The College of Church Leadership prepares students to love God and others as passionate, spiritual leaders in churches locally and abroad.
A North Central student learns to reframe her thinking about human trafficking and how to address the issues surrounding it after a powerful mission trip to Romania.
Are you called? You want to preach the Gospel. You want to serve, but as a high school senior, it can be hard to know if pastoral ministry is the path you’re called to. A pastoral studies major may be the right next step.
Preparing the next generation of church leaders is central to our mission at North Central, and has been since our founding in 1930. So we’re committed to equipping you with the biblical foundation, spiritual formation, and cultural awareness you need to follow your calling to serve the Kingdom.
We offer programs in a variety of areas, whether you want to be a lead pastor or plant a church or work with youth. You’ll study with experienced, dedicated professors who have extensive biblical and theological training, along with diverse experiences, as you learn to minister, lead, and share the Word of God. Your professors will be your mentors as you form a deep personal relationship with God and grow in your understanding of the Bible.
Plus, North Central’s Spirit-filled community and unique location in downtown Minneapolis will give you opportunities to gain real-world ministry experience as you earn your degree.
School of Pastoral Studies
- Pastoral Studies
- Youth, Children and Family Ministry
school of Intercultural Studies
- Intercultural Studies major (includes four tracks)
- Children and Youth in Crisis
- TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)
- International Development and Business
school of Biblical and Theological Studies
- Biblical and Theological Studies major
- Church Leadership
"North Central had an enormous impact on how I would pursue my calling to ministry. Not only was my classroom experience extremely essential, but so was the one-on-one attention I received from professors. Their years of experience enabled them to point out areas where I needed to grow as a student and a spiritual leader. I would not be here without them."Zeus Vital '13 - Pastoral Studies Major
Meet the dean
College of Church Leadership
D. Allen Tennison, Ph.D.
Dean of the College of Church Leadership, Associate Professor of Theology
After living in Los Angeles for 15 years, I decided to move to Minneapolis in order to teach at North Central University. Even in the dead of winter, I am glad I made that move. North Central University is a fantastic community with a mission that I wholeheartedly support.
What are your areas of expertise?
My education is in historical theology, and my specialty is the early development of Pentecostal theology, particularly pneumatology (doctrine of the Spirit). My interests include church history (which I taught for years in other schools), global and ecumenical theology, and the intersection of theology and culture, including the sciences.
What do you love about teaching at North Central?
I have taught at a handful of schools since 2001, and never experienced the camaraderie among my peers that I have at North Central University. The students at NCU are also a pleasure to teach. I especially enjoy watching and guiding their development as some take class after class with me.
What are your favorite classes to teach?
There is not a class that I don’t enjoy teaching, but the classes that I teach the most include “Pentecostal Distinctives” (covering the history and theology of the Pentecostal movement) and “God and the Gospel” which serves as our core theology class. I am excited about a number of classes currently in development that focus on the intersection of theology with the modern world. These classes, known as “worldview theology” classes, will answer significant questions such as “how do I faithfully navigate a world of diverse beliefs?”, “what does it mean to be human and what does that meaning require of me?”, “how can I contribute to and participate in contemporary culture?” and “what does it mean to work meaningfully in the modern world?”
What Sets Us Apart
- Internship Opportunities
The internships experience is an important part of all programs in the College of Church Leadership at North Central. You’ll have opportunities to intern with NCU’s partner churches and organizations. Your internship will present you with new challenges and learning experiences as you prepare for your career after graduation and get one step closer to living out your calling.
One of the keys to a successful internship is the mentoring relationship you’ll form with your internship supervisor and your advising professor. We work with our partner churches and organizations to make sure your internship is a valuable, fulfilling experience. Plus, you’ll be supported, mentored, and coached by your advising professor throughout your internship and afterwards as you reflect on the experience. This will give you insights into your passions and God-given talents, and help you pursue a fulfilling career path. Plus, when you finish your internship you’ll have hands on experience in the field and a network of people who work in your field and can recommend you to future employers—or hire you!
- Ministry Opportunities
Our tight Christian community, spiritual environment, and unique location in the heart of Minneapolis will give you plenty of opportunities to minister to the people around you.
You can get involved in on-campus ministry opportunities by becoming a Discipleship Leader who mentors fellow students in weekly discipleship meetings called LifeCore or participating in RENDER, our student-led chapel services.
There are also opportunities to partner with ministries in the local community.
- Spiritual Formation
Personal spiritual formation is a part of everything we do at North Central. From the relationships you’ll develop with friends, RAs, and Discipleship Leaders in your residence hall, to daily chapel services featuring spirit-filled worship and relevant messages, to classroom discussions about how you can integrate your faith into your career and everyday life, you’ll be challenged to take time—every day—to develop your personal relationship with Jesus.
This focus on spiritual formation will prepare you as a mature, wise, well-grounded ministry leader when you graduate from your program and go out into the world. You’ll be ready to help others in their times of need, lead them and mentor them in their own walks with God, and follow your calling to serve the Lord and grow the Kingdom.