You don’t work in education because it’s easy; you do it because it matters. You want to be an educator who makes a difference in your students’ lives. That’s what we want, too.
At PLNU, we are here for the same reasons you are: we truly believe in the power of education, and we care deeply about individuals—including you. 
When you earn one or more of our added authorizations or certificates, you will challenge yourself to be more effective in your work. These programs can stand alone or can be incorporated in a master’s degree program. 

Everyone you encounter here will share your goal of better serving your students, from your admissions counselor to your professors. Rest assured, PLNU’s School of Education will take a personal interest in you and care about your concerns, experience, beliefs, and goals.  

Specialized to Your Interests

Learn to successfully serve specific populations and incorporate the latest, research-based and classroom-tested best practices in a highly focused program. Take certificates and added authorizations alone, in combination, or as part of a master’s degree to create your ideal combination.

Convenient for Your Life

Our online and hybrid formats make these authorizations and certificates work with your career and family obligations. Since PLNU is known for making education personal, you can be sure you will receive the attention and support you need.

Relevant to Your Needs

District partnerships ensure PLNU’s curriculum addresses current needs and topics facing educators. As a Christian university, PLNU equips you to integrate your beliefs, values, and goals with your teaching practice.

The Diverse and Cross-Cultural Environments for Leaders program will prepare you to be a more effective leader in an education environment, business, or not-for-profit organization. This 15-unit course of study can serve as a concentration within a Master of Arts in Education with a specialization in Leadership in Learning or as a stand-alone added authorization.

In Diverse and Cross-Cultural Environments for Leaders, you will gain an in-depth understanding of complex cultural dynamics including race, gender, generation, religion, and socio-economic background. In addition, you will develop your ability to respond to the social, emotional, and academic needs of children, families, and community members, including military families, foster families, and those impacted by homelessness. You will learn from professors who have traveled to, worked in, and immersed themselves into a wide variety of socio-economic environments.

Expected Completion Time

2 - 3 semesters

Program FormatHybrid (online and face-to-face instruction)
Mission Valley
Needed Units to Graduate


Program Start Date

Spring 2017:
Quad I - January 9, 2017
Quad II - March 13, 2017

Summer 2017:
Quad I - May 15, 2017
Quad II - July 10, 2017

Fall 2017:
Quad I - August 28, 2017
Quad II - October 23, 2017

Not all programs offer entry for new students each quad, check with enrollment counselor for programs and start dates.


$610 (per unit) in San Diego & $595 (per unit) in Bakersfield for the 2016 - 2017 academic year

Ready to get started?

Quality & Experience

Diverse and Cross-Cultural Environments

The Center for Student Success and Career Development provides financial, academic, and career support for students, giving them the tools they need to be successful at PLNU and beyond.

Learn More

Important Dates

Program Start Date(s):

Spring 2017:
Quad I - January 9, 2017
Quad II - March 13, 2017

Summer 2017:
Quad I - May 15, 2017
Quad II - July 10, 2017

Fall 2017:
Quad I - August 28, 2017
Quad II - October 23, 2017

Application Date(s):

Spring 2017:
Quad I - November 29, 2016
Quad II - February 7, 2017

Summer 2017:
Quad I - April 3, 2017
Quad II - May 29, 2017

Fall 2017:
Quad I - July 17, 2017
Quad II - September 11, 2017

Not all programs offer entry for new students each quad, check with enrollment counselor for programs and start dates.

The Selection Process

To be admitted into PLNU's education program, you must have a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution, as evidenced by an official transcript.

We understand that your application is not only a reflection of you as a student; it’s a reflection of you as a person. At PLNU, we holistically evaluate your academic history, work and life experience, background, and circumstances to determine admission into a graduate program. 

While your undergraduate GPA is an important piece of your application, if you do not meet the minimum GPA requirement of a 3.0 or higher, you may still be eligible for admission. Your application package and the exceptions policy for the program are key for the final determination of admission. Please contact your enrollment counselor, who will advise you regarding your qualifications and provide specific information about the admission under exceptions process.

If you have any questions about your qualifications or the program in general, we encourage you to contact your enrollment counselor.

Application Checklist

*Note: The application is completed entirely online with the exception of transcripts, which can be submitted electronically or directly to PLNU, and test scores, which should be submitted electronically.

  • Submit online application for admissions (includes $50 non-refundable application fee—fee waived if applicant is one of the following: PLNU alum, current or former military and their dependents, or PLNU employee).
  • Submit official transcripts with proof of earned baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution. *If you have higher degree work, transcripts may be submitted but only the baccalaureate transcripts are required.
    • Official transcripts must be sent to: 
      Point Loma Nazarene University 
      Office of Graduate Admissions 
      3900 Lomaland Dr. 
      San Diego, CA 92106
    • Official electronic transcripts must be emailed to: gradprocessing@pointloma.edu
  • Submit personal essay. The essay should be 2-3 pages in length, double spaced. 
    • Describe your professional career goals for the next five years. 
    • Describe the variety of experiences that helped you determine these goals. 
    • Explain what motivates you to work in California’s diverse schools. 
    • Explain why you are applying to PLNU, a private Christian university.
  • Provide two professional recommendations—you will be asked to register your recommenders by providing their names, titles, and email addresses.
  • For credential seekers only: Submit basic skills exam (CBEST or equivalent) scores. This can be demonstrated by taking the CBEST exam. 
    • OR Multiple Subject CSET plus writing skills examination.
    • OR passage of the CSU Early Assessment Program or the CSU Placement Examination.
    • OR Proof of a Valid CA Teaching Credential.

Exceptions Policy: If you have below a 3.0 GPA in your baccalaureate degree, you will need to speak with your enrollment counselor for more information on the exceptions materials needed for this program.

Financial Aid

The Center for Student Success and Career Development is committed to assist you throughout your educational journey. Your Student Services Counselor will walk you through your payment options, which may include federal student loans, grants, employer tuition reimbursement, military benefits, and the Tuition Installment Plan. We encourage you to reach out to your Student Services Counselor to learn about the financial opportunities available to you.

Types of Aid

Types of aid available for master’s degree students:

Potential sources of aid may include:

  • Federal student loans
  • Grants
  • Employer tuition reimbursement process
  • Military and veterans benefits
  • Tuition installment plan

Visit Graduate Student Financial Services for more information.

Still have questions? Our enrollment counselors are here to help.

List of Courses

You will take the following required courses for the certificate in Diverse and Cross-Cultural Environments for Leaders.

GED 606 - Organizational Leadership and Resource Management (3)

This course provides an opportunity for the candidate to learn how to ensure the management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient, and effective learning environment. The course includes the study and application of organizational theory that reflects effective leadership and management concepts and strategies that contribute to exceptional achievement of learning goals and the professional participation of all adults in the learning community. CTC Standard 6(c)/CPSEL Standard 3.

GED 628 - Using Technology to Enhance Teaching and Learning (2)

This course provides candidates the additional preparation they need to be fluent, critical users of technology, able to provide a relevant education to those who seek life-long learning in an information-based, interactive society. Candidates make appropriate and efficient use of software applications and related media to access and evaluate information, analyze and solve problems, and communicate ideas in order to maximize the instructional process. The use of technology supports teaching and learning regardless of individual learning style, socioeconomic background, culture, ethnicity, or geographic location. Candidates integrate technology-related tools into the educational experience of students, including those with special needs.

GED 668 - Advanced Practice for English Learners (3)

This course develops candidate knowledge, skills, and dispositions in the foundations of English language literacy development, content instruction, and understanding for communities with diverse language and cultural backgrounds.  Candidates will develop an understanding of the process of English language literacy and content instruction development with an emphasis on Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (SDAIE) and English Language Development (ELD).  Candidates will focus on the effective process of instructional planning and organization, components of effective instructional delivery, and the effective use of resources (CTEL 2 Domains 2 and 3).

GED 675 - Family Systems (3)

This course provides candidates with an understanding of the interdependence among family members, including how family members conceptualize their roles and position in the family unit. This course equips candidates to work collaboratively with families toward successful academic development and personal/social issues such as positive self-esteem. Candidates learn the meaning of family systems theory and how it applies to school counselors as they execute their roles and responsibilities in schools today. Candidates gain an understanding of parents’ rights in the educational process, enabling them to better meet their needs. Candidates learn how to coordinate prevention education training among multidisciplinary teams that include family participants.

GED 691 - Educational Workshops/ Special Studies in Education

Instructional Technology Project. An intensive study of a special topic in education involving university faculty and/or lecturers. Available for continuing education units. May be repeated for a total of 12 units. Graded Credit/No Credit or Letter.

Choose either

GED 609 - Collaborative and Responsive Leadership (3)

This course provides an opportunity for the candidate to learn how to work effectively with families, caregivers, and community members; recognize the goals and aspirations of diverse families; respond to diverse community interests and needs; and mobilize community resources in the service of student achievement. In this regard, the program offers the candidates an opportunity to examine and evaluate their attitudes toward people of different races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds as well as examine their attitudes toward sexual orientation and individuals with disabilities.  Candidates will learn to be effective leaders in a diverse setting and to value individuals from different family structures, religions, races, cultures, socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, and treat them with fairness and respect. CTC Standard 6(d)/CPSEL Standard 4.  (May be substituted for GED 641 School Communities in a Pluralistic Society.


GED 641 - Cultural Competence in a Pluralistic Society (3)

This course develops candidates’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions regarding cultural competence and sensitivity inclusive of personal awareness, culturally inclusive instruction, culturally inclusive counseling, advocating for diverse populations across the lifespan, in roles that eliminate biases, creating culturally inclusive environments.  (May be substituted for GED 609Collaborative and Responsive Leadership.)

If you are pursuing this certificate as part of a Master of Arts in Education - Teaching and Learning, you will also take the twenty-one semester units required for the degree.


Why PLNU? No matter which PLNU program you decide is right for you, you'll discover the hallmark PLNU experience is designed to give every student the clear framework and professional tools to stand out in his or her field.

Established in 1902, PLNU is located in beautiful San Diego. Our small class sizes, focused faculty attention, and convenient online offerings are just a few of the powerful ways PLNU delivers real value to every student, no matter which physical or virtual campus he or she chooses.

Diverse and Cross-Cultural Environments


San Diego 
Katherine MacMahon
Enrollment Counselor
(619) 563-2885

Stephanie Meier
(661) 377-4721
(866) 861-4723