Explore the Masters of Athletic Administration with Dr. Johnson at Grace Skip to content

August 8, 2022

Projects with a Purpose: Explore the Benefits of a Masters of Athletic Administration with Dr. Johnson

Do you believe that athletics can make an difference for God’s Kingdom? Dr. Darrell Johnson definitely does. His dream to see sports administration that makes a difference has been realized through Grace’s online Masters of Athletic Administration. If you desire to pursue an action-oriented education, this dynamic program may be perfect for you.


Practical, Convenient, Affordable

The three pillars of the masters of athletic administration program are: Practical, convenient, and affordable. Dr. Johnson along with Dr. Tom Sawyer and Dr. Tonya Sawyer has stayed true to those three pillars as they have developed the program. As former athletic directors themselves, they understand the need for attainable education that does not halt existing careers. 

“Flexibility and affordability are very important to our students,” Johnson shares. “For some, going back on campus is just impossible, so online is a great fit.”

Those involved in sports administration have parts of the year that get very busy. Football may dominate their time in the fall and baseball in the spring, but for many, summers are more available. The program is conveniently designed to have open enrollment. This means that students can get into a class at any time and work at their own pace. A typical student will complete the program in about two years. For some, adding an extra few months is helpful as they complete projects at their own pace. 

Grace College partners with the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) and the Canadian Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (CIAAA) to provide the Masters of Athletic Administration Online. The NIAAA and the CIAAA develop current and future athletic administrators who can lead valuable athletic programs. Grace College joins with the NIAAA and CIAAA to utilize the content of their Leadership Training Courses (LTCs).



One of the distinctives of the masters of athletic administration is that it is project-based. Some of these projects include students creating their own philosophy of athletics, designing parent communication systems, creating risk management evaluations, as well as developing game management handbooks. The best thing about these projects, however, is that they are to be used upon completion in the community.

“God has blessed this master’s program. It has been amazing to see how the projects have brought real-world results,” shares Johnson. “A cool thing for me is receiving letters from principals, school board chairs, and coaches saying that the projects our students are doing are helping their schools.”

Throughout the master’s courses, students will complete projects centered around facilities, event management, sports administration, and even weight room management.

“Students have created amazing fundraisers and tournaments during their time in the program,” adds Johnson. “This program and these students are making a difference.”


Global Reach

The masters of athletic administration at Grace has become a major sponsor of the NIAAA program. This partnership is what keeps costs affordable and competitive with other programs. Some students are teaching and developing leadership training courses currently in the United States and Canada.

“I’ve seen more of Canada than I ever thought I would,” reflects Johnson. “I enjoy getting to the NIAAA and CIAAA conventions both in person and virtually.”

One little-known fact about the masters of athletic administration program is that over half of the program’s students are Canadian. This is in part because Grace is the CIAAA preferred program. As a matter of fact, we are the top school listed on the CIAAA site.  

“A benefit of being online is the many different cultures I get to interact with,” Johnson reflects. “We have students from Peru, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South America, and Europe. Right now, we have ten international students. It has been incredible to learn the different ways that sports administration is implemented around the globe.” 



Do you have a goal of impacting your community through sports administration? This Master’s degree will extend the content of the LTC modules through higher-level thinking and learning activities, and enable you to receive degree credit as you make a difference in your very own community. Learn more about our online Master of Athletic Administration program.