Master of Arts in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL)

(626) 857-2213,

The M.A. in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) is a 39-unit degree that pursues transformation through church development, community development, and advocacy among the economically disadvantaged and marginalized communities. To focus engagement, MATUL students live and study in the global city of Los Angeles.

The program is distinctive in its focus on preparing students to bring about lasting change in urban marginalized communities. Through a unique combination of classroom study, experiential learning, and mentored fieldwork, the program trains entrepreneurial leaders in indigenous faith-rooted movements and social transformation (e.g., schools, health clinics, churches, advocacy initiatives) that brings hope, spiritual liberation, family transformation, new economic opportunities, meaningful employment, and political rights to disenfranchised urban communities. 

Mission Statement

The M.A. in Transformational Urban Leadership enhances the capacity of emerging and established Christian leaders working among impoverished urban populations with wisdom, knowledge, character, and leadership skills required to facilitate indigenous faith-rooted movements and community transformation.

Distinct Features

Action-Reflection Learning: Living in residence and/or working with marginalized urban communities enables students to combine living, serving, and learning in an integrated approach to leadership development.

Blended Delivery: Courses combine theological reflection, compassionate action, social analysis, and character development. Coursework is complemented by culture-specific resources and interaction with national movement leaders and field mentors. 

Field Support: The challenge of living and learning in complex urban environments is balanced with practical support within a learning community of peers, field mentors, and community transformation professionals.

Admission Requirements

Additional information on the MATUL program, including application materials, is available online at

International students have a separate application procedure. Contact the International Center at +1-626-812-3055,, or

Once the admissions office in the Graduate and Professional Center has received all admission materials, the MATUL staff will review the applicant’s completed file. The applicant will then be notified of the committee’s decision.

Applicants for the MATUL program must submit the following:

  • Transcript of bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Evidence of academic capacity and personal maturity for graduate field study in resource-poor communities as communicated through GPA, personal references (one academic reference and one pastoral reference), and the applicant’s spiritual autobiography and urban ministry essay.
  • Evidence of sufficient written and oral ability in English to make progress in the degree program. Review requirements listed in the English Proficiency Requirements section of this catalog.
  • APU graduate application form with application fee attached.
  • In addition to cognitive standards, applicants are required to meet physical-sensory standards adequate for extended cross-cultural situations of high stress.
Curriculum for Domestic Urban Program
Core Courses (31 units)
TUL 500Biblical Theology in an Urban Context3
TUL 520Urban Spirituality3
TUL 540Urban Reality and Theology3
TUL 570Multicultural Ministry3
TUL 584Contextual and Global Theology3
TUL 592The Synoptic Gospels3
TUL 630Community Transformation3
TUL 635Community Conflict Transformation3
TUL 640Entrepreneurial and Organizational Leadership3
TUL 671Research Final Project2
TUL 675Research Final Project2
Field Courses8
Service Among the Marginalized
Practical Theology of Community Economics
Art and Community Change
Advocacy and the Urban Environment
Total Units39