Optional Global Immersion Classes

In this class, you will gain insights from practitioners working in NGOs outside of the U.S. in our 10-day immersion experiences. Previous global immersion classes have taken students to Costa Rica, Israel, Rwanda, and Thailand with faculty guides. On these trips, you will analyze historical and contemporary theories, evaluate socio-cultural contexts and socio-economic perspectives, and grow in your faith and understanding of God’s heart and love for humanity.

MAGDJ Students Praying Together

Example Courses

The courses listed below are some of our featured core classes that will be a part of your educational journey here at MU. Take a look at each course for a small preview.

This foundational course focuses on understanding the history of development, justice, and peacebuilding work in both domestic and international contexts. Emphasis is placed on understanding the primary theories (both macro and micro) associated with the practice of transformational development initiatives. The prominence of best practices across the nexus of development, justice, and peacebuilding work is highlighted while examining how Christian witness and Christ-centered transformation in the lives of individuals and their communities is realized.

This course explores faith-based strategies for responding to the needs of individuals and communities impacted by conflict and natural disasters, with emphasis on the unique needs of refugees and internally displaced persons. Emphasis is placed upon effective partnerships which promote opportunities for human flourishing through capacity building, participation, and localization efforts, as well as standards for quality of care and accountability for humanitarian organizations. Students will grow in awareness of cultural, contextual, and antecedent factors to the crisis, as well as ethical dilemmas in the humanitarian sphere.

Focuses on children and youth living in vulnerable and at-risk conditions and highlights preventive and restorative interventions from an integrated and cross-disciplinary perspective. Development, justice, and peace-building responses include a survey of best practices that lead children toward restoring their relationship with God and others in society. Critical topics like child protection and participation, and the role of advocacy play a prominent role in the course.

This course introduces peacebuilding and transformative justice in light of current research and biblical/theological principles. Students will seek to develop strategies to respond to violence in ways that not only address the immediate crisis, but also work to transform the conditions that fostered violence and injustice; thus helping communities work together to promote healing, accountability, resilience, and safety for all involved. Students will examine approaches to peacebuilding and transformative justice in NGO, church, and community contexts. The unique role of faith communities will also be explored.

Degree Requirements

Here you will find everything you need to know about what is required to successfully complete your degree.

Course Layout

“The Contextual Residency trip made the biggest difference for me, as an online student. It helped me to feel like I had a community—a cohort where we could bounce ideas off each other, commiserate together, and just have each other as companions.”

Jennifer Bell '19, MAGDJ

Program Concentrations

Peace and Reconciliation

This concentration focuses on the need for peacebuilding in contexts of systemic injustices, war, conflict, ethnic and racial tension, and communities where violence is common. Students who choose the Peace and Reconciliation concentration will take a distinct path of research and some specific courses designed to develop necessary skills for peacebuilding in distinct contexts. Internships and research projects will prepare these students to engage effectively in this field.

Bible and Theology

This emphasis is for those who plan to work in a vocational ministry or a church context and do not have previous biblical training. The Bible and Theology emphasis in MAGDJ includes earning a certificate offered by Multnomah Biblical Seminary (MBS) in Bible Foundations. This emphasis will ensure that you integrate biblical and theological education in the field of Global Development and Justice in a way that prepares you for Christian ministry. Your biblical and theological literacy will increase as you develop knowledge of both historical figures and biblical passages in the Old and New Testaments.

Career Placement

As an equipped, Christian leader, you will be ready to serve in community development, justice, and peace work initiatives, both domestically and abroad. With your M.A. in Global Development & Justice, you will be prepared for any of the following careers:

• Children at Risk Specialist • Humanitarian Worker • Global Justice Leader
• Inter-governmental Worker • Outreach Entrepreneur • Volunteer Aid Worker
• Development and Relief Specialist • Community Development Worker • Missions and Outreach Pastor

MAGDJ Internship Program

For those just starting off in community development and justice careers, internships are a great way to broaden your network and gain hands-on experience in the workplace. Our MAGDJ program partners with a number of organizations whose internships provide you the opportunity to start making an impact now, while gaining valuable experience as you continue to get your education.

For the more experienced student, a research thesis is also an option instead of the required traditional internship, it usually takes two semesters and includes working with a thesis advisor to research issues that lead to new solutions for communities in need. For more on these options please consult with the Director of the MAGDJ program.

Learn More about MAGDJ Internships


Development and Justice Podcast

This podcast seeks to highlight a faith-based understanding around the nexus of Transformational Community Development, Justice, and Peacebuilding as seen in the approach and lives of graduates, instructors, and partners of the Global Development and Justice program (MAGDJ) at Multnomah University.

Listen to our Development and Justice Podcast

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Study MAGDJ Online or On-campus


Global Development and Justice is a degree that focuses on preparing students to respond with best practices to complex global issues in either local and/or international contexts. For students looking to work with NGOs, non-profits, and other faith-based organizations, both experience and academic training are essential. This degree program provides significant professional training from faculty who have experience and academic proficiency in their fields, as well as experiential opportunities like such as internships and field projects.

There are very few academic programs that will prepare you to work across the nexus of community development, justice, and peacebuilding work. This is our specialty. In the process, we place a high emphasis upon professional excellence and the integration of a Christian worldview. We are also deeply passionate about mentoring and walking with our students through their degree programs. Not only are professors active scholars, on the field, getting it done, but they desire to see students prepared with both soft and hard skills which will facilitate opportunities for job placement and for high-quality results in whatever career path they choose.

Justice is a deeply biblical concept. Biblical social justice requires an emphasis on the kingdom of God. Micah 6:8 states, “He has told you . . . what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” The focus of Micah 6:8 is primarily about relationships, and these relationships center around values established by God himself for his kingdom and people. Thus, biblical justice requires that the people of God are concerned for and partner with those who face significant injustices and vulnerabilities, seeking to address the root issues driving these conditions. Justice work often includes seeking to right the wrongs that are committed against those whom God deeply loves and to restore life to what God intends for people and society. For the Christian, social justice finds itself deeply rooted in the personhood and actions of God.

Advocacy work is generally understood as influencing decision-makers by ensuring that policies and practices are appropriate and just and that the voices of those most marginalized in society are heard. Our faith deeply guides us in how we advocate for those who are disempowered, including those affected by material poverty, systemic injustices, and those who are victims of unjust laws and policies. (Proverbs 31:8-9)

Just peace-building concerns itself with seeing the shalom of God manifested where conflict, corruption, and greed have torn people apart from the potential that God has established for individuals and communities.  True peace or “shalom” is found when relationships are set right—with God, self, others, and with God’s good creation. Accountability and restoration are both necessary aspects of a just peace, seeking for relationships to be set right. In a world filled with division and strife, we believe that peacebuilding is an integral aspect of our Christian witness, as well as a critical component in an approach to holistic development.  Thus, skills such as conflict analysis and conflict transformation are complimented with an emphasis upon the dispositions of a person of peace. (Matthew 5:9)

Investing time, finances, and energy into a graduate program is not for everyone, but it is for those who are seeking a vocation and calling to work across the nexus of development, justice, and peace-building efforts in their local communities or internationally (or both). Experience and academic training go hand in hand when it comes to being employed by a non-profit, church, or international non-governmental organization (NGO). Both play a critical role in ensuring high-quality work and opportunities for employment. If you feel called to engage in addressing complex issues in our world through the lens of God’s heart for the holistic restoration and flourishing of all people—we think it’s worth it, and we would love for you to join us on this journey!

MAGDJ alumni work in cross-sector careers, including the areas of community and international development (43%), social services (32%), mission organizations (7%), churches (5%), and other sectors, including education and health care (13%).