Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainable Communities

Lead for Sustainable Community Development

Maybe you've got a passion for being a leader within a sustainable community in a profit or non-profit sector. Maybe you're interested in exploring community issues and want to become an agent for social change. Or maybe you're just looking for a degree that is as committed to enhancing the society as you are. Whatever your goals, the Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainable Communities degree can help you get there with a course that's as unique as you are.

Get your degree on time and on target

With three semesters a year, our Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainable Communities program lets you earn your degree at a faster pace than traditional programs. Most students take two classes per semester, and you can finish your MALSC within two years. There are several class formats and time slots, including night classes, that you can choose from to help fit your busy lifestyle.

Customize what you study

You’ll carve yourself a course of study that fits your individual needs and interests. The MALSC graduate program is flexible and allows for some personalized curricular design. At Alvernia, you can explore your passions and study topics that have meaningful significance to your educational pursuits.

You'll find the MALSC courses are designed to help you become an agent of social change through critical discussion, analysis of community issues, and creation of graduate level service and/or research projects to mitigate community challenges. Our small class sizes help ensure you’ll receive personalized learning and attention.

Learn from culturally and environmental-savvy faculty and instructors

Our faculty members and instructors have real-world expertise as impressive as their academic backgrounds. Trained in adult learning and committed to furthering your education, they continually refine what they teach to reflect what’s really happening in the communities. Initially, you'll work closely with the MALSC program coordinator to craft a course of study that suits your objectives.

The skills you need to be in demand

Developed by faculty with decades of experience in community development, our Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainable Communities curriculum will give you valuable insight and teach you to effectively get involved within the community to:

  • Examine basic principles, theory and applications relevant to leadership for cultural, economic and environmental sustainability
  • Develop an interdisciplinary awareness of culture, environment and economics
  • Reflect on a variety of world-views and what it means to be liberally educated
  • Experience the meaning of community
  • Consider our roles as citizens for social justice
  • Encourage intellectual risks by contemplating difficult choices
  • Investigate methods for community preservation and cultivation
  • Develop and implement sustainable service-oriented projects
  • Define activism through engagement
  • Explore fundamentals of economics and over-consumption
  • Explore environmental principles and anthropocentrism
  • Explore cultural ethnicity, heritage and globalization
  • Discuss the impact of technology on culture, economics, and environment
  • Analyze case studies through critical writing and thinking
  • Synthesize and implement solutions to real-life problems 

For more information about the Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainable Communities program, view the curriculum required for this degree, read about the MALSC program in our Graduate Brochure (PDF), learn more about our admission process, or request more information.

Contact Admissions:


Information Session

  • Wednesday, July 22nd  5:30 pm – 7:00pm
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Faculty Perspective

Spence Stober

Spencer Stober, Ed.D.
Associate Professor of Biology
Director of Center for Ethics & Leadership

“The Master of Arts in Leadership for Sustainable Communities program is designed to engage students with knowledge and experience in the basic principles of cultural, environmental, and socio-economic sustainability.  The program promotes leadership to develop sustainable communities by repairing past damage and ensuring that the policies and procedures of contemporary society provide for both the present and the future.”

Student Profile

student profile


Sean Cullen, MALSC '11

"Our program's flexible nature and encouraging faculty not only helped me become better prepared for the 'real world', but allowed for me to gain valuable experiences and memories through performing hands-on, meaningful assignments, such as working with a non-profit and traveling to the Dominican Republic."

Jessica Umbenhauer, MALSC ’10

“The MALSC program in Community Leadership has taught me how to be an agent of change in my community at work and at home. By looking at the cultural, social and environmental impacts we have on our society, the MALSC program challenges me to find ways to solve current issues facing our communities as well as make it more sustainable for the future.”

master of arts in leadership for sustainable communities

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