Graduate Certificate in Social Enterprise

Graduate Certificate Social Enterprise

There’s more than one way to change the world. But every way requires innovation.

Come be an innovator with us.


About the Program

The Graduate Certificate in Christian Social Enterprise will be a month-long immersion in innovation, piloting in June, 2017. It will consist of three courses taught concurrently (for a total of 9 credit hours). The certificate will be project-based, involving immersion in real-world contexts, interaction with real social enterprises, entrepreneurs and investors, guest speakers and lectures, and culminating in team projects. Students will be required to do both pre-work (reading and reflection) and post-work (a mentor-led team-based project) as part of the coursework. During the one-month coursework intensive period, students will meet five-days-a-week, for seven-hours-a-day. Days will be divided into classroom time, field immersions, project work, guest lectures and outings.  The program will be cohort-based, highly experiential, competence-development focused, and will utilize adaptive learning methodologies.  

Through immersive experiences in real-world contexts, students will identify, as a class, one concrete social problem that demands innovative solutions. In project teams of three or four, they will utilize human-centered-design to empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test solutions. Each team will then choose an idea and by the end of the certificate, develop this idea into a potential startup venture with a logical and viable business model, a clearly articulated kingdom mission and vision, a well-articulated social impact aim with an assessment mechanism to measure it, a minimally viable proof of concept and a marketing plan. This final project will begin during the coursework but continue beyond the intensive as teams work with their mentor and then gather again a month later for a "pitch event" in which the teams will have the opportunity to pitch their ventures to a group of real impact investors, social enterprise attorneys, entrepreneurs, seasoned ministry practitioners, and pastors.  


For more information, call or text (678) 547-6451 or email


Apply by May 1st for 2017 Summer Enrollment.



Spots are limited and admissions are rolling, apply by May 1st. 


Graduate Certificate applicants for admission to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University are required to have a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with a liberal arts core or proof of an equivalent degree from a foreign university. Admission will be based on your total application (GPA, commitment to the Christian faith, and background check). Ultimate approval of admission is given by the Dean. 

For individuals who do not currently possess a bachelor's degree, but who want to work towards a Masters in theological study, Mercer offers pre-theology education through the College of Liberal Arts in Macon and through Penfield College in Atlanta. For more information about these programs, contact Mercer's Office of Undergraduate Admission.

Certificate Application Process

We are glad you are interested in applying to McAfee. Below are the requirements for applying. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask.

  1. Biographical Information - (can be submitted online through this link)

  2. Resume - (Including Church Positions and Service, Secular Occupations, Community Involvement, Academic Honors, and Research, Civic, or Leadership Awards)

  3. Official Transcripts from all higher educational institutions previously attended

  4. Background check* - Background check to be filed online at Castle Branch, or call 1-888-666-7788 for more information. Please allow up to 2 weeks for us to receive the report. The package cost is $33.50, which must be ordered and purchased directly online by the applicant. The admissions office will supply the appropriate step-by-step directions on how to complete the background check. Please download instructions to order your background check and have it sent to the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University.

  5. $50.00 application fee

  6. Essay responding to the following questions:

  • Why are you drawn to the field of social enterprise and how do you think you will use what you learn in your future work? 500 words
  • Tell me about any background that you’ve had in social enterprise or business. 500 words
  • If you were going to pitch a new idea for a social enterprise endeavor, what would you pitch (include what social problem it would address and how it would solve it). 1000 words


*In order to fulfill contracts with our seminary partners, McAfee School of Theology now requires that all McAfee applications undergo a criminal background check. Admission into McAfee is pending receipt of a background check report from Applicants are responsible for ordering and purchasing their own background check directly online.

  • Each applicant must authorize McAfee School of Theology to obtain a background check in order to satisfy the admission requirements.

  • The only exclusion to the background check will be special exceptions made for International Students who are in the process of obtaining, or have obtained the F-1 visa. This exception is monitored by the Admissions Office, which has the right to administer the exemption as necessary.

  • Failure to undergo the background check will result in exclusion from admission consideration. If criminal behavior is detected in the background check, the student may not be admitted to McAfee School of Theology. Students may appeal the decision and will have the opportunity to present information to dispute the background check.

Nondiscrimination Policy

Mercer University is committed to providing equal educational programs or activities, and equal employment opportunities to all qualified students, employees, and applicants without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sex, sexual orientation, age, or religion, as a matter of University policy and as required by applicable state and federal laws, including Title IX. Inquiries concerning this policy may be directed to the Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action Officer/Title IX Coordinator, Human Resources Office, 1501 Mercer University Drive, Macon, Georgia 31207, phone 478-301-2788 or contact, or in cases of Title IX concerns, these concerns may be referred to the Office of Civil Rights.

Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies

What does the program cost?

Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology is a private school with very affordable tuition. Students pay $410 per credit hour and this rate is reduced from $910 per credit hour due to generous contributions from supporting churches and organizations.

What kind of financial aid is available for certificate students?

All of our students receive financial assistance. Graduate Certificate students benefit primarily from the tuition grant described above. Non-degree seeking students are not eligible for scholarships or federal financial aid. Current McAfee degree-seeking students may use their financial aid packages towards these courses.

What is the purpose of the certificate program and what can I do with it after completion?

The program is for those who want to do innovative work by launching a business, nonprofit, or ministry. While coursework will take a theological approach to marketplace theory, instruction will focus on the organizational framework, networking, and business competencies to launch an enterprise that attempts to solve a social problem.

How long is the program?

The social enterprise program is a 9 hour certificate consisting of 3 classes. Students take all 3 classes during an intensive 4-week period, with pre and post-work assigned. Due to accreditation standards and the intensive nature of the program, students are not permitted to miss class.

Can I take these courses if I am registered at another institution?

Students currently enrolled at another ATA institution (Columbia, ITC, Candler) may not cross-register for this program at their principle institution rate. All admitted students will be required to take all 3 courses with the entire cohort and pay McAfee's tuition rates and applicable fees. Currently enrolled students at Mercer and outside institutions must consult with their department head for permission to transfer these coures into their degree program. Students in the Graduate Certificate Program are considered McAfee graduate students and will be required to abide by Mercer University and McAfee School of Theology policies and procedures, including but not limited to the Community of Respect, Code of Conduct, and Academic Integrity.

Where are classes located?

Classes are offered at Centerform in the Underground revitalization project district. Centerform is MARTA accessible, however, students should plan to provide their own transportation for most of the program as local off-site field trips will be a staple of the program.

Can current McAfee students in a degree program receive the certificate?

McAfee School of Theology students in a degree-seeking Master’s level program may choose to apply to the Social Enterprise Certificate Program, but space is limited. For current McAfee students, this program works as an embedded certificate that can be completed as part of the M.Div. or M.A.C.M. The three certificate courses will count as community development/global mission electives or open electives for Masters level students. Current students should talk to their advisor to make sure these courses fit within their specific graduation plan. Contact the Office of Admissions at to apply. 



If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact us:

Office of Admissions
McAfee School of Theology
Mercer University
3001 Mercer University Drive
Atlanta, GA 30341-4115

(678) 547-6474
Fax: (678) 547-6478

Our admissions staff understands the importance of being servant leaders and seek to help guide students through the sometimes challenging admissions process. So if you have questions, concerns, thoughts, ideas, or just need to talk about vocational options, know we are here to help. We would love the opportunity to get to know you, answer your questions, and invite you to visit our beautiful campus located just 10 minutes north of downtown Atlanta. To speak with one of them directly, follow the links below:


Nikki Carroll Hardeman
Director of Admissions,

(678) 547-6357


Natalie King
Enrollment Associate,

(678) 547-6474




Classes will be held at both McAfee School of Theology on Mercer's Atlanta Campus and Centerform at Underground Atlanta.



115 M.L.K. Jr Dr SW #3b,

Atlanta, GA 30303


McAfee School of Theology

3001 Mercer University Dr.,

Atlanta, GA 30341



M-F 9-5pm May 30 - June 23, 2017

Certificate also includes pre and post-work.



Tuition & Fees.................$4,290

Books & Materials......... Additional


Graduate Certificate in Social Enterprise Required Courses


Course                                                                  Course #             Credits       

Theology of Christian Social Enterprise          THGU 800                  3      
Theory of Social Change                                    THGU800                   3        
The Business of Social Enterprise                    THGU800                   3     


Total Required Hours: 9 (Taken concurrently)