Program Format

The TLD program is offered in an online format. Students work in the online environment of the CIIS virtual classroom. Each August and January, students and the faculty gather for an intensive at a retreat setting in the San Francisco Bay Area. Participation in the intensive is mandatory.


MA in Transformative Leadership-36 units

I. Required Core Courses-27 units

1st Semester (fall)

TLD 6555 Residential Intensive (Required in person at the start of every semester. 0 units)
TLD 6125 Introduction to Leadership: Models, Maps, and Metaphors (3 units)
TLD 6130 Ways of Relating: Interpersonal and Group Dynamics (3 units)
TLD 6300 Ways of Knowing: Systems and Metaphors (3 units)
TLD 7996 Integrative Seminar I (1 unit)

Total Semester Units:10

2nd Semester (spring)

TLD 6555 Residential Intensive (Required in person at the start of every semester. 0 units)
TLD 6145 Leadership, Pluralism, and Creativity: Diversity in Action (3 units)
TLD 6325 The Leadership Experience: Understanding the Will to Lead (3 units)
TLD 7997 Integrative Seminar II (1 unit)

Elective (3 units)

Total Semester Units: 10

3rd Semester (fall)

TLD 6555 Residential Intensive (Required in person at the start of every semester. 0 units)
TLD 6349 Creating Communities and Coalitions (3 units)
TLD 6635 Transformative Leadership: Leading Ourselves among Others (3 units)
TLD 7998 Integrative Seminar III (1 unit)

Elective (3 units)

Total Semester Units: 10

4th semester (spring)

TLD 6555 Residential Intensive (Required in person at the start of every semester. 0 units)
TLD 7999 Capstone: Action Project (3 units)

Elective (3 units)

Total Semester Units: 6

II. Electives-9 units

Electives may be taken from both the Transformative Leadership and Transformative Studies programs. Please check the CIIS Catalog for possible electives which may include the following:

TLD 5200 Creativity and Personal Transformation
TLD 6017 Scholars' Toolkit

TSD 6136 Life Balance and Stress Management

TLD 6287 01 Cultivating Conscious Leadership among Women

TLD 7042 Partnership in Action

TLD 7562 The Power of Partnership
TLD 7585 Spirit, Compassion, and Community Activism

TSD 7030 Buddhist Activism and Social Change 

TSD 8132 Understanding New Religions and Spiritual Movements
TSD 8134 Authority and Leadership in Spiritual Communities

Focus on Partnership Studies

Students in the TLD MA program can choose the focus on Partnership Studies. The focus is made up of three courses focusing on the application of the model and cultural transformation theory, developed by cultural historian and systems scientist Riane Eisler, to leadership and transformation.

This is an innovative program for those who are serious about making a difference in their lives, their organizations, and the world. Students work in a community of like-minded individuals, build a curriculum around their calling and passion, and develop skills to make their visions realities.

Students also can earn credit while interning with the Center for Partnership Studies or other change-making, nonprofit organizations.

This focus is ideal for those who enjoy being on the leading edge of social change movements and are looking to further develop and hone skills for meaningful employment and greater effectiveness in nonprofit, not-for-profit, and for-profit community-minded organizations.

Designed for people who lead full lives, it is offered in a flexible online format; students will learn how to bring greater partnership into their lives and community groups while being supported by CIIS faculty and a community of colearners in intensive seminars and a lively online environment.

Focus on Partnership Studies Courses: 9 units

In addition to the 24 required units for the MA in Transformative Leadership, the focus on Partnership Studies MA requires the following:


LD 7562 The Power of Partnership (3 units)

Focus Electives

Nine units chosen in consultation with student’s advisor, and articulation and application of the partnership model in the Capstone Project.

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