Rural Matters Institute

Be inspired. Be challenged. Be equipped.

Rural ministry has reached an age of professionalization and complexity that warrants advanced study and preparation. Those who complete this program will provide thought-leadership and practical expertise for rural church ministry. This is very practical program that fosters the holistic development of spiritual maturity, theological integration, and skilled leadership.

Wheaton College Graduate School of Mission, Ministry, and Leadership partnered with Rural Matters Institute to create a unique master’s degree in Ministry Leadership for rural pastors and ministry leaders.

To learn more about the M.A. Ministry Leadership degree in partnership with Rural Matters Institute, contact Ashley Condra at

  • 42 total credit hours to be completed part-time in approximately 3 years.
  • Cohort model that will include 20-25 rural church leaders.
  • Students can receive a 25% tuition discount in a cohort. 
  • Meet 1-2 times per year for intensive courses and the rest are done online.
  • Taught by rural pastors and experts along with a new Church course that's specifically designed for rural ministry.


  • EVAN 526 Gospel: Theological Perspectives (4) ^ 
  • EVAN 545 Culture: Emerging and Global (4) ^ 
  • MIN 542 Movements, Models, and Theology (4) ! 
  • MIN 547 Preaching (2) ^ 
  • MIN 559 Organizational and Change Leadership in Ministry (4) ! 
  • MIN 558 Personal Development & Leadership in Ministry (4) ! 
  • MIN 561 Congregational Leadership: Worship, Discipleship, and Care (4) ! 
  • BITH 553 Exploring the OT (4) ^ 
  • BITH 555 Exploring the NT (4) ^ 
  • BITH 565 Christian Theology (4) ^ 
  • BITH 566 Foundations for Biblical Interpretation (4) ^ 
  • MIN 692 Comprehensive Exam (0)


^ Course offered online 

! RMI will provide course oversight, content, and instruction

→ LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT: Provide holistic development of the emerging leaders spiritually, theologically, and practically.

→ LEARN FROM LEADERS IN RURAL MINISTRY: Courses are taught by world-class faculty with academic credentials and practical experience.

→ REFRESH MID-CAREER LEADERS: Gain a renewed vision and enhanced skills from engagement in these courses.

→ COLLABORATIVE TEAM BUILDING: Cohorts that complete this degree together become collaborative teams that promote ministry effectiveness and continual learning throughout your organization, networking, a time of encouragement.

→ IMPROVEMENT: The assignments completed during this degree will be specifically related to the practice of your ministry and leadership. You will create relevant program plans, solve real problems, and personalize evaluation or research for your ministry. This program is designed to be rich both in knowledge and practice. The cohort model    allows leaders in the same ministry field to learn from one another, network, and is always a time of encouragement.

Interested in the RMI partnership?

It's time to earn your degree and take your ministry to the next level.