Concentration in Nonprofit Management

The Department offers a certificate in Non-Profit Management for the Master of Arts in Religious Studies.

Program Description

Students in the Concentration in Nonprofit Management will develop expertise in both nonprofit management skills and diverse cultural systems that will prepare them uniquely for service in metropolitan Atlanta as well as in national and international nonprofit organizations. Students who graduate from this unique program will have the requisite cultural training in Religious Studies as well as the preparation for employment in a nonprofit agency.

This program is:

  • singular: there’s no other program like it in the state of Georgia;
  • collaborative: Religious Studies and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies designed a program that prepares students for careers in the non-profit world; and
  • focused on theory, method and practice: students gain an understanding of the world’s religions and complete an internship in their areas of interest as part of the course requirements.

Administration and Curriculum

The Religious Studies faculty, led by the Director of Graduate Studies, will oversee the Religion and Nonprofit Management concentration. The administration of the concentration will include:

Admissions: Applicants must meet the admission requirements of Master’s degree-seeking students in terms of test scores, transcripts, the application fee, forms, and goals statement. Admission may occur in one of two ways. 1) A candidate may initially apply and be admitted to the M.A. in Religious Studies program (COAS). Then during the first year in that program, that student may apply to the Certificate Program in Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise in the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. 2) Alternatively, a candidate may apply to both the AYSPS Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise Certificate program and the Masters Program in Religious Studies (COAS) simultaneously. Admission to the concentration is dependent on admission to both programs.

Once admitted, students will complete the Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise requirements as outlined below in the second year of coursework for the M.A. in Religious Studies (course-intensive track). The requirements for the Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise Certificate would also be accepted as electives toward the M.A. in Religious Studies. At the end of two years, a student will graduate with an M.A. in Religious Studies and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise from the AYSPS.

Supervision: The M.A. is housed in the Department of Religious Studies, and the Director of Graduate Studies supervises students’ progress through the concentration.
The Concentration in Nonprofit Management has the following requirements:
Thirty-six hours of intensive coursework. As part of these thirty-six hours, a student successfully must complete:

Year 1 (18 hours):
1. RELS 8200 Pro-Seminar in Advanced Theory and Method (3)
2. At least one course from each of the following areas (6):
• History of Religions (Abrahamic Traditions)
• History of Religions (non-Abrahamic Traditions)
3. One course in comparative/thematic approaches to religions (3)
4. Two courses in religion and ethics/politics (6)
*Exceptions to this course plan can be made at the discretion of the Religious Studies Graduate Director.
Year 2 (18 hours):
5. One additional seminar in Religious Studies (3 credit hours)
6. Nonprofit electives coursework in the AYSPS: 12 graduate level hours)
a. AYSPS Certificate Required Course (3 hours):
PMAP 8210 Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector
b. AYSPS Certificate Approved Elective Courses (6 hours – choose two):
PMAP 8213 Nonprofit Financial Resources
PMAP 8261 Nonprofit Financial Management
PMAP 8223 Nonprofit Human Resources

c. Electives (3 hours – choose one):
Rels 6650, Religion and Ethics
Rels 6140 Religion and Law
Rels 6485 Ethics & Morality in Islam
Rels 6645 Religion and Sexuality in Popular Culture
OR an alternate 6000- or 8000- level course approved by the Director of Graduate Studies.

7. One semester internship (3 graduate level hours) offered through the Department of Religious Studies.

This course schedule brings the total credit hours for the program to thirty-six hours. Because the interests and goals of each student are distinct, students are highly encouraged to consult the Director of Graduate Studies (RELS) when selecting courses to complete the program of study.

8. Submit one paper representative of high quality graduate level research and writing. This paper will normally be written as the final paper for the elective taken to fulfill requirement “6.c” above.
This paper will be received and reviewed by the Faculty Advisor for the Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management and Social Enterprise as well as a faculty member in the Department of Religious Studies. This paper must articulate the relevance of the graduate-level Religious Studies course to the management of nonprofit organizations. This provides assurance that the student is integrating the knowledge gained in Religious Studies with the training in nonprofit management and vice versa.
In addition to coursework requirements, students must have a minimum GPA of 3.0 at the end of their first term and maintain a 3.2 GPA in subsequent semesters.