Skip to main content Skip to site navigation Skip to contact information
School of Theology and Ministry

Post-Master's Certificate of Pastoral Leadership


Chances are that if you rub shoulders with ministers in the Pacific Northwest (and even out of region for that matter!), you've benefited directly or indirectly from the outcomes of this certificate. Out of this program, some students can't get enough, and decide to apply for the school's Doctor of Ministry (DMin) program--with the credits counting toward the DMin.  

This holistic, one-year program equips proven and promising pastoral leaders with deepened and expanded leadership skills, that will ensuring long-term effective ministry, spiritual depth and personal integrity. A focus of this program, along with all programs the school offers, is deep training in one's public theology--a commitment to social justice and action for a more just and humane world.

Beginning with an on-campus two-week intensive in July, participants form culturally diverse ecumenical peer groups to expand their leadership skills, deepen their theological and spiritual core, and explore ways to enhance their careers and their communities, with intensive sessions during summer, fall, and winter. The program includes classes, peer group experiences, and theological reflection supported by a relationship with a spiritual coach provided by the program. Drawing pastoral leaders from a variety of contexts, the participants meet on campus for one summer intensive and one four day intensive in the intervening fall and winter. All other work continues through hybrid distance learning models designed to support peer reflection and community building, and organization based activities that support personal and professional goals throughout the year. 

Some participants in the program will decide to continue their studies by completing the Doctor of Ministry degree. Others will conclude their studies with the Post-Master’s Certificate.

Degree Requirements

  • STML 5090 Envisioning Leadership (2)
  • STML 5100 Effective Teams in Ministry (1)
  • STML 5110 Healthy Systems in Ministry (2)
  • STML 5120 Leading From Spiritual Depth (2)
  • STML 5130 Sustaining Pastoral Excellence (4)
  • STML 5140 Companions in Leadership (1)
  • STML 5850 Social Analysis: Skills for Unpacking Society's Problems (3)
  • STML 5160 Engaging Society with Gospel Values (3)

CREDITS REQUIRED......................................... 18 

Learning Areas Addressed

  • Spiritual Depth, for increased leadership capacity
  • Building Communities with Gospel Values
  • Identifying and Leading Adaptive Change
  • Expanding Leadership Networks: Ecumenically, Culturally and Interreligiously
  • Increased Capacity for Leading Systemic Change
  • Team Development and Management
  • Lifelong Learning Strategies

Degree Options

The certificate stands alone or may comprise the first year of the Doctor of Ministry degree, though additional admission requirements are required for the doctorate. See here for details.

Admission Requirements

The Post-Master's Certificate in Pastoral Leadership requires a demonstrated exercise of pastoral leadership. References from communities or organizations served by the applicant will attest to the applicant’s leadership of the community. All candidates must have completed a Master degree program or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Admission standards are dictated by the accrediting agency, the Association of Theological Schools. Please visit the Admissions Requirements webpage for more info, here.

Download the Application Checklist for the Certificate in Pastoral Leadership.


Gainful Employment Disclosure


Federal regulations published in October of 2010 by the Secretary of Education require institutions to disclose to prospective students particular information regarding academic programs that qualify for Title IV federal student financial aid under the "gainful employment" provision. Seattle University provides the following program disclosures on Gainful Employment eligible School of Theology and Ministry certificate programs.