MA (Phil) in Educational Leadership

Program Design

Are you a staff member at a Christian School Foundation (Canada) member school

You may be eligible to receive financial support for this program of study. 

MA-EL Course Fee Reduction: Two or more educators from the same school who register for the same course (for credit) each receive a $100 rebate on their course tuition.

Course Overview

The courses laid out in the table below make up the MA-EL program. Most of these courses are offered at least every other year with the exception of the 'How to...' courses that are on a three year cycle. Fuller descriptions of current and upcoming courses in the Instructional Leadership Stream and School Administration Stream, including specifics about course format, can be found in our Course Catalogue

ICS students interested in taking courses in the Inclusion Stream and Literacy Stream can find course descriptions on the Calvin University website under "Concentration Courses" for the respective Stream. ICS students should contact Calvin directly for course schedules, registration, and fee payment. Before filling out a registration form with Calvin: ICS students will need the ICS Academic Registrar to write a letter of permission to Calvin on your behalf. So please email the ICS Academic Registrar as a first step. Calvin course credits will be transferable to your current program at ICS.

Calvin students interested in taking an MA-EL course at ICS as one or more of your electives should contact our Registrar to complete the necessary registration and payment through ICS. Course credits will be transferable to your current program at Calvin.

Descriptions of courses which fulfill requirements for the Christian School Teachers Certificate (CSTC) can be found here.

Course Schedule

The MA-EL program's 10 term courses are offered on a rotating schedule as outlined below. The necessary courses for all program concentrations can be completed in one of the following ways:

Three + One

Take one course each term over a total of ten terms (3 years and 1 month).


Take courses at your own pace when it best suits your schedule.

In the list of courses that follows, Instructional Leadership concentration-specific courses are indicated with one asterisk* and School Administration concentration-specific courses are indicated with two asterisks**. As course descriptions and syllabi become available, you will be able to find these details by following the links in the course titles. 

To find out more about the upcoming schedule of online courses offered by Calvin University in the Inclusion concentration and Literacy concentration, please contact Calvin University directly.

Fall 2024

Winter 2025

Summer 2025

Fall 2025

Winter 2026

Summer 2026

Fall 2026

Winter 2027

Summer 2027

Offered as needed

Guided Study on Project Question *

Celebrating Joyful Learning

Structure of the MA-EL Program

Each of the ten courses you'll take in the MA-EL program plays a role in fulfilling one of the following program requirements. At ICS, courses are tallied in terms of units. Each semester-length course is generally worth 1 unit, except for the Project and the Praxis which are worth 2 units apiece. 

Based on the number of hours of class-time per week in a semester-length course, 1 unit equals 3 credit hours and the entire MA-EL program encompasses 42 “credit hours.”

Courses taken through Calvin University are worth 3 credits each, which is equivalent to 1 unit at ICS. 

Foundations Courses (2 units total)

Biblical Foundations: Narrative, Wisdom, and the Art of Interpretation (1 unit)

What's Christian About Christian Education?: Reformational Philosophy (1 unit)

Immersive Courses (5 units total)

Called to Teach: Formation & Learning
(former title: Finding Joy in Learning) (1 unit)

Lead From Where You Are (1 unit)

The Craft of Reflective Practice (1 unit)

Cultivating Learning Communities of Belonging (1 unit)

Celebrating Joyful Learning (1 unit)

Concentration-Specific: Instructional Leadership (3 units total)

Deeper Learning (1 unit)

Transformative Teaching (1 unit)

Guided Study on Project Question (1 unit)

Concentration-Specific: School Administration (3 units total)

How to Coach a Strong Team (1 unit)

How to Finance a Vision (1 unit)

How to Govern a School (1 unit)

Concentration-Specific: Inclusion (3 units total)

Offered in partnership with Calvin University > 

EDUC 555 - Designing Instruction for Successful Learning (1 unit)

EDUC 556 - Perspectives, Programs, & Policies: Developing Inclusive Schools (1 unit)

EDUC 557 - Practicum Seminar: Inclusion Specialist (1 unit)

Concentration-Specific: Literacy (3 units total)

Offered in partnership with Calvin University >

EDUC 542 - Reading Assessment and Responsive Instruction (1 unit)

EDUC 544 - The Early Literacy Learner, At Home and in School (1 unit)

EDUC 545 - Literacy Learning after the Early Years: Middle School Children, Adolescents and Adults (1 unit)

Project & Praxis (4 units total)

Project (1 required Project = 2 units)

Praxis (1 required Praxis reflection = 2 units)

Courses Available to Calvin University Students

Visit the ICS Course Catalogue for details >

Course Format and Delivery

MA-EL courses offered by ICS during the fall and winter terms will be offered in an online asynchronous format with 6 scheduled Zoom sessions (*Exception: Biblical Foundations is taught online synchronously over 13 weeks)

ICS MA-EL courses offered during the spring/summer term will also be offered in an online asynchronous format with 6 scheduled Zoom sessions. Three of the Zoom sessions will take place during the months of April, May, and June. No assignments or Zoom sessions will be scheduled during the month of July. In August, students will meet again on Zoom for three more sessions. Details on the structure of these two formats can be found below:

1. Fall & Winter Courses

During these courses students will:

** Except Biblical Foundations which is taught online synchronously over 13 weeks.

2. Spring/Summer Courses

During these courses students will:

The Project and Praxis

Another unique feature of the MA-EL program is the completion of a Project and Praxis which together serves as the equivalent of a thesis.

The Project is an opportunity for MA-EL students to contribute to the innovation of educational leadership practice—drawing on the deeper learning you are doing, as facilitated by the MA-EL, as people of God's story engaged in real work that shapes the world.

The Praxis is an opportunity for MA-EL students to engage in theoretically informed reflection on your practice as an educational leader—drawing on the deeper learning you are doing, as facilitated by the MA-EL, as people of God's story engaged in real work that forms self.

Want to take the next step? 

Email the Academic Registrar or the MA-EL Director Dr. Edith van der Boom with your questions.

Looking for even more flexibility?

It's possible to put individual MA-EL courses toward either a Christian School Teacher's Certificate (CSTC) or our Christian Educator Certificates (CEC).