Master of Arts in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) is an entirely field-based program that prepares students to implement spiritual, socioeconomic, political, and environmental change throughout the world.

This program is designed for action-oriented individuals, social entrepreneurs, community development workers, builders of new faith communities, and emergent leaders who desire to live and serve among the 1.3 billion who live in slum communities.

With over one billion poor people living without adequate shelter and basic services in slums and squatter settlements, the challenge of the urban millennium is to improve the living environment of the poor ... we must all dedicate ourselves to the task of ensuring that, one day, we will live in a world of cities without slums.

– Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UNCHS

About Us



Following Jesus' incarnational model, students live with a family in or near a slum community, so as to enter into the lifestyles, issues and contexts of the poor.

Social Entrepreneurship

Social Entrepreneurship

Each course begins and ends in action, resulting in transformation of people's lives and the contexts and issues of urban poverty.

Learning Communities

Learning Communities

The program emphasizes action and reflection on the complexities of urban poor life. Students learn from movement leaders and under experienced NGO and world experts.

Get Involved

  • #1 Service to the Marginalized

    This course guides students in understanding the conditions of marginalized populations and in formulating a theology and strategy for team-based responses that aim to free individuals and change structural causes.

  • #2 Educational Center Development

    This course offers analysis of local education with a focus on developing and improving preschool, elementary, and technical schools in the slums as integral to the work of urban poor churches.

  • #3 Theology & Practice of Community Economics

    This course relates biblical and theological perspectives on human development to the theory and practice of community wealth building.

  • #4 Primary Health Care

    An exploration of public health challenges facing the Church within slum communities, along with innovative, community-based responses, this course highlights topics such as environmental health, maternal and child health, and chronic health conditions prevalent in slums. Students serve as mentored interns with a health organization in the community where they live or work.

  • #5 Advocacy & The Urban Environment

    Students examine the relations between urban poor communities, the land, and broader environmental problems including natural disasters. Fieldwork focuses on advocacy for adequate housing, infrastructure services, and effective disaster response.

  • #6 Building Faith Communities

    This course applies a story-telling approach to the process of entering poor communities and developing holistic poor peoples' churches in ways faithful to the values and goals of the Kingdom of God.