From food banks to health services to after-school programs and more, opportunities to serve in your community are abundant. In fact, the nonprofit sector has grown considerably in the last 10 years—up 20 percent—compared to only 2 to 3 percent in the for-profit sector.

With this growth also comes more teams to facilitate, resources to steward and initiatives to take on. Today’s organizations need leaders who can step into areas of need to cultivate lasting transformation for both their nonprofit and the community it serves.

Five Reasons a Master of Public Administration Could Be Right For You

A graduate program equips you with versatile, practical skills to be effective in bringing lasting change in your work and community. Could a Master of Public Administration at Cornerstone University be the next step for you? To help you answer that important question, here we share five key reasons why this innovative M.P.A. degree program could be right for you as you inspire your community for positive change.

1. You Have a Passion to Start a Nonprofit

Often, it starts with a stirring in your heart that you’re called to something new. It’s a personal experience or something you see in your community that you’ve developed a passion for and a desire to step into that area of need. You’ve got the idea and perhaps a rough draft of the mission statement to launch your own nonprofit. Now, you just need the practical skills in nonprofit business and leadership to start one and know how to lead it well.

With an M.P.A. at CU, you can fuel that passion for work that makes a difference. Be equipped to take the steps you’ll need to start your own nonprofit, including knowledge about how to establish a board, manage finances and bring on other team members.

2. You Want to Move into a Leadership Position Within an Existing Nonprofit

If you are an active member within the nonprofit sector, you can see how your work, no matter your role, makes a difference with those you serve and in your community. And as you continue your journey in the nonprofit space, you may be looking ahead to new leadership roles such as executive director, CEO or program manager. Especially as many nonprofit leaders are nearing retirement age, it may be the perfect time for you to advance your career within the nonprofit sector.

Through practical leadership experience gained in an M.P.A., you’ll develop the skills and credentials you need to move up in your organization into a high-level position. In fact, typical job descriptions for these types of high-level roles include skills like managing relationships, overseeing business operations and strategic planning, which are covered in an M.P.A. program. Be equipped to step into roles that bring more responsibility and empower you to make transformational data-driven decisions.

3. You Want to Be a More Effective and Innovative Nonprofit Leader

Perhaps you are already serving in a leadership role within a nonprofit organization. Whether you’re the CEO, executive director, program manager or volunteer coordinator, you can continue to develop your leadership skills to empower your teams, organization and community to thrive.

The nonprofit sector is growing. And with that growth comes the demand for leaders to be innovative in developing new opportunities to serve the needs of the community. Some of the top in-demand skills and qualities of nonprofit leaders include things like organizational behavior, financial acumen and strategic planning. Within a Master of Public Administration program, you can develop those skills and more with courses like financial management, governance and human resources.

In an M.P.A. program, you’ll also learn alongside peers involved in the nonprofit sector. Network, develop relationships and gain new insight and ideas from those in your community.

4. You Want to Move into the Nonprofit Field from a Different Industry

No matter what industry, field or job title you have, you have the potential to make a difference where you are. Yet if you’re called to move from a for-profit work context into a nonprofit space, an M.P.A. can empower you with the important distinctions and operations to lead well in this unique environment.

Through each course in an M.P.A. at CU, you’ll address various aspects of business and leadership through a nonprofit lens. Be equipped to direct your decisions for the needs of how nonprofits operate—from establishing a board of directors to fundraising to budgeting for a 501(c)3.

Gain insights from our faculty who have worked or are working in the nonprofit sector themselves. These expert practitioners bring in examples and applications as you take what you learn in the classroom into your everyday work.

5. You Aspire Toward Personal Growth In Making a Difference in Your Community

Even if you are looking to improve in your current nonprofit role and not move to another position, an M.P.A. can help you be more effective where you currently are.

Through advancing in education with a Master of Public Administration, you’ll strengthen your understanding of what makes an effective leader and learn how to implement initiatives and programs that allow organizations and communities to be sustainable.

Within an M.P.A. program at CU, you’ll get to choose a specialization to align your personal and professional goals with your learning. Deepen your biblical understanding of justice through a social justice concentration. Or, elevate your understanding of how a nonprofit operates to move an organization forward with data-driven decision-making.

With an intentional educational journey built on a Christ-centered foundation at CU, you’ll see your work as something larger than yourself or your organization. The letters you write, people you hire and plates of food you serve can all be part of living out God’s work for serving and caring for others. Such a lens provides you practical steps for growing both personally and professionally in living out the calling God has for you.

Is a Master of Public Administration Right For You?

With the growing number of nonprofit organizations, there’s a demand for qualified and influential leaders to continue that sustainable growth. Through a practical graduate program such as the Master of Public Administration, you’ll cultivate your vision for positive transformation built on data-driven decisions and practical skills.

Learn more about the Master of Public Administration by visiting our program page or connecting with our enrollment team at or at 616.222.1448.

Learn More About the MPA