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Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEL)

Designed by educators for educators, you’ll learn to master the art and science of educational leadership from grades K-12.




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SNU Students Master of Arts In Educational Leadership
Careers you can have with a masters in administration of special education

Will you transform the lives of students, educators or both?

Determine your path with our Educational Leadership Career Planner.

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Program Overview

Gain the knowledge and practical experience you need to pass your certification tests and have a leadership role within education. Students in the Educational Leadership program learn from experts in the field, and those currently working and leading in public education in Oklahoma. While in class on Wednesday nights, you’ll focus on real-world issues and possible solutions, and how you can influence positive change in any educational setting.

An education is something no one can take away from you, and you’ll get the full value of a master’s degree at SNU. The 36-credit hour program covers Elementary, Mid-level, Secondary and Superintendent training. Our classes are designed by educators and for educators. Classes take place in locations across Oklahoma so you can attend in a location convenient to you. Apply today to begin your journey toward a meaningful career as a leader, wherever you choose to serve.


This program is designed to qualify students seeking professional licensure/certification in Oklahoma to sit for their licensure/certification exams and fulfill all academic requirements to be licensed/certified in the field. Students seeking licensure/certification in other states should consult with their program advisor. Information known about preparation for licensure in US states and territories outside of Oklahoma has been compiled on our Preparation for Licensure by State Disclosure report

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week course format
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start dates per year
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Graduate in as few as
20 months
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total credit hours
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per credit hour
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Learn one night a week on campus or 100% online

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How it Works

  • Earning a degree while working full time or raising a family has never been more possible. Here’s why adult students are thriving and reaching their goals at SNU:

    • Classes take place Wednesday nights or fully online.
    • Students focus on one class at a time before moving on to the next.
    • Students study alongside other adults in similar stages of life.
    • Instructors with vast amounts of experience guide students through courses.
    • Textbooks can be delivered directly to your door at the beginning of each class.


Studying Educational Leadership at SNU prepares students to enter the world of academia or any leadership role with a clear vision of the future and an understanding of how to lead others in an educational setting.


Credit hours: 3To develop an understanding of the concept of leadership. Such concepts include the ability to guide individuals and groups, decision making, interpersonal skills, organizational ability and communication.


Credit hours: 3 The application of principals, methods, and techniques of research in education. Includes interpretation, evaluation, and use of research as well as an introduction to techniques of reporting research.


Credit hours: 3 Curriculum planning which anticipates occupational trends and how that curriculum may respond to students’ lifelong learning needs is studied. The focus will also be on the evaluation of curriculum and instruction programs in the local schools.


Credit hours: 3 The course centers on human relations and adjustment in the school environment. Problems such as evaluation, interpersonal relationships, and employee motivation will be covered.


Credit hours: 3 An understanding of the legal responsibilities of the school administrator and procedure and policy implementation that meets legal requirements will be covered in this course. The candidate will develop an understanding of the public and private legal issues surrounding education today.


Credit hours: 3

This class will develop an understanding of local, state, and federal finance as it relates to the school. Particular attention will be paid to budgets and tax bases.


Credit hours: 3 Reviews the nature of long-range planning including development and implementation of a vision statement. Focus will be on the needs of the local schools in all areas including staffing, technology, facilities, and student support.


Credit hours: 3 This class will cover major aspects of historical/contemporary schooling and its relationship to the principalship and superintendency.  An emphasis on theoretical aspects of educational administration will merge with practical applications of knowledge, skills and dispositions for effective leadership as principals and superintendents.


Credit hours: 3 Leadership is a dynamic venture. Schools are equally as dynamic. Dexterity in the field of Technology Leadership has become an area of great need and focus in administrator preparedness programs and has become a catalyst a change for schools around the world. Through research, innovative practice, and intentional community building, the Technology Leadership course at Southern Nazarene University will inspire leaders to move confidently into our future. 


Credit hours: 3 Develop an understanding of the needs and responsibilities of the public and private sectors as they relate to education. The study will center on skills for building community support for district priorities and policies.


Credit hours: 3 Candidates will develop an understanding of the diversity that exists in the local community and how the school should respond. Discussion will also center on promoting the value of local school/community cultures.


Credit hours: 3Internship experience is designed to familiarize the candidate with the practical aspects of programs they will be involved in during their professional career. Specific emphasis will be placed on school finance, legal aspects, facilities and personnel. All placements are made cooperatively between the candidate and the university internship placement committee. Internship placement may begin anytime after completing Long Range Planning. Candidates will complete assignments in cooperation with the site-based mentor and the university internship placement committee.

Upcoming Start Dates


Wednesday, April 3, 2024
Wednesday, April 17, 2024
Wednesday, October 9, 2024

Meet our SNU Faculty

Dr. Stephoni Case

Program Director

Dr. Stephoni Case has served as Director of the Master’s in Educational Leadership and the Director of the Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership at SNU since 2014 and 2018. Her commitment to building strong education leaders runs deep, and she has experienced growth and professional success with learners in the Master’s program. Dr. Case also led the way to launch the Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership (DEAL) in the Spring of 2019. With the help of an incredible group of leaders in higher education, she welcomed more than 100 students into their doctoral journey in the program’s first year.

Outside of the classroom Dr. Case is an active member in the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and National Education Finance Association (NEFA). Her research agenda includes study of the intersections of religiosity and decision making, as well as culture and school finance.

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Dr. Case brings a variety of experience to our students serving as:

- Assistant Professor in English at SNU from 1992 - 2009

- Program Director and Instructor for The Center for School Business Management at Oklahoma State University from 2010 - 2014

-  SNU Professor and Program Director for Master's in Educational Leadership (MAEL) (since 2014- to present)

- Program Director for Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership (DEAL) (since 2018 -to present)

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Dr. Kent Shellenberger

Education and Leadership

Kent Shellenberger, Ed.D, is a career educator with 45 years of professional experiences in common and higher education.  He currently serves as an instructor in the traditional and graduate SNU programs. Dr. Shellenberger’s professional involvement includes:  active state involvement as the elected member of the American Association of School Administrators’ governing board and Oklahoma Federal Relations Representative; member of the State Superintendent Advisory Council; Legislative Liaison for United Suburban Schools Association; Cooperative Council of School Administrators (CCOSA) Innovative Leadership Academy and a governor appointed board member of the Oklahoma Educational Quality and Accountability Commission (OEQA) and the Specials Needs’ Task Force Legislative Committee.

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Dr. Shellenberger’s dissertation was “PRINCIPALS’ AND TEACHERS’ PERCEPTIONS OF LEADER SUCCESSION IN SELECTED PUBLIC SCHOOLS.” He has been a presenter at the First Year Superintendent’s Academy and breakout facilitator of OSSBA/CCOSA annual convention.  He also authored quarterly articles for Better Schools while president of CCOSA, OASA and Federal Relations Representative.  Dr. Shellenberger was recognized as Oklahoma State Superintendent of the Year and is a member of the Oklahoma Educator’s Hall of Fame. 

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  • "I truly believe that my education and experiences at SNU not only prepared me for the job but gave me the confidence that I could succeed … Thank you for investing in the graduate students personally and professionally and providing insightful professors that can share their passion for education and students."
    Kaelyn C
    MAEL Graduate
  • "Love the program, love the people, love the professors."
    Ryan B
    MAEL Student
  • ""If you are planning to become more an administrator, SNU is the WAY TO GO!"
    Michael G
    MAEL Graduate

    Admission Steps 

    Enrolling at SNU is a simple process. With rolling start dates, there’s no need to wait months at a time to begin your educational journey. Once you have earned your bachelor’s degree with a 3.0 or higher GPA* from an accredited university and gained two years of work experience, take the following steps:

    Step 1. Apply online at

    Step 2. Complete your FAFSA at using school code 003149.

    Step 3. Send official transcripts to SNU at or ATTN: PGS Admissions, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK 73008.

    Step 4. Submit the following materials to or ATTN: PGS Admissions, Southern Nazarene University, 6729 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK 73008.

    After you submit your application and all materials, you will be contacted about your acceptance and how to enroll.

    *Students who do not meet GPA requirements may earn provisional acceptance into the M.A. in Educational Leadership program or be required to take the Miller Analogies Test (MAT).




    Online classes are specially
    designed for professional &
    graduate studies.
    Phone: +1 (405) 491-6332

    Bethany Campus

    6729 NW 39th Expressway,
    Bethany, Oklahoma 73008

    Tulsa Campus

    8210 E. Regal Ct.
    Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
    Phone: +1 (918) 664-4100

    Satellite Location Partnerships

    Moore, OKCPS, Putnam City, & Ponca.

    Additional sites coming soon!

    Program Resources

    Educational Leadership Career Planner - For Resource Banner


    Educational Leadership Career Planner

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    Program Accreditations

    Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation


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