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Online Master of Public and Non-Profit Administration Courses

Curriculum Details

36 total credits required

The curriculum in the MPA online program prepares you to take a Christ-centered, ethical, and efficient approach to leadership and public and non-profit administration. The program brings together learners from government, for-profit, and non-profit entities (including faith-based organizations), exploring the interplay among such entities in providing public services.

Calvin offers several concentrations that allow students to gain specialized knowledge to advance in their field, including State and Local Government Administration, Health Services Administration, Law Enforcement Management and Leadership, Non-Profit Management and Leadership, Program and Policy Analysis, and Faith-Based Ministry Leadership. We also offer a range of electives that help you determine the best path to meeting your goals.

For those who are not looking for a master’s program, we also offer four certificate programs in Public Administration, Non-Profit Administration, Faith-Based Ministry Leadership, and Program and Policy Analysis.

Note: Students starting the MPA program in Fall 2022 will begin their coursework with the Public Administration certificate courses.

Core Courses

An exploration of the history and organizational expressions of public service and public institutions within government and society, engaging perennial and new debates over the interplay of government and the nonprofit sector, including churches. It addresses organizational issues as federalism, division of power, and public-private partnerships, and values issues such as equity and justice. 

An introduction to the field of public and nonprofit administration, focusing on organizational purposes, operations, and policies; theories of organizational functions, leadership and management; budgets and funding; accountability; oversight; and ethics. The course also examines the politics and operations of public agencies and non-profit organizations from current and historical perspectives.

An examination of the role of organizational systems, structures, and processes in shaping human behavior through critical engagement with management perspectives of both scholars and practitioners. Topics group dynamics, interpersonal skills, organizational leadership, and value systems.
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.
Students will learn about their legal rights, legal obligations, and ethical responsibilities as communicators. They also will investigate the principles on which those rights, obligations, and responsibilities are based—including social and cultural values, Christian virtues, and professional standards. In addition, they will learn to exercise legal and moral reasoning when confronted with challenging situations in their vocation. Finally, they will learn about the temptations and consequences of violating legal and ethical directives—and will commit to communicating in a legal and ethical way.
This course presents the concepts of financial and managerial accounting with a “user” (investor or manager) orientation. The course has three parts. The first part emphasizes the valuation bases and structure of the financial statements. The second part focuses on the interpretation and analyses of the financial statements, including analyses of cash flows and cross-sectional and time-series trends in financial ratios. The role of managerial accounting choices in determining the nature of financial reporting and quality of earnings is also examined. The third part examines the role of accounting information for managerial planning and control. Costing for inventory and pricing, cost-volume-profit analyses, and capital budgeting issues are covered.

Electives – 4 Credits

Course description coming soon.

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.
An examination of ethical and legal issues affecting health administration, including licensing and regulation, contracts, insurance, fraud and abuse, confidentiality, professional ethics, health care access, and patient care decision-making and consent. 
An introduction to police management that combines academic principles with practical functions and focuses on a range of critical leadership and management areas, including planning and policies, media relations, organizational behavior, budgeting and resource allocation, human resources, and contemporary policing issues.
An examination of the relationship between politics and administration, defining public interest and differing public values. Topics include organizational leadership, budget and financing, human capital and staffing, ethics, strategic planning.
An introduction to the academic literature on community development and impediments that stand in its way, i.e., economic divestment, inadequate housing, structural violence, lack of community services, crime, etc. It considers the various roles that government, the private sector, and non-profit organizations play in community revitalization and offers models of change for community revitalization that include, among others, doughnut economics, social mobilization, and asset-based community development.
An introduction to local politics and government in the United States, examining who is involved in local politics and how the political processes in cities shape policies. Topics include urban political institutions, machine politics, federal urban policy, race representation in cities, local elections, structure of local administrations and key policy areas within the local and metropolitan context, such as education, policing, and urban planning and development. The course will also examine the historical practices of cities with the United States.

Course description coming soon.

An introduction to concepts, methods, and tools of program evaluation, with emphasis on evaluating the quality of available information, designing evaluation, analyzing data, and interpreting and reporting results. Prerequisite: MGMT 535 or equivalent.

This course introduces students to the strategic planning process, communication strategies, and message creation involved in public relations. Students will learn how to develop, implement and evaluate public relations campaigns by examining case studies and creating an actual campaign. This course also focuses on the use of social media and other new media channels, examining how they can be employed to better serve the organization’s communication and relationship-building needs. Students must also enroll in COMM 520 Media Lab to create the class multimedia project.

*Note: Students will choose between COMM 520 Advanced Public Relations and COMM 520L Media Lab.

Course description coming soon.

Course description coming soon.

This course provides an introduction to demography and geographical analysis. Specific attention is given to the study of social, economic, and health statistics as they change over time and space, which illustrate the changing structure of human populations. Readings in demographic research and a GIS-based semester project will comprise the second half of the course.

This course explores the exciting world of business spatial analytics and location-based services. Topics include gravity modeling, suitability analysis for potential market location, social and economic population analysis, and business and facilities saturation. Students will complete a GIS-based project for a local Non-profit business during the semester as a Service-Learning project.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Public health is a multidisciplinary and vast field that seeks to protect, improve, and promote health and well-being among individuals, communities, and populations. Foundations of public health provides an opportunity to explore the profession—including its history, values and ethics, core functions, practice areas and services. This course will prepare you for subsequent courses in the public health curriculum, providing you with a foundational understanding of how public health interacts with population health.

Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health and disease in different human populations and the application of methods to improve disease outcomes. This course will introduce you to studies of the history and basic principles of epidemiology including measures of disease frequency, epidemiologic study design, bias, confounding, screening, and causality. You will also examine common ethical issues in epidemiologic research and practice.

Course description coming soon.

Our environment influences our health and well-being in profound ways. In this course you will explore the basic principles, practices, and major issues in environmental health. We will also examine justice issues related to our environment and explore the environmental justice movement. You will investigate strategies for applying and evaluating environmental health and justice principles and strategies to address looming environmental health challenges such as global climate change, managing hazardous waste, etc.

Course description coming soon.

Religion has long been known to influence our behavior and spiritual health. Only in the past two decades have we researched and learned that religious participation can impact individual health. The next logical step would be, if religion and spirituality can affect individual health, then it could also affect public health. This course will examine psychological concepts of human behavior, apply these concepts, and thereby understand human behavior in the context of religion, health and public health. We will use the framework of the Biblical nature of humans as our guide through this course. In this course we will ask questions like: Under what conditions does religion promote health, what conditions under which religion can harm well-being, what psychological concepts contribute to spiritual and physical health, how does the biopsychosocial-spiritual aspect of individual health influence public health?

The world continues to become more interconnected providing opportunities for both the spread of disease but also collective problem solving. This course sets the foundation for understanding how globalization affects population health across the world, introduces how we quantify the global burden of disease, identifies the global actors responsible for setting health policies and their roles, and provides a context for health and human rights. Students will identify key global health issues and needs such as infant and maternal health, infectious diseases, and nutrition as well as determinants of health in these areas.

Political decision-making and leadership heavily influence population health. Students will identify the links between global health governance, policy, and system reform to global health inequalities. Students will evaluate the roles of key global actors and stakeholders in effecting health outcomes. We will identify best practices in implementing health policy management in effective, ethical, and culturally-appropriate ways. Students will gain preliminary experience in several public health administrative skills such as budgeting, grant writing, and effective leadership. Case studies and examples will be utilized to demonstrate how policy and administrative decisions are made and how they influence population health.

Course description coming soon.

Public health is a professional degree and thus, practical experience is paramount to the MPH program. This course allows you to apply public health skills and knowledge to an agency or field setting. The internship is paired with a professional seminar to provide intentional opportunities for you to connect course content with their practice in the field. You are required to complete at least 130 hours in the field setting along with a weekly course. Prerequisites: All foundational public health courses must be complete prior to enrolling in the practicum course and be in good standing within the public health program.

Public Administration Certificate

An exploration of the history and organizational expressions of public service and public institutions within government and society, engaging perennial and new debates over the interplay of government and the nonprofit sector, including churches. It addresses organizational issues as federalism, division of power, and public-private partnerships, and values issues such as equity and justice. 

An introduction to the field of public and nonprofit administration, focusing on organizational purposes, operations, and policies; theories of organizational functions, leadership and management; budgets and funding; accountability; oversight; and ethics. The course also examines the politics and operations of public agencies and non-profit organizations from current and historical perspectives.

An examination of the relationship between politics and administration, defining public interest and differing public values. Topics include organizational leadership, budget and financing, human capital and staffing, ethics, strategic planning.
An introduction to the academic literature on community development and impediments that stand in its way, i.e., economic divestment, inadequate housing, structural violence, lack of community services, crime, etc. It considers the various roles that government, the private sector, and non-profit organizations play in community revitalization and offers models of change for community revitalization that include, among others, doughnut economics, social mobilization, and asset-based community development.
An introduction to local politics and government in the United States, examining who is involved in local politics and how the political processes in cities shape policies. Topics include urban political institutions, machine politics, federal urban policy, race representation in cities, local elections, structure of local administrations and key policy areas within the local and metropolitan context, such as education, policing, and urban planning and development. The course will also examine the historical practices of cities with the United States.

Non-Profit Administration Certificate

An exploration of the history and organizational expressions of public service and public institutions within government and society, engaging perennial and new debates over the interplay of government and the nonprofit sector, including churches. It addresses organizational issues as federalism, division of power, and public-private partnerships, and values issues such as equity and justice. 

An introduction to the field of public and nonprofit administration, focusing on organizational purposes, operations, and policies; theories of organizational functions, leadership and management; budgets and funding; accountability; oversight; and ethics. The course also examines the politics and operations of public agencies and non-profit organizations from current and historical perspectives.

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.
An introduction to the academic literature on community development and impediments that stand in its way, i.e., economic divestment, inadequate housing, structural violence, lack of community services, crime, etc. It considers the various roles that government, the private sector, and non-profit organizations play in community revitalization and offers models of change for community revitalization that include, among others, doughnut economics, social mobilization, and asset-based community development.
This course presents the concepts of financial and managerial accounting with a “user” (investor or manager) orientation. The course has three parts. The first part emphasizes the valuation bases and structure of the financial statements. The second part focuses on the interpretation and analyses of the financial statements, including analyses of cash flows and cross-sectional and time-series trends in financial ratios. The role of managerial accounting choices in determining the nature of financial reporting and quality of earnings is also examined. The third part examines the role of accounting information for managerial planning and control. Costing for inventory and pricing, cost-volume-profit analyses, and capital budgeting issues are covered.

Faith-Based Ministry Leadership Certificate

An exploration of the history and organizational expressions of public service and public institutions within government and society, engaging perennial and new debates over the interplay of government and the nonprofit sector, including churches. It addresses organizational issues as federalism, division of power, and public-private partnerships, and values issues such as equity and justice. 

An introduction to the field of public and nonprofit administration, focusing on organizational purposes, operations, and policies; theories of organizational functions, leadership and management; budgets and funding; accountability; oversight; and ethics. The course also examines the politics and operations of public agencies and non-profit organizations from current and historical perspectives.

Course description coming soon.

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.

Course description coming soon.

Program and Policy Analysis Certificate

An exploration of the history and organizational expressions of public service and public institutions within government and society, engaging perennial and new debates over the interplay of government and the nonprofit sector, including churches. It addresses organizational issues as federalism, division of power, and public-private partnerships, and values issues such as equity and justice. 

An introduction to the field of public and nonprofit administration, focusing on organizational purposes, operations, and policies; theories of organizational functions, leadership and management; budgets and funding; accountability; oversight; and ethics. The course also examines the politics and operations of public agencies and non-profit organizations from current and historical perspectives.

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.

An introduction to concepts, methods, and tools of program evaluation, with emphasis on evaluating the quality of available information, designing evaluation, analyzing data, and interpreting and reporting results. Prerequisite: MGMT 535 or equivalent.

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.

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.

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