Pursue Faith-rooted Community Transformation in Los Angeles

The Master of Arts in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) is a unique community transformation program that prepares students to implement spiritual, socioeconomic, political, and environmental change throughout the world. Residence in or near marginalized urban communities enables students to combine living and learning in an integrated approach to leadership development, with a primary focus on improving opportunities for the urban poor.

To focus engagement, MATUL students live and learn in the global city of Los Angeles, studying theology, urban studies, community development, nonprofit management, and advocacy to holistically engage the realities of disenfranchised communities in the City.

What Does MATUL Los Angeles Value?

  • Field-based: Incarnational living, worshipping, serving, and learning within one of Los Angeles’ marginal neighborhoods, in an integrated approach to leadership development.
  • Action-Reflection Learning: Integrate traditional classroom learning and theory with hands-on action and activism through internships and fieldwork.
  • Scholar-Practitioners: Learn alongside instructors who specialize in urban transformation and actively serve the City.
  • Accessible: Study in convenient City classes that allow for continued urban ministry engagement.

Learn more about our faculty.

‘True learning ... alongside the marginalized’

As I travel around the world, I have opportunities to meet MATUL students and experience the ministries with which they are placed. They are high-caliber students working in dynamic urban ministries and fascinating neighborhoods. The people in the MATUL program understand that transformational learning around the complex issues of urban poverty does not occur primarily through lecture and reading; true learning about urban poverty must involve living and ministering alongside the marginalized. Living and serving in a marginalized community is the best classroom you will ever experience. The MATUL students I meet and the urban ministry organizations they are involved with are like double-edged swords, transforming the student as well as the communities in which they are living and working. Regardless of your life’s ultimate mission, spending two years learning from, serving with, and living among the urban marginalized will give you the depth, sensitivity, and Spirit empowerment you need.

Scott A. BesseneckerAssociate Director for Missions, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship Author, The New Friars: the Emerging Movement Serving the World’s Poor


Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). Azusa Pacific Seminary is accredited by the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).

ATS-Approved Degrees

Azusa Campus

Los Angeles Regional Site

San Diego Regional Campus

The Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools

10 Summit Park Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15275
Phone: (412) 788-6505
Fax: (412) 788-6510

WASC Senior College and University Commission

985 Atlantic Avenue, Suite 100
Alameda, CA 94501
Phone: (510) 748-9001
Fax: (510) 748-9797

University Reputation

Azusa Pacific University secured a place in the most prestigious category of U.S. News & World Report’s America’s Best Colleges 2017 rankings, placing at No. 183 in Tier One of the National Universities category. In addition, The Princeton Review named APU as 1 of 124 institutions in the 2017 Best Colleges in the West, Forbes ranked APU among the best schools in the nation for 2017, and G.I. Jobs named APU a Military Friendly School for 2017, placing APU among the top 15 percent of schools in the country helping military students reach their education dreams.

Note: This information is current for the 2017-18 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Please refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.