MA in International Development  

The MA in International Development degree provides students with an understanding of social, cultural, and religious factors that have affected global development throughout history. Through an analysis of past and present attempts to address challenges to human, social and national development, graduates will be prepared to conduct research and design programs to address current global challenges.  Additionally, this degree provides students with a broad foundation in international development with an interdisciplinary approach while focusing on their own specializations and contexts, conducting research and competency development that furthers their own work within the entity that employs them.  

Program Requirements

Students register and pay for their courses online, and assignments are submitted online. Therefore, all students are required to have regular access to a computer and the Internet.   

Total Credits: 36*  

The length of a term for a 2-credit course is typically 3 months. Students may enroll in up to 8 courses per calendar year.  

 *MA students enrolled before the October 2016 Term (Sept 27 - December 26) are required to complete the number of credits stated on the Enrollment Agreement they signed when entering the MA Program.  

Program Purpose   

The purpose of the M.A. degree in International Development is to meet the needs of WCIU’s constituency of international development organizations. The degree is intended to provide cross-cultural workers of those organizations with an understanding of social, cultural, and religious factors that have affected global development throughout history and prepare them to address the challenges they face in their work.  

Students accepted into WCIU’s MA will likely be:   

  • seeking preparatory training for international development positions in the so called "developing" nations.   
  • working for an international development agency and desires a flexible continuing education option.  
  • referred by organizations with which they work or plan to work.  
  • recommended by a qualified scholar/leader who sees leadership potential in the student and wishes to mentor him or her in the development of professional skills  
  • those who wish to study and be mentored professionally by a particular recognized scholar/leader. 

Program Outcomes  

As a result of their studies in the MA in International Development Program, students will:   

  1. be self-directed learners, who initiate, manage and modify their own learning goals and activities;
  2. think critically and reflectively by questioning assumptions and weighing evidence related to ideas and practices;
  3. demonstrate proficiency in conducting research and reporting their findings in culturally appropriate ways;
  4. articulate implications of the biblical meta-narrative in which God calls human beings to work with Him in restoring the whole creation;
  5. use Biblical study methods and sound hermeneutical principles to understand and explain what the Bible says about God’s purposes in history;
  6. describe, compare and contrast societies, cultures, and religious systems;
  7. be aware of their own worldview and describe how their home culture influences their perspective;
  8. apply integrative theories and methods of international development to concrete situations in their particular context;
  9. Develop skills and competencies needed to address the challenges and opportunities students face as they pursue international development goals in the context of their work.

Academic Content

The MA in International Development curriculum integrates perspectives from a wide range of disciplines through a historical, biblical, and cultural approach to understanding God’s global purposes. The curriculum covers four time frames of civilization:   

A. Ancient world (Creation to 400 BCE)   

B. Classical world (400 BCE to 200 CE)   

C. Expanding world (200 CE to 1945)   

D. Modern world (1945 to present)   

The original curriculum was designed by nationally recognized scholars: Dr. Walter Kaiser (Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Gordon-Conwell Seminary); Dr. Walter Russell, Jr. (Biola University); Drs. Paul Pierson and Ralph Winter (Fuller School of World Mission); and Dr. John Gration (Wheaton Graduate School).   

MA Program Overview

Enrollment in each of the 2-credit courses is offered every three months. Students may enroll in up to two consecutive courses simultaneously.  Students in the WCIU MA Program should plan for an average of 120 hours of work per 2-credit course.   

The 36 credits required for the Master of Arts in International Development are integrated courses and are generally taken sequentially.

To request more information please email

View/Download MA Program Overview