Humanist Studies Program

The AHA Center for Education Humanist Studies Program (HSP) is dedicated to fostering leadership that is ethically grounded, informed, skillful, globally responsible, personally sustainable and committed to meeting the genuine needs of real people.  It offers students an opportunity to collaborate with a diverse faculty and student body who take a non-theistic, naturalistic approach to humanism, whether interpreted in secular or congregational terms.


HSP students have the opportunity to become Certified Humanist Professionals (CHP) by earning a Certificate in Humanist Studies or pursue a Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MALS) with a concentration in humanism.  Through the HSP program, students will:

  • Explore ontological questions from a humanist perspective in historical and contemporary contexts.
  • Acquire a solid grounding in critical thinking, knowledge, truth and humanist epistemologies.
  • Aid students in analyzing and building a personal and articulate humanist axiology from fundamental existential questions.

Certificate in Humanist Studies

Acquiring certificate in humanist studies is a unique graduate-level experience where individuals are engaged to build competencies and skills in the pursuit of acquiring a broader, deeper knowledge of humanism. Our courses provide an educational environment that supports a collaborative community inclusive of all humanist perspectives, ranging from secular to religious, and enhances one’s ability to reach individual aspirations.

Earning a Certificate in Humanist Studies prepares students to be articulate advocates of a humanist worldview in the public sphere and innovative thinkers who keep our movement alive with their provocative insights and writings.

Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MALS) with a concentration in humanism

HSP partners with Meadville Lombard Theological School’s Master of Arts in Leadership Studies (MALS) program that provides advanced work for lay leaders, ministers, and ministerial students in the theory and practice of leadership within congregations and community-based ministries.

Students obtain an emphasis in humanism from HSP with ability to apply credits towards a MALS degree.  The MALS degree with a concentration in humanism equips students with the knowledge, skills, and experiences needed to be effective, grounded, justice-seeking humanist leaders in community-based ministries or chaplaincy work.

We welcome all humanists (secular, naturalistic, scientific, atheistic, non-theistic, and religious) interested in training to be effective leaders, spokespersons, and advocates for humanism.

Faculty and students often are involved in the following organizations:

American Ethical Union
American Humanist Association
American Rationalist Association
The Center for Inquiry
Council on Secular Humanism
Freedom from Religion Foundation
Friends of Religious Humanism
The Humanist Society
Society for Humanistic Judaism
Unitarian Universalist Humanist Association


HSP courses are offered at Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, Il. and at the American Humanist Association headquarters in Washington, D.C.


AHA Center for Education admits students without regard to their religion so long as they are respectful of the principles of humanism.  The center does not discriminate on the basis of age, race, gender, sexuality, national or ethnic origin, or ability in the administration of education policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, or school-administered programs.