1306 N. Highland Street
Arlington, VA  22201
(703) 812-4757

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Are you an intellectually curious and devoted follower of Christ, passionate about exploring the crossroads of faith, work and community life? Consider taking a class or two with like-minded folks in our community at Leland. At Leland we are excited to offer classes that are accessible to people from diverse walks of life, ranging from topics like "Theology of Work" to "Advanced Biblical Study in Revelation" to "World Religions." Our one-page application to take classes as a "graduate special student" is quick and easy to complete and will qualify you to take up to size two-credit masters-level classes or audit as many classes as you want without entering a formal graduate program. If you don't have your bachelor's degree yet, we have something for you too! Our School of Ministry offers bachelor's-level classes, and applying is just as easy.

Interested in more information? See our Class Schedule page for the classes we will be offering in the coming term. See Financing Your Education for current tuition rates and fees. Or, contact Debbie McCain Wesley, Director of Enrollment, and she will be glad to answer any questions you have and get you started on your journey with Leland.


This season the issues of racial reconciliation, community health, and the role of law enforcement have been at the forefront of our public consciousness. This is a kairos moment for a program we at Leland have been developing throughout the last year. The S.A.L.T. Project (Spirituality and Law Enforcement Training) aims to bring clergy and law enforcement together in a dialogue to consider their complementary roles in pursuing "shalom" both in the community and in their own personal well-being as public servants. Rev. Samuel Feemster, a retired FBI trainer, and Dr. Jeff Willetts, Professor of Divinity at Leland - both are pastors as well - are uniquely qualified to lead this project. Both have been involved for the last several years with training law enforcement officers and theological students in the areas of spirituality and pastoral care in the context of law enforcement. As a part of the project, Leland will be offering MF4331-Spirituality and Law Enforcement as an intensive class in the Spring 2014 semester. Clergy and law enforcement officers are invited to apply as participants in the ongoing project, and to register specifically for the class.

HERE is the link for the application to the SALT Project

HERE is the link for the Course Description

For more information, contact the registrar at


For the past 15 years, Leland has been committed to equipping transformational leaders for the global ministry of Jesus Christ. With the tremendous support of our alums, students, faculty, staff, trustees and friends, Leland continues to relentlessly pursue its mission. Your generosity allows Leland to prepare new leaders for the global ministry of Jesus Christ. The men and women who desire to grow more deeply in the word of God abound in this nurturing and spirit-led community. Through the generous support of prayerful partners like you, Leland students and alums lead in all areas of ministry. Please continue to help us by giving to Leland's Annual Campaign. Your gift will help us prepare more ministerial leaders. Donors who give $1,000 ore more join the Leland Society, $5,000 or more the Leadership Circle, and $10,000 or more the President's Circle. We welcome all gifts, large or small, so please give as generously as you can, so that Leland's story can continue to be told.

Click HERE to donate online today.


Leland graduate Rev. Lora Gravatt was elected to the new Executive Board of the Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) at their annual meeting on November 12. The BGAV voted to eliminate their 100+ person General Board in favor of a much smaller Executive Board composed of 15 at large members and six members by virtue of office. Lora earned her M.Div. from Leland in 2011 and serves as the Pastor for Children and Family Life at Columbia Baptist Church in Falls Church, Virginia.


We are excited to offer three unique intensives on the main campus during the January term this year.

  • MF4101-Introduction to Preaching, taught by Dr. Derrick Harkins,Friday/Saturday,9am - 4pm,  January 9, 10, 23 and 24.
  • MF4701-Global Perspectives in Ministry & Mission, taught by Dr. Tony Cupit, Friday/Saturday, 9am - 4pm, January 9, 10, 16, 17.
  • TP2323-Theology of Work, taught by Dr. Andrey Shirin and Dr. Jerry Herbert, Friday/Saturday, 9am - 4pm, January 16, 17, 23, 24.

Contact for more information about registering.


What lead you to Leland?  I first learned about Leland through the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) website. An ATS accredited education is a requirement for my denomination, and I was excited to see Leland on the list as an option. After visiting the campus and talking with several admissions representatives, I knew that I would prefer Leland's small, local classes. Leland's belief system matched my own, personally, and I knew that it would provide a well rounded, practical education.

What degree are you pursuing? I am currently pursing the Master of Divinity degree, because of its purpose for preparing persons for ordained ministry.

What in your experience as a student has been most beneficial to your current ministry responsibilities and what are those responsibilities?  I believe Leland's emphasis on practical ministry really benefited my ministry responsibilities. In my previous courses, I have done everything from planning a worship service, creatively teaching others church history through a Jeopardy game, and interning with an Ethiopian youth ministry. All of these things have enhanced the knowledge that I continue to gain through traditional class lectures, reading, and research.

I currently serve as the Minister to Young Adults at First A.M.E. Church of Alexandria, VA, and as the historiographer for the A.M.E. Women in Ministry for my region. I also preach, teach church school, serve as a worship leader, and assist our other ministries, as assigned. 

How do you understand your ministry as transformational?  I named the young adult ministry at my church "Crystal Clear" because our goal is to help all obtain a clearer understanding of God, ourselves, and others. I consider my ministry to be transformational when people use that clearer understanding to draw closer to God. My prayer is that all will be able to recognize and respond to the positive transformations that God is working in each of our lives.

Are there any particular Leland courses that have been impactful? So many of the classes at Leland have been meaningful, and I love how each of the professors are passionate about the subjects they teach. One of the most memorable classes that I took was Dr. Carro's Theology of Worship. I enjoyed the experience of learning about worship, and visiting a variety of denominations and congregations. I also enjoyed planning a worship service together with the class and the guidance of an actual Leland Alumni. The class hosted a worship experience for the entire Leland body, and it was a blessing to see students and faculty worshipping and communing with God together.

What are your plans for the future?  My plans are to finish my seminary degree and to become ordained as an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) denomination.

Any other thoughts on Leland? I love that Leland is a very diverse, close knit family. Several years ago, when I first became ordained as the Itinerant Deacon in the AME church, it truly blessed me to look up and see the president of the school attending and supporting me at the ordination service. The faculty and staff at Leland truly care about the well being of the students, and the students encourage each other to grow both spiritually and academically. I truly appreciate the lifelong connections that I have made and continue to make at The John Leland Center.

- Charisma Canty, Current Leland MDiv Student





  John Leland Center for Theological Studies
1306 N. Highland Street
Arlington, VA  22201