Master of Criminal Justice, M.A.

Program Locations

Our Master's degree in Criminal Justice is available fully online. Students may be advised through any of the following campus locations:

About this Program

The Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree at Wayland is designed to help students be effective agents of change within their community and the world. By analyzing the social and legal aspects of crime, students learn how to better address the problems related to crime and justice within our society. Our fully-online program offers a variety of Specializations geared towards enhancing student’s skill sets in different areas, while offering the flexibility of online classes.

Our Criminal Justice students have the opportunity to learn from a diverse range of faculty, not just in the traditional fields of law and law enforcement, but in social work, counseling, human services, public administration, and sociology. Our faculty members consist of both current and retired lawyers, judges, assistant district attorneys, emergency response personnel, military officers, law enforcement officers, licensed professional counselors, social workers, alternative dispute mediators, and public administrators. This unique approach goes beyond a mere understanding of the law and how it applies to criminal offenders and helps prepare students to understand people better as a whole. In that process, our students can begin to see how the criminal justice system can work to bring about positive change in their community and within the broader scope of society.

With courses like CRIJ 5301: Restorative Justice, CRIJ 5315: Trauma-Informed Investigations, CRIJ 5321: De-escalation Training Techniques, and HMNS 5311: Navigating Mental Health Emergencies, our program goes beyond the basic overview of the law and focuses on helping students develop personally and professionally in areas of growing need within the criminal justice system. With its commitment to Christian education, Wayland is uniquely situated to focus on the concept of restorative justice and the need for mental health awareness. Our approach recognizes that crime is rarely an isolated event in and of itself, but is usually connected to a series of events and situations. By studying the past and understanding the creation and implementation of local, state, and federal laws, students can begin to understand how such laws have impacted society. This societal impact extends to both the social and cultural effect on human behavior, as well as the internal influence on individuals, and is often foundational to understanding the functions of the criminal justice system as a whole. By helping our students understand the systemic problems in society and how such things continue to impact individuals in the present, we can better prepare students to help others in positive ways.

 

Students pursuing the M.A. in Criminal Justice degree may also specialize in one (or more) of the following areas:

Crisis Intervention

Domestic Terrorism

Law Enforcement Administration

Restorative Justice

Special Victims

 

Crisis Intervention

With courses geared towards students in law enforcement and first responder positions, this specialization is for those who wish to develop skills for assessing and addressing individuals in crisis. Situations may include domestic violence, sexual assault, a traumatic event, or, a mental or behavioral health crisis. By gaining insight into how to navigate and intervene in such situations, students will be better equipped to help reduce the risk of injury to all parties, while also directing individuals to various support services and resources within their community.

Sample Courses:

CNSL 5341 - Crisis Counseling

CRIJ 5310 - Sexual Assault Awareness and Intervention

CRIJ 5315 - Trauma-Informed Investigations

HMNS 5311 - Navigating Mental Health Emergencies

Domestic Terrorism

This specialization prepares students to recognize and respond to issues of domestic terrorism in the United States. Students will assess the history and development of domestic terrorism in the U.S., while developing response strategies to terrorism threats and acts. Designed for students working in law enforcement and community agencies; students interested in international and homeland security should consider the MPA – Homeland Security/Emergency Management Specialization.

Sample Courses:

PUAD 5308 - Crisis Communication and Leadership

PUAD 5309 - Emergency Services Management

PUAD 5330 - Domestic Terrorism

Law Enforcement Administration

With course offerings aimed at enhancing administrative and managerial skills within police and law enforcement organizations, this specialization is designed for those looking to advance their current career into the administrative realm. Students can tailor their specialization courses to fit their career goals, while building on their current knowledge and experience.

Sample Courses:

CRIJ 5307 - Planning and Financial Management in Criminal Justice Agencies

LGLS 5303 - Employment Law

PUAD 5324 - Negotiations

PUAD 5336 - State and Local Government

Restorative Justice

This specialization offers a holistic approach towards offender rehabilitation. With the understanding that crime is rarely an isolated event, the concept of restorative justice acknowledges the harm done to both individuals and the community when crimes are committed, and seeks restitution and restoration between the impacted parties. By reframing the traditional concepts of criminal punishment, restorative justice practices can offer attainable restitution which addresses the criminal act and the harm down to individuals and the community, while also seeking to reduce the risk of recidivism.

Sample Courses:

CRIJ 5301 - Restorative Justice

CRIJ 5306 - Community Based Corrections

SOCI 5304 - Social Problems in America

Special Victims

This specialization is designed to prepare students to investigate and provide compassionate trauma-informed support services to survivors of sexual, domestic, and trafficking crimes. Students will examine the barriers of reporting and learn techniques for investigating and advocating cases of sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and human trafficking.

Sample Courses:

CRIJ 5305 - Human Trafficking

CRIJ 5309 - Domestic Violence

CRIJ 5315 - Trauma-Informed Investigations

HMNS 5312 - Victim Advocacy