4 + 1

“You can’t start a movement, but you can prepare for one”

Dr. Vincent Harding

What is the Master of Arts in Social Justice and Ethics (MASJE 4+1) degree?

The Master’s of Arts in Social Justice and Ethics degree (MASJE) is a professional master’s degree for social justice activists, community organizers, and spiritually motivated justice workers seeking to lead change within their community. We have partnered with several colleges and universities around the country to empower undergraduate students to start their journey towards the MASJE degree while in college. Students can apply specific courses taken at the undergraduate-level towards half of the requirements for the master’s degree. Iliff offers the MASJE degree in online and hybrid formats, so relocating to Denver for the 5th year is not necessary.

Created by Dr. Vincent Harding, a long-time peace activist, Iliff faculty member, and close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the MASJE degree is currently directed by Dr. Samantha Joo, Interim Program Director of the MASJE degree program, and supported by Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee, Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty.

Iliff offers the MASJE degree in online and hybrid formats, so relocating to Denver for the 5th year is not necessary.

Why Should You Apply?

If you:

  • Have an interest in a broad range of social justice issues (e.g. climate justice, pollution in communities, structural or institutional racism, social justice, equity and inclusion in decision making, social determinants of health, economic inequality, criminal justice reform, poverty and homelessness, gender equality, LGBTQ rights, and/or disability rights);
  • are thinking about working in a nonprofit and/or in policy advocacy, community organizing, grassroots action, activism or public protest, political campaign work, lobbying, or spiritual-minded leadership within a religious or spiritual community;
  • want the practical skills, professional connections, and theoretical grounding that a master’s degree can offer;
  • want to earn a bachelors and masters degree in 5 years instead of 6, saving time and significant money; look into the MASJE 4 + 1

How Can I Apply?

Contact Professor  Ted Vial at Iliff (, who can put you in touch with the coordinator of the program on your campus. The coordinator will guide you through the courses you need to take as an undergraduate to participate.

Once you are ready for your 5th year, you will apply to Iliff as a new graduate student. The application fee of $60 and enrollment deposit of $300 will be waived. All pre-approved credits completed at a satisfactory academic level will count towards the Iliff degree. Contact the Iliff Admissions office at for more information.

Hear from our former students…

Financial Aid and Scholarships

If you:
Iliff will guarantee a minimum scholarship of $10,000. Scholarships are available to all students (U. S. citizens, DACA, and international).

If you are an eligible non-citizens or U.S. citizen who would like to be considered for additional federal student aid, you must submit a FAFSA to determine eligibility during your 5th year as a full-time graduate student. Graduate federal aid includes Federal Direct Unsubsidized and Graduate PLUS loans. Students seeking federal financial aid may qualify for the total cost of attendance. Contact the Office of Financial Aid at for more information.

Related Links

The Center for EcoJustice

The Iliff Center for EcoJustice is committed to education, advocacy, and scholarship in the area of environmental justice. The Center stands at the intersection of marginalized communities and our changing planet to address the most serious issues facing each.

The Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture

The Institute for Religion, Politics & Culture supports research and scholarship on the way public policy and legislative initiatives are shaped by religion. The Institute will build integrated frameworks for political and social change movements through academic research and analysis, generating media content, offering training and workshops, and activating culture change. In addition, it will also provide programming and consulting to legislators, policy advocates, and the public.

Enrollment Open House

Engage with our President, Rev. Dr. Thomas Wolfe, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, Rev. Dr. Boyung Lee, and members of our faculty and student success teams. The FREE Virtual Open House will include a faculty Q&A, sample classes, and breakout sessions with members of our Admissions, Financial Aid, Academic Advising, Professional Formation, and Spiritual Formation teams.

School Partner

Salem Academy and College

Salem Academy and College is the oldest educational institution for girls and women in the United States. Founded in 1772 in Winston-Salem, NC, Salem has educated and prepared women to lead, shatter expectations, and rise to the challenges of their time—resulting in generations of women leaders and influencers in leadership roles throughout the world. Today, Salem Academy and Salem College continues to be focused on educating future generations of global leaders.