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College of Church Leadership
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College of Church Leadership

The College of Church Leadership prepares students to love God and others as passionate, spiritual leaders in churches locally and abroad.

North Central ranked top mission minded university
NCU ranks second highest mission-minded university
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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.

North Central University has announced the formation of a new college and the appointment of new deans, effective June 1, 2018.

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.

Our Programs

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
Faculty Spotlight

Faculty Member Phil Mayo.


College of Church Leadership

Philip L. Mayo, Ph.D.

Professor of New Testament and Greek

I was born and raised in Chesapeake, Virginia and attended college at Oral Roberts University. I did a Masters of Divinity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. at Fuller Theological Seminary. I enjoy flower gardening, fishing, and reading books on history. Before coming to NCU, my wife and I were involved in church ministry for twelve years, first as church planters in Boston, Massachusetts and then as missionaries in Paris, France, where our son was born.


My Ph.D. is in New Testament studies. I did my dissertation on Jewish-Christian relations in the early church with special focus on the book of Revelation. I am proficient in New Testament Greek.


I love my colleagues. The collegiality, the shared faith, and the good natured humor are all plusses. The chance to mentor students and to speak into their lives beyond the classroom brings a pastoral dimension to the position that I like.


I love teaching Bible book classes in particular. My favorite book to teach is Hebrews followed by Revelation.

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.