Bradley University’s Masters in Nonprofit Leadership Program Moves to a Virtual Format

The nonprofit sector has seen double digit growth over the past decade, making this a great time to take advantage of Bradley University’s Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership program, which is now offered virtually starting this fall.

The program itself has been in existence for 29 years. Nonprofit Leadership Program Coordinator Brad McMillan said it focuses on developing leadership skills that can be used in the nonprofit sector by focusing on a few key areas.

“Strategic planning, financial management, grant writing, public policy advocacy…a lot of people don’t think about it, but the nonprofit sector is the third largest workforce in America,” McMillan said.

With so many people dipping into the nonprofit workforce, McMillan said it made sense to offer this program in a virtual format, so people with busy lives can still take advantage of the program to pursue. their career goals while working full time.

Brad McMillan, coordinator of Bradley University’s Masters in Nonprofit Leadership program.

“The reality is that for graduate students, they work full time, many of them have families, so the convenience of online graduate programs is highly desirable, and Bradley is moving in that direction,” said McMillan.

The course currently stands at 36 credit hours and adopts a unique model to make it as flexible as possible for students by having synchronous and asynchronous virtual content.

“I was really thrilled when we went virtual during the pandemic, I thought we could keep the quality and substance of teaching at a very high level, and we could still have a lot of personal interaction via Zoom with students, so I think that’s the wave of the future,” McMillan said.

Students who are already working full-time for a non-profit organization may be eligible for a 30% tuition discount. McMillan says it was an effort by Bradley to try to keep the program as affordable as possible for those looking to move up the ranks of their current organization.

“The reality is that most nonprofits today seek an advanced degree for senior-level positions within their organizations,” McMillan said.

So, he says, this master’s program is suitable for all types of students – from those looking to get that next-level promotion in an already established organization, to those who have just graduated and are looking to continue their studies. McMillan notes that regardless of what a student may have focused on during their undergraduate years, anyone could benefit from pursuing an education in nonprofit leadership.

He says this is especially true when considering the differences in leadership styles that nonprofits typically have compared to businesses.

“You have to learn to federate and work as a team, following your mission. It can’t be a heavyweight leadership model that works in the nonprofit sector. Not just with the professional management team that you have, but with volunteers, soliciting donations in the community,” says McMillan.

Along with this personal leadership style, McMillan says there’s a common thread among her graduates that drives them to work for nonprofits.

“They all want to make a meaningful difference in the community. The nonprofit sector reaches so many people in need,” McMillan said.

With this program, students can jump into the community to make that difference fairly quickly. The Master of Arts in Nonprofit Leadership can be completed in just 16 months. However, students have up to five years to complete the program, making it completely adaptable to the student’s schedule.

Students interested in more information about the program can find this on Bradley’s website. McMillan also said he was happy to speak personally with any student considering applying. He can be reached at [email protected] or (309) 677-4408.

Ryan H. Bowman