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Fully Online MBA: Curriculum

Curriculum Details


Calvin University’s online customizable MBA program requires eight core courses and a capstone course. To complete the degree with 36 credits, choose between the three courses for a concentration in Business Analytics or Nonprofit Management or you can work with an advisor to select courses from other available master’s programs at Calvin, such as Public Administration, Data Science, Exercise Science, Media and Strategic Communication, and more.

Courses last eight weeks and we offer six start dates throughout the year.

Calvin’s revised MBA will feature a new curriculum with an increased focus on innovation, more electives, and optional areas of study (marketing, finance, nonprofit management, business analytics, or applied communication). Course details will be updated on the website soon. Contact an admissions counselor for more information at 616-200-4403.

Quantitative Business Methods and Analysis Core Courses


This course focuses on how to use statistics to help solve business problems throughout an enterprise. Students will examine case examples of statistical analysis in areas such as marketing, finance and management. Students will learn descriptive and inferential techniques such as regression analysis and how to analyze data and reach decisions, using statistical computer software and Excel.

The course focuses on formulating and implementing marketing management strategies and tactics, a task undertaken in most companies at the strategic organization level. The marketing management process is important at all levels of the organization, regardless of the title applied to the activity. Typically, it is called corporate marketing, strategic marketing, or marketing management. For our purposes, they all involve essentially the same process, even though the actors and activities may differ. The course will provide you with a lens through which you may view the world as a marketer, relating marketing principles to consumer and business actions. You will learn to develop a marketing strategy and select the appropriate tactics to successfully implement it and deliver value to the target market.

Organizational leaders are expected to make effective data-driven decisions. This course focuses on the development and use of accounting information in the analysis and decision-making process. This course includes financial accounting and managerial accounting topics. The financial accounting topics include Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP), asset valuation, measurement of liabilities, and income determination. The managerial accounting topics include cost-volume-profit analysis, differential analysis, and budgeting. In addition to using accounting information to make effective decisions, the course focuses on communicating (orally, visually, and in writing) to a variety of stakeholders.

This course will cover the two primary corporate finance topics: capital structure and capital budgeting. In other words, where will the money coming from and what should we spend it on? This course will prepare organizational leaders to participate in those capital decisions and effectively advocate for those decisions with the company’s stakeholders.

Organizational Leadership Core Courses


This course will provide students with an overview and awareness of the social, cognitive, and psychological processes characterizing authentic and servant leadership. Focus will be on providing students the critical skills of self-leadership towards personal and professional goals as the context for studying service, influence, and intentional development and growth. Students will learn about individual differences and about themselves using assessment materials, analytical tools, and theory to develop action plans that will support sustained growth towards personal and professional objectives. Students will also learn through multiple case studies of authentic and servant leadership.

Groups and team are an integral part of modern businesses and organizational life. To be better prepared to succeed as a leader, manager or member of teams, this course: (1) creates opportunities to lead and manage dynamic teams and design and implement effective team processes, and (2) introduces the critical theories, concepts and frameworks used by successful managers to diagnose team performance and the threats and opportunities teams face.

This course will prepare students by increasing their understanding of the nature and purpose of organizations and how and why approaches to organizational design and culture change. Organization structure, processes, effectiveness, and the impact on individual member development and stakeholder expectations will be the major focal points of the course. The need for organizational change and development against the backdrop of traditional organization theory will be analyzed and new organizational forms will be examined.

This course aims to enhance our understanding of life inside organizations through an interdisciplinary examination of common organizational practices such as organizational structure, culture differentiation and internal integration, culture typologies, as well as leadership attributes and styles. The course is designed to increase the student’s effectiveness in dealing with multiple aspects of organizational change–by understanding conditions that may require it, increasing awareness of multiple ways that organizations change, managing change, receiving and participating in it, and understanding your own approaches and responses to change.

This course will orient students to the ethical imperatives of leadership in contemporary organizations. Responsible leadership theory will provide a framework for connecting virtuous character with responsiveness to the organization’s stakeholders, and to organizational sustainability. Alternative models of corporate social responsibility, including models informed by Christian theological and social traditions, will be presented and critiqued. Students will develop their own contextual agendas for responsible leadership through reflective writing exercises.



To achieve its goals, an organization must design and execute an effective strategy across its various areas. In this course, students learn to identify opportunities and develop strategies for success. Students delve into the strategy-making process by challenging common narratives, developing skills to analyze both the external and internal environments, and rethinking competitive positioning including business models.

Business Analytics concentration (Optional)


Collecting, managing and processing large data sets is critical to business analytics and data science. This course focuses on the core skills and concepts needed to pull data from a range of sources both inside and outside of organizations; to filter, transform, and combine data sets to prepare them for data cleaning and analysis; and construct quantitative summaries and basic visualizations.

Businesses leverage increasingly large collections of data about people, products, and processes. Predictive analytics provides tools to discover patterns and anticipate trends in such data. This course introduces the foundational principles of predictive analytics and provides a survey of a wide range of predictive methods, both battle-tested classics and emerging high-capacity deep learning models.

An introduction to the principles and practices of effective data visualization as an essential skill for learning from data and for communicating with others, both within and outside of an organization. Students will combine principles from statistics, psychology and computer science to design and create visualizations and use them to communicate with and about data to stakeholders and others.

Nonprofit Management concentration (Optional)


Nonprofit board of directors are integral to the process of governing and achieving effective community collaborations and public/private partnerships. This course incorporates and applies organizational behavior and theory to explore the leadership role, responsibilities, and interaction between board members and the executive director. Areas of examination include a comparison of different governing models, key questions to consider in board selection and composition, the responsibilities of advisory boards, working with committees, and the expectations of the board in the area of fundraising.

Why are some nonprofit organizations more efficient and stewardly than others? This course establishes a foundation in financial management for those with minimal or no experience in accounting.  Areas of emphasis include knowledge and skills needed for distributing and managing resources, and for performing and using analyses and reports to effectively steward the financial health of the organization. Topics include key accounting principles, an overview of financial statements and how they are used in the budget development process and cash flow analysis, understanding the audit report, maximizing investment policy, and the responsibilities regarding government compliance. All of these will be looked at through the lens of ethical standards.

Nonprofit organizations, whether newly developed or established, need to incorporate methods and processes to be sustainable, This course focuses on how to design a nonprofit organization capable of raising the human and financial resources to sustain the organization as well as emerging methods for effective programming and specific nonprofit evaluation methods. Learn the various aspects of resource development including fund-raising strategies, processes, trends and ethics, public and private grant writing, submission, measurement and evaluation. The course emphasizes the examination of current trends in earned-income strategies, social entrepreneurship, and maximizing available ‘corporate social responsibility’ resources. Underscoring the importance of volunteers in achieving nonprofit goals, the course also focuses on approaches to volunteer development, volunteer recruitment, training, retention/theories of motivation, and leadership and certain ethical issues associated with volunteers.

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