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 6001 Residential Intensive I (Required in person. 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)

2nd Semester (spring)

  • TLD 6002 Residential Intensive II (Required in person. 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)

3rd Semester (fall)

  • TLD 6003 Residential Intensive III (Required in person. 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)

4th semester (spring)

  • TLD 6004 Residential Intensive (Required in person at the start of every semester. 0 units)
  • TLD 7999 Capstone: Action Project (3 units)

II. Electives-9 units

Electives may be taken from both the Transformative Leadership and Transformative Studies programs. Please go to the CIIS Academic Catalog for possible electives.

Total program units: 36

Student Spotlight

TLD Student ImageI work in the outdoor adventure leadership field. I lead and teach people how to safely engage in outdoor adventure activities. I've worked in this field for the last twenty-five years, and learned a lot about leadership and how we humans interact with each other and the natural world. My interests are now focused on the more "intentional" aspects of the field, like ecotherapy and ecoliteracy. This shift in focus has primarily come from the realization of the potentially great influence outdoor adventure leaders have upon the general public they serve. I've come to see our contemporary human problems as stemming from a fundamental misperception and wrong-relationship. The MA in Transformative Leadership is helping me to make this transition in my career's focus by giving me a much broader understanding of human nature and leadership. In fact, this transformative learning experience is fundamentally changing the scope of what I thought I could accomplish as an outdoor adventure leader. The history of the collective way humans have related to the more-than-human world is an extremely complex story, and this course of study is giving me practical skills to meet the challenge of understanding the complexities of being human on this Earth.

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