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Online MPA Certificates: Curriculum

Curriculum Details

Standalone or Stackable Master of Public and Nonprofit Administration Certificate Programs

14-16 Total credits required

Calvin University’s Public Administration Certificate courses offer a global perspective on community leadership. Through online study, students become skilled in ethics, communication, planning, and finance. Guided by Calvin’s mission of renewal, the online MPA courses feature a Christ-centered curriculum and liberal arts focus.

Students can build a personalized degree that meets their individual goals by completing a graduate certificate in Public Administration or Nonprofit Administration. The full MPA is scheduled to begin Fall 2023, and courses from the MPA certificates will apply to the full master’s program. Customize your learning experience further through completion of elective MPA courses.

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 and oversight. The course also examines the politics and operations of public agencies and nonprofit organizations and both inter- and intra-organizational interactions.

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.

Nonprofit 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 and oversight. The course also examines the politics and operations of public agencies and nonprofit organizations and both inter- and intra-organizational interactions.

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.

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.

NOPM 607 – Nonprofit Boards and Community Leadership
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.

OR

NOPM 609 – Designing an Effective Nonprofit Organization
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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