What our students are saying…

“Vanguard University has played a huge role in moving my career forward. It helped me step into a new job where I began managing people for the first time. I had confidence that I could immediately build and manage teams, manage conflict, and develop strategic plans for the departments I oversaw. I highly recommend Vanguard’s Graduate Programs.”

Jeremy Moser, CPA, CTPFormer Chief Financial Officer, Mariner’s Church

“I’ve been able to manage graduate level work, not sacrifice my family time, and work a full-time ministry position. A credentialed minister for over thirty-years, this program has reawakened my passionate call to ministry. The impact it’s had on my life and ministry is immeasurable – one of the best decisions I have made in my ministerial journey!”

Gordon HoustonAssistant Superintendent, SoCal Network Assemblies of God

“Vanguard University helped me understand and learn what leadership is all about. I learned how to create high-performing teams, how to effectively lead those teams in the proper strategic direction, how to communicate clearly, and when to set short- and long-term goals. I also learned about leadership through the demonstrated example of the instructors themselves. I continue to have relationships with many of my professors and fellow students today. I highly recommend Vanguard University to anyone I know considering completing their Undergraduate or Masters-level education.”

David H. Blackman, PhDVice President,First American Title Corporate Information Technology

“My education at Vanguard was the lynchpin in my post-graduation success. Not only do I have the tools to think and plan strategically, and to guide managers and employees towards success of their own, but Vanguard’s graduate program stoked a passion that connected me to my vocation. I’m doing exactly what I was made to do, and can honestly say that Vanguard played the most critical role in preparing me to follow my calling.”

Jenny SumnerHR Director, One Distribution

“I spent several years working in the media and the music industry, when I stumbled upon my real passion: leadership development. I realized that I needed to continue to learn more so that I could do more. I was drawn to Vanguard’s MALS program because it brought together two areas that were meaningful to me: leadership and spirituality. Today I’m back in the corporate world, helping lead over 700 people. Thanks to the Vanguard MALS program, I was prepared for bigger responsibilities and equipped with the practical knowledge and tools that I needed for bigger challenges.”

Liz CladioAssistant Vice President, Quorum Holdings Corporation

“It has been a “thought oasis”- a place for reflection and learning.  The grad program opened a space for me to focus on my own leadership development. Enrolling forced me to open room in my life and thoughts for critical reflection on the Scriptures and how they practically play out in ministry.  The professors were forward thinking and critical of culture in ways that challenged and sharpened me as a leader.”

Christine NolfExecutive Director / Co-Founder, Mika Community Development Corporation

“I own and lead a personal training company.  Innovative Results has 200 clients, seven trainers, and serve the Costa Mesa community and surrounding cities. I also lead a section of sixteen Marines in the Marine Corps reserves with 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion in Camp Pendleton. This program has done more in two years to improve the way I experience what I love than any other program I have ever been a part of, both military and academia. I used to view leadership as only a strategy to win or attain more power, but now I have been immersed in the theological and theoretical positions of servant-leader, transformational leader, and culturally understanding care-taker. With this new skill set, strategy, example, and wisdom I have seen major growth in my Marines, business, and family.”

Aaron GuyettPresident, Innovative Results

“My experience at Vanguard University is foundational to my work with leaders. In every consulting engagement I continue to draw from my learnings in the MA program. My preparation addressed both the “how” and “why” of organizational leadership and the importance of the spiritually integrated self. I was exposed to gifted academic practitioners who I still consider mentors to this day. I did not know it at the time but my idea of ministry was transformed. After serving as an Executive Pastor in the local church for several years, I was compelled to think of my ministry in a different way. Today I work seamlessly between the for-profit and non-profit worlds serving leaders who want to build organizations worthy of the people who work in them. While my professional life has grown, my academic pursuits have continued. I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Leadership and Change. I do not believe I could have been better prepared for the journey. I am always delighted to respond when my colleagues or clients ask, “Where did you learn that?”

Chip EspinozaCEO, GeNext Consulting

Biblically Informed, Culturally Relevant, Spiritually Inspiring

  • Vanguard’s graduate religion faculty challenge students to engage their professional discipline passionately and contemplatively. With each passing class session, you will gain Biblical knowledge and skills that will inform your work and service.
  • Your graduate training in religion at Vanguard will also help you make the most of every opportunity. Through interaction with course materials, professors and fellow students, many of whom are in full-time ministry, you will gain broad knowledge which will yield an immediate benefit in your own community, classroom or scholarly research.
  • Our goal is to fully-engaged our students both intellectually and spiritually. You will find that your studies at Vanguard University will enhance your faith, increase your passion, and provide partners to help you grow.


  • Courses schedules in both programs are created with working adults in mind.
  • Students can choose from a variety of format options, including traditional, hybrid, and online.
  • Class sizes are kept small, fostering connections between peers.
  • Faculty are not only world-renowned, but also committed and accessible to their students.
  • Tuition costs are affordable, providing a great value for quality education.


For almost 100 years, Vanguard University of Southern California has been a leader in educational innovation within its denomination, and in fulfilling its founders’ vision of training men and women for Christian ministry. From the very beginning, the program in religion has played a central role in the fulfillment of that mission. Our commitment to excellent theological education is rooted in that long legacy.

A major milestone was reached in 1983, when the University initiated its first graduate program leading to the Master of Arts (M.A.), an academic degree with a major in religion and concentrations in Biblical Studies and Leadership Studies. This program was well received, and in 1991, a three- year professional degree leading to a Master of Theological Studies (M.T.S.) was added.

Recent News


New Online Master's Degree Leadership Studies

The challenges in today's settings, whether churches, nonprofits,…