 Urban ministry programs also provide opportunities to uplift the impoverished by connecting struggling individuals to needed resources.2

Urban ministry involves providing spiritual counseling and ministerial leadership to individuals and groups who live in urban areas, such as the inner city. An urban ministry leader may lead worship services, conduct Bible study classes and develop outreach initiatives designed to uplift the community. For example, as a future urban ministry leader, you might lead your congregation in working toward creating a food pantry for the neighborhood.

The urban ministry degree requires a total of 38 credits for completion. Most of the online classes are eight weeks in length. To better understand how long it might take you to earn your degree, fill out the form on this page to request a consultation with a university counselor.

Although every school establishes its own policies, generally speaking, diplomas do not indicate whether a degree was earned online or via in-person classes. At GCU, all of our online degrees offer the same quality of instruction as our on-campus classes. Our online learning platform enables you to access the same coursework, and to participate in discussions with your peers.

Each university or theological seminary establishes its own requirements to complete a master’s in urban ministry. At Grand Canyon Theological Seminary, you are required to complete a total of 38 credits. You will work through coursework that teaches the foundational principles of spiritual knowledge, and you will explore modern issues pertaining to ministerial ethics, with a focus on urban ministry.

Prepare to serve Christ in urban settings. Apply today for enrollment in GCU’s master’s in urban ministry and fill out the form on this page to learn more.

1 Renn, A. (2022, July 31). Why cities are important to the church’s mission. The Gospel Coalition. Retrieved September 22, 2023. 

2 Memphis Urban Ministry. (n.d.). Eight urban ministry strategies. Memphis Urban Ministry. Retrieved September 22, 2023. 

Total Credits: 38
Online: 8 weeks
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Up to 12 credits or 1/3 of the total program requirements in transfer (whichever is less)
Online: $590 per credit
[Tuition, Fees and Financial Aid]

Cost of Attendance

Course List

38 credits
Degree Requirements:
38 credits

Core Courses

Course Description

This course is designed to prepare students for the graduate learning experience at Grand Canyon University. Students have opportunities to develop and strengthen the skills necessary to succeed as graduate students in ministry and theology. Emphasis is placed on utilizing the tools for graduate success.

Course Description

This course examines the biblical and theological foundations of Christian ethics along with an analysis of the roles and responsibilities of gospel ministry. Significant attention is given to self-care, personal morality, and character formation as well as ethical concerns unique to ministers as they lead, equip, shepherd, and intercede for God’s people.

Course Description

This course is a study of the basic principles of evangelical biblical interpretation, exegesis, and application, especially in the context of ministry, including an introduction to the use of biblical language tools.

Course Description

This course analyzes the practical dimensions of systematic theology and assists students in making critical connections between biblical teaching and ministry within specific contexts. Emphasis is placed on faithful biblically rooted ministry, including a focus on prayer, evangelism, discipleship, and church leadership. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.

Course Description

This course surveys the text and historical background of the Old Testament with an introduction to hermeneutics and the proper interpretation of the books of the Old Testament.

Course Description

This course surveys the text and historical background of the New Testament with an introduction to hermeneutics and the proper interpretation of the books of the New Testament.

Course Description

This course surveys cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, including revelation, God, humanity, Christ, and salvation. Emphasis is placed on the development of sound theology grounded in biblical understandings and practical wisdom for ministry. Some attention is given to the historical development of doctrine.

Course Description

The course provides a biblical foundation for urban ministry and equips students with an overarching understanding of basic principles for effective urban ministry. Students develop understanding of the crucial position of the local assembly of believers, the history, and the various best practices for culture transformative urban ministry. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.

Course Description

This course introduces students to the basic competencies needed for ministry in a multicultural setting. Students explore social services, community building, holistic ministry strategies, and how to contextualize the Good News of Christ without compromising its integrity. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.

Course Description

This course is an examination of how the church’s mission expresses itself in the urban setting and the ethical implications for decisions made in urban ministry. This course requires supervised ministry hours. Practicum/field experience hours: 45.


GCU Online Student

Pursue a next-generation education with an online degree from Grand Canyon University. Earn your degree with convenience and flexibility with online courses that let you study anytime, anywhere.

* Please note that this list may contain programs and courses not presently offered, as availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program or course listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability.

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Programs or courses subject to change.