Nonprofit Leadership Courses

The Pacific University Master of Nonprofit Leadership is a fully online program that can be completed in 13 months with full-time enrollment or in two or three years with part-time enrollment. Students may also choose a concentration in rural nonprofit leadership or environmental nonprofit leadership. Explore some of the course opportunities below.

Nonprofit Leadership Residency I (Virtual)                                

Personal Leadership Development (NL 501) | 2 credits   

Leaders who know more about themselves, the better skilled they are at developing & leading others. 

Understanding ourselves helps us understand others and our preferences for communication, decision-making, and approaching our daily lives. We will participate in the Meyer-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) to discover our preferences and apply them to our professional development and the workplace. We will also use Strength Finders and other tools that increase our leadership skills.

  • Critical Perspectives of Nonprofits as Public Benefit Corporations: Nonprofits are faced with dynamic challenges and opportunities to remain viable and relevant to their missions and communities. Nonprofits as businesses are different from a for-profit entity. Discover best practices and changes that should be adopted from the other sectors to remain sustainable. 
  • Decision-making: Leaders make decisions based on multiple variables, criteria, and situations. Leaders must be adaptable while assessing opportunities and risks, using values-based judgments, and inclusive processes.
  • Operational Excellence: Skills for maintaining excellence; setting standards; project management; reports and accountability; etc. 

Colloquium (choose one of the following):

  • Rural Nonprofit Specialization (NL 502) | 2 credits
    Rural nonprofits face challenges from limited donor bases, developing local collaborations with local governments and other organizations, maintaining staff, and community engagement. Colloquium introduces these unique and other challenges and opportunities of rural nonprofits through seasoned practitioners, funders, and board governance consultants. Specific topics will be addressed from student requests and current trends in the profession.  
  • Environmental Nonprofit Specialization (NL 503) | 2 credits
    Local and regional environmental organizations have unique attributes and missions that guide their direction and actions. Within the environmental community nature-based learning centers consist of all the common challenges, responsibilities, and opportunities of other nonprofits plus the stewardship of lands and conservation. Colloquium introduces and integrates unique challenges with best practices through seasoned practitioners, consultants and donors.
  • Nonprofit Organizations (NL 504) | 2 credits
    This colloquium is designed for those wishing to gain both a broad and in-depth academic and practical applications with the nonprofit profession without choosing either the Rural or Environmental specialization. Colloquium introduces and integrates unique challenges with best practices through seasoned practitioners, consultants and donors.

Required Online Courses

  • Board Governance as Collaborative Leadership (NL 554) | 2 credits
  • Developing the Capacity of People (NL 532) | 2 credits
  • Managing People (NL 533) | 2 credits
  • Building Collaborations and Partnerships (NL 552) | 2 credits
  • Project in Action - Proposal (NL 600) | 2 credits
  • Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement (NL 550) | 2 credits
  • Fiscal Management and Budgeting (NL 510) | 2 credits 
  • Resource Development Strategies (NL 520) | 2 credits
  • Managing Meetings & Projects (NL 540) | 2 credits
  • Program Innovation and Design (NL 556) | 2 credits
  • Developing a Strategy-Based Culture (NL 530) | 2 credits
  • Impact and Iteration (NL 558) | 2 credits

Plus one of the Following

  • Special Topics in Nonprofit Organizations (NL 555) | 2 credits
  • Special Topics in Rural Nonprofits (NL 560) | 2 credits
  • Special Topics in Environmental Nonprofits (NL 570) | 2 credits

Nonprofit Leadership Residency II (Virtual)                                      

Leading Nonprofit Organizations | 2 credits

Leadership is never just about oneself; rather it focuses on developing a culture of team, building capacity of others, and practicing systems thinking.

Colloquia: Projects in Action - Presentations/Critical Perspectives of Nonprofits as Public Benefit Corporations (NL 602) | 2 credits

  • Dynamics of Community Change 
    Every nonprofit leader needs to understand the dynamics of human and community change to be effective in their mission and service with the community. This SESSION explores the research and principles about what makes people, and groups of people, make progress on the areas that are important to them to promote durable, meaningful, transformational change. 
  • Building and Sustaining a Movement
    The challenges of culture and system change requires leaders of nonprofits not only to manage their own organizations, but to engage with the broader issues that resonates with the hearts and minds of communities. 


Contact Us

Amy Tracewell, MNL | Director
Justin McRobert | Admissions Counselor, Nonprofit Leadership Program