Online Master of Arts in International Community Development
It takes more than good intentions to create real change in the world. It takes preparation. It takes knowledge. And it takes humility to learn from those we seek to help.
The Master of Arts in International Community Development degree will equip you to work with communities to create sustainable, community-owned and community-honoring change.
The MAICD curriculum has a practical emphasis and includes qualitative research skills, a six-credit certificate in Outcomes-Oriented Program Management, and opportunities to collaborate with existing nonprofit organizations. You’ll gain a big-picture view of community development and social justice issues, and an understanding of how they are interrelated. You will also be challenged to focus on a particular cause that you care about, and create a project or thesis around this theme.
Program Quick Facts
- Next start: January 2, 2023
- 36 credits
- $727 per credit
- $13,086 annual tuition costs (2022–23)
- 20–24 months
- Choice of 6–8 credits per semester
- All online except two one-week international trips
- Trip to Costa Rica January 2–8, 2023
- Fully accredited university
Make your community development work as effective as possible.
You may know Robert Katende as the inspiring chess coach behind the Disney film Queen of Katwe. The creative community development work he began through chess was already making a difference in Uganda and around Africa, but he knew he wanted to do more. He chose the MA in International Community Development to help him evaluate and expand his work.
We include the U.S. among the nations represented by “international,” and many of our locally-focused students find that the program is perfect fit for their work. Bonita Broadnax chose the MA in International Community Development to help her work with those needing low-income housing in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
MAICD Application Information
- October 1st with an acceptance decision in late October
- November 1st with an acceptance decision in late November
- December 1st with an acceptance decision before Christmas
- No GRE required
- FAFSA eligible
- Military benefits available
Hear From Our Graduates
Many of our International Community Development graduates have gone on to make the world a better place. Some have worked with local governments. Others have been employed by existing relief organizations. Still others have started their own organizations. All have been equipped for success.
Student Focus Areas
Our students’ areas of focus vary widely, including both local and international issues and settings. Students create thesis projects around their chosen topics, and very often put these projects into practice—either in their current professional roles, or soon after graduation. These topics have included:
- localized community development
- human trafficking prevention/solutions
- employment for vulnerable populations
- social enterprise
- technology/design for developing contexts
- empowering trauma survivors
- healthy church/community partnerships
- holistic missions
- orphan or elder care
- environmental justice and sustainability
- refugee/immigrant assistance
- contextualized nutrition
- educational issues for developing contexts
- race relations and equality
- peacemaking/ peacebuilding
- empowering women and children
- land rights and water access
Common Career Paths
Relief and Development Nonprofits
Whether you are a current seasoned professional or just starting out, we can help you take your career in relief and development to the next level. Our practical classes can be applied to many roles, including project manager, program evaluator, fundraiser, and country director.
Your Own Organization
Make your own social enterprise, nonprofit organization, business, or network more purposeful, sustainable, and effective. Some of our alumni begin the program having already launched an organization, and have used the MAICD degree to become more effective, credible, and sustainable. Others go on to start their own initiatives after graduation.
Local Government and Advocacy
Work for the department of labor, health and human services, tribal relations, city planning, advocacy and policy groups influencing the government, or nonprofits in partnerships with local government. Direct, facilitate, or serve as a consultant.
Schools and Education Systems
Start a school for a disadvantaged population, advocate on behalf of immigrant students, advise multicultural programs, organize an educational program, or teach students of all ages. Our graduates serve in all levels of education.
Church Ministries and Missions
Serve as a missions director, an urban outreach coordinator, or a missionary; transform your context through a holistic approach to intercultural work, and create healthy partnerships in your community and around the world.
Become a cultural communications consultant or a minority rights advocate, start a clinic, or facilitate the sustainable growth of improved healthcare in a particular context. Medical professionals often take our program as a way to orient their skillset around issues of community health and/or cross-cultural praxis.
Businesses and Foundations
Work in the corporate relations department of a business, or in a philanthropic foundation. Found your own social purpose business. Become a grant coordinator or a community impact researcher. Ensure that organizations doing great work are truly sustainable.
Plan your thesis project in Oxford
And return to another international city to defend your thesis project (most recently, to Prague). With our online global hybrid program, you will not only have the opportunity to travel for your fieldwork (if desired), but you will also have two one-week trips with your cohort, as you first process and plan your fieldwork and thesis or thesis project, and later defend and present your final work to your cohort, family, and friends. For the cohort beginning in August of 2020, these trips are scheduled for summer 2021 and summer 2022. More than just a chance to study together, these week-long trips will allow you and your peers to become both friends and central figures in each other’s emerging professional networks. It’s an important program feature that will enrich your online learning experience.
Why Choose Northwest University for your MA in International Community Development Degree?
Learn through hands-on experience.
Our practical skills classes comprise the Graduate Certificate in Outcomes-Oriented Program Management, which you will earn as a part of your MAICD degree, and feature opportunities for intensive hands-on engagement with organizations in the field.
Study in a diverse, close-knit cohort.
Our students live and work all over the world. Uniquely among Christian International Community Development programs, the MAICD does not require students to embrace a particular faith statement, so you can expect to engage a real-world variety of perspectives. And with our built-in trips, and the consistent community resulting from a retention rate of 95%, you will know your cohort well.
Maximize your cross-cultural influence.
We equip you to understand the culture of a given service context by teaching an ethos of listening well in the spirit of mutual empowerment. Our core belief? You must know a culture deeply—and surrender yourself to the wisdom of those whom you serve—if you want your efforts to have maximum impact.
Focus on your passion.
Our program allows you to tailor your fieldwork, coursework focus, and thesis project to your specific interests, while still equipping you with a global view of the field.
Understand and embrace your calling at a Christian university.
ICD professors seek to incorporate components of spiritual growth, personal transformation, and vocational exploration alongside academic learning. Our premise? The most effective service flows out of a well-developed sense of one’s core values.
Receive the highest accreditation possible.
We represent the gold standard in accreditation. You’ll strengthen your professional credibility and graduate knowing that your degree is widely recognized and deeply respected.
At Northwest University, we have over 80 years of experience in creating and teaching curriculum, and over 12 years teaching the MA in International Community Development. Our faculty have invested that experience—as well as their own development practitioner experience and the collaborative input of alumni and nonprofit representatives—into every one of the 36 credits that make up our Master of Arts in International Community Development degree.