Jun 15, 2024  
Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017 
Graduate Academic Catalog 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

General Information


The Character of Gordon College

Description and History

Gordon College is the only nondenominational Christian college in New England. It offers 38 majors and confers three separate undergraduate degrees: Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Music. Gordon offers graduate programs in education and music education and confers two graduate degrees: Master of Education and Master of Music Education.

Gordon was founded in Boston in 1889 by a small group of Christians who recognized the need for educated leadership in churches and society. They organized what was first called the Boston Missionary Training Institute. Chief among the founders, and the first president, was the Reverend Dr. Adoniram Judson Gordon, a prominent Boston pastor whose name the school adopted after his death in 1895.

Gordon developed into a liberal arts college with a graduate seminary and moved to its present several-hundred-acre North Shore campus in 1955. In 1970 the divinity school was merged with the Conwell School of Theology from Philadelphia to form the new and separate Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary located in South Hamilton, Massachusetts.

In 1996 Gordon College began a graduate program in education and in 2003 added a graduate program in music education. Gordon confers the Master of Education and Master of Music Education.


Gordon College is located 25 miles north of Boston on several hundred acres of land in the North Shore communities of Wenham, Manchester and Hamilton. The campus has three ponds, and borders Chebacco Woods. The nearby ocean and the mountains of New Hampshire provide both summer and winter recreational activities for Gordon students. Gordon is ideally located for a liberal arts college; museums and libraries of metropolitan Boston and the North Shore area provide opportunities for research and student cooperative experiences, while many historical sites nearby afford unique insights into the political, social and literary histories of the United States.

Many acres of undeveloped land on Gordon’s campus provide a laboratory for study in the natural sciences. The private and public schools of the North Shore communities make available a variety of philosophical and methodological approaches to the education of children. Opportunities to become involved in business and research abound, especially in electronic and research laboratories on the North Shore.


The Gordon College Graduate Education Program strives to partner with the community in preparing teachers and leaders of integrity, discernment and effectiveness through rigorous scholarship and personalized mentoring.

The Gordon College Graduate Education Program is dedicated to:

  • Investigating the highest critical standard of current research and educational theory
  • Providing a forum in which educational philosophies and practices are synthesized, analyzed and evaluated
  • Meeting and exceeding all teaching standards required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Integrating ethics reflective of our Christian heritage
  • Fostering a culture of community and open dialog
  • Engaging respectfully with the many cultures represented in schools and society

Foundations of Gordon’s Philosophy of Education

Gordon College, an independent liberal arts and sciences institution, is distinctively Christian in its educational philosophy and mode of operation. It stresses quality in teaching and employs teacher-scholars who mentor students in the education and development of the whole person. Students from many denominations, states and territories, and foreign countries are represented in the coeducational student body. Gordon is a community of learners who seek to understand themselves, their community, culture and world from within the framework of a worldview and life-view derived from their common commitment to Christ and the tenets of historic Christianity.

Behavioral Expectations

As a Christian community Gordon College seeks to maintain itself by fostering ideals and standards consistent with a Christian worldview. The College has established a Statement of Life and Conduct (see Appendix B ) which sets forth the assumptions and principles which should guide the conduct of responsible Christians and the specific behavioral expectations for members of the Gordon College community.

The use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco is not permitted on the campus or adjacent properties, or at any College-related activity. Members of the Gordon community are not to use, possess or cause to be brought on campus narcotic or hallucinogenic drugs, including marijuana.

Although these and other rules are valuable for orderly community life, they do not dominate or express the spirit of Gordon College. As a community, the College is deeply committed to mutual support, freedom and responsibility, all of which are essential for the practical expression of God’s love.  

Accreditations and Affiliations

Gordon College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc., a nongovernmental, nationally recognized organization whose affiliated institutions include elementary schools through collegiate institutions offering postgraduate instruction. Such accreditation indicates that the institution meets or exceeds criteria for the assessment of institutional quality applied through periodic peer group reviews. Accredited schools or colleges must have available the necessary resources to achieve stated purposes through appropriate educational programs, must be substantially doing so and must give reasonable evidence they will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. Institutional integrity is also addressed through accreditation.

Accreditation by the New England Association applies to the institution as a whole. Inquiries regarding status of an institution’s accreditation by the New England Association should be directed to the administrative staff of the College. Individuals may also contact the Association:

Commission on Institutions of Higher Education
New England Association of Schools and Colleges
209 Burlington Road
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730-1433
781 271 0022

Gordon College is also accredited, certified or approved by the following agencies:

  • Interstate Certification Compact
  • National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification
  • Massachusetts Board of Higher Education
  • United States Government (Gordon College is authorized under federal law to enroll non-immigrant alien students and is approved by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education for the training of veterans and their dependents.)
  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
  • National Association of Schools of Music
  • The Council on Social Work Education for Baccalaureate Social Work Education

Gordon belongs to numerous educational and professional organizations. See Off-Campus Programs for a listing of the many affiliations and linkages which enrich Gordon students.

Christian College Consortium (CCC) and Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU)
As a member of the Christian College Consortium and the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, associations formed to promote inter-institutional cooperation for the cause of Christian higher education, Gordon College is committed to the tenets and spirit of evangelical Christianity. In addition, the Consortium seeks to encourage member institutions in the pursuit of their respective missions; sponsors research and study among faculty on the integration of the Christian faith and learning, and designs and promotes research activities to evaluate educational programs and to improve the management of member institutions.

Northeast Consortium of Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts (NECCUM)
Gordon College is a member of the Northeast Consortium of Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts, a collective of state and private institutions which includes Endicott College, Marian Court College, Merrimack College, Middlesex Community College, Montserrat College of Art, North Shore Community College, Northern Essex Community College, Salem State University and the University of Massachusetts Lowell.

The Graduate Programs at Gordon College

Graduate Degrees

All graduate education degrees are two years in length.

  • Master of Education (established 1996)
  • Education Specialist (established 2013)

Graduate music degrees are three years in length.

  • Master of Music Education (established 2002)

Levels and Areas of Teacher Licensure Offered

The graduate programs at Gordon College are aligned with the standards of the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education for teacher licensure. DESE requires that students first pursue an initial license and then continue on to a professional license or an additional teaching license.

Initial Licensure

  • Early Childhood with and without Disabilities (PreK-2)
  • Educational Leadership
  • Elementary (1-6)
  • English as a Second Language (PreK-6, 5-12)
  • Math Specialist (PreK-8)
  • Middle School/Secondary
    • Arts (PreK-6, 5-12)
    • Biology (5-8, 8-12)
    • Chemistry (5-8, 8-12)
    • Earth Science (5-8, 8-12)
    • English (5-8, 8-12)
    • Foreign Languages: French (5-12), Spanish (5-12)
    • General Science (5-8)
    • History (5-8, 8-12)
    • Humanities (5-8)
    • Mathematics (5-8, 8-12)
    • Mathematics/Science (5-8)
    • Political Science/Political Philosophy (5-8, 8-12)
    • Physics (5-8, 8-12)
  • Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8, 5-12)
  • Reading Specialist (PreK-12)
  • Music Education (general, vocal, instrumental) (PreK-12)

Professional Licensure

  • Early Childhood (PreK-2)
  • Elementary (1-6)
  • Middle School/Secondary
    • Arts (PreK-6, 5-12)
    • Biology (5-8, 8-12)
    • Chemistry (5-8, 8-12)
    • English (5-8, 8-12)
    • History (5-8, 8-12)
    • Mathematics (5-8, 8-12)
    • Modern Foreign Languages-French (5-12), Spanish (5-12)
    • Physics (5-8, 8-12)
  • Moderate Disabilities (PreK-8, 5-12)
  • Music Education (general, vocal, instrumental) (PreK-12)

Licensure Only

Licensure Only is for educators already holding a master’s degree in education and licensure in appropriate field.

  • Educational Leadership
  • English as a Second Language (PreK-6, 5-12)
  • Math Specialist (PreK-8)
  • Reading Specialist (PreK-12)
  • Music Education (general, vocal, instrumental)

Education Specialist

The Education Specialist (Ed.S.) is an advanced degree program designed for students who have earned a master’s degree, and wish to obtain additional expertise in another area of teacher licensure.

  • Educational Leadership
  • English as a Second Language (PreK-8, 5-12)
  • Reading Specialist (PreK-12)
  • Math Specialist (PreK-8)

Course Offerings

  • Summer/Fall Term
    • Summer Session: end of June - August
    • Fall Session: September - December
  • Winter/Spring Term
    • Winter Session: January - March
    • Spring Session: April - mid-June