The most important job of a business should be to improve society.*

*Based on an 18-country study conducted by the World Economic Forum.

About the Program

Benerd College's MA in Leadership, Leading for Social Justice is a 26-month program intended to cultivate and support current and rising leaders. The program will develop skills and perspectives to enact ethical and sustainable change in one's community, organization or beyond. Students in the program will engage in hands-on, authentic experiences, both locally and globally, to develop their leadership skills.

Flexible Format

The Master’s in Leadership’s low-residency programs offer students the opportunity to live anywhere and work full-time. The majority of our coursework is online with weekly evening classes and once-a-month Saturday sessions. Students are only required to be on campus for three days at the beginning, middle*, and end of the program.


*International experience in Summer, Year 1

Unique Program Outcomes

  • The only MA in Leadership, Leading for Social Justice program offered in California
  • All instructors are current practitioners in the field

  • Projects are geared towards real-life application to social impact initiatives

Please visit the GradCAS website for more information and to apply.

Priority Admission
Jan 15

Application Deadline
May 31

Rolling admission based on space availability

26 months

Online, low residency

International Experience

Course Sequence

Year 1, Fall

  • LEAD 260 — How to Change the World
  • LEAD 261 — Design Thinking for Social Impact

Year 1, Spring

  • LEAD 262 — Understanding Social Impact and Change
  • LEAD 221 — Facilitation of Projects and Initiatives

Year 1, Summer

  • LEAD 263 — Global Social Change*
  • LEAD 220 — Creativity and Ideation

Year 2, Fall

  • LEAD 201 — The Ethical Leader
  • LEAD 210 — Action Research

Year 2, Spring

  • LEAD 200 — Leading in Diverse Contexts
  • LEAD 265 — Reflective Practice for Leadership and Change

Year 2, Summer

  • EDU296S — Integrative Capstone for Social Impact

Mission and Vision

The Mission of Benerd is to prepare thoughtful, reflective, creative and collaborative professionals for service to diverse populations through personalized and transformational learning experiences.

Our Vision is to cultivate hubs of innovation and learning by empowering passionate leaders in Northern California and beyond.


  • Personalized and Transformational Learning: For students from all backgrounds and experiences who are passionate about making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities. 
  • Strength-based Community Focus: We build upon the strengths of our region by working within our diverse communities to be a true partner in helping Northern California realize its full potential.
  • Innovation and Learning: In everything we do, we explicitly focus on fostering hubs of innovation and learning throughout Northern California, which will serve as living models for how educators can partner with their communities to influence real change.

Certificate Pathways

The Leadership for Social Impact certificate is a four-course, 12-unit for-credit certificate designed those interested in learning how to lead organizations for social impact. This certificate focuses on advancing our understanding of the social barriers that reinforce social inequalities, while developing strategies for dismantling structures that support existing systems of privilege.

Students have the option of stacking all 12 units into Benerd’s Master of Arts in Leadership, Leading for Social Justice program. Classes are online with one in-person meeting.

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We take a hands on approach with our students. This means we want to get to know you throughout your discovery and application process. Help us connect with you by taking the next step. 

As Benerd College’s graduate programs are hybrid, distance learning opportunities, University of the Pacific cannot issue Forms I-20 or DS-2019 for prospective students seeking sponsorship via F or J visas.  Should you have any follow-up questions, please contact the Office of International Programs and Services at


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Benerd College Leadership Programs

3601 Pacific Avenue

Stockton, CA, 95211

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