The M.A. in Global Development and Justice (MAGDJ) program prepares students to work across the nexus of justice, peacebuilding, and transformational community development work. Together with biblical insights and best practices, the degree program prepares community development leaders, cross-cultural workers, justice leaders, and humanitarian specialists in cross-sector vocational skills and opportunities.

This academic experience is available fully on-campus (or online) and provides you with the opportunity to be part of a learning community as you study together with a cohort of students and are mentored by professors who have both academic expertise and practical experience. If you are inspired by holistic, sustainable solutions that build capacity in vulnerable communities in the U.S. or abroad, our on-campus MAGDJ program is designed for you.

Ways to study

Graduate | On-campus | Online

Program tracks

Standard | Executive | Part-time

Course schedule

One class at a time for Standard Track (Wednesday evening) with 8 week terms

Certificates available

Peacebuilding | Bible Foundations

Course plan

12-months to 4-years

Application deadlines

Reconcile and Transform

Expert faculty use a multidisciplinary approach to develop compassionate leaders who are prepared to engage with a plethora of human needs in multicultural contexts today. Study abroad opportunities are offered every year with program faculty. 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.

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

Meet Your Professors

Greg Burch, Ph.D.
Associate Professor and Chair, Global Studies; Director, Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice
Faculty Headshot Karen Fancher
Karen Fancher, D.Int.St.
Assistant Professor, Global Studies and Master of Arts in Global Development and Justice

Program Certificates (Optional)

The Peacebuilding certificate at Multnomah University examines approaches to peacebuilding in contexts of physical, cultural, and systemic violence seeking to develop frameworks for reducing violence and promoting shalom in communities.

The name of this certificate is Peacebuilding, which reflects an emphasis on human flourishing and dignity while emphasizing a theological engagement with the topic. Specifically, this certificate reflects a focus on the theological notion of Shalom and our institution’s mission to shape students to be a transforming force in the church, community, and world.

This certificate is for those who plan to work in a vocational ministry or a church context and do not have previous biblical training. The Bible Foundations certificate in MAGDJ includes earning a certificate offered by Multnomah Biblical Seminary (MBS). This 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:

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

“Working cross-culturally can be challenging, and there are so many factors to consider. MAGDJ gave me the skills and resources I needed to engage in international ministry in a way that is helpful and honoring to the communities we serve, instead of unintentionally causing more harm.”

Emily Helt '20, Sponsorship Director at Lahash International

MAGDJ Internship Program

For those just starting off in 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

Listen Now
Study MAGDJ on-campus or online.


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%).