The non-linear optimization method developed by A. Konnov and V. Krotov [Autom. Remote Cont. (Engl. Transl.)60, 1427 (1999)] has been used previously to extend the capabilities of optimal control theory from the linear to the non-linear Schrödinger equation[S. E. Sklarz and D. J. Tannor, Phys. Rev. A66, 053619 (2002)]10.1103/PhysRevA.66.053619. Here we show that based on the Konnov-Krotov method, monotonically convergent algorithms are obtained for a large class of quantum control problems. It includes, in addition to nonlinear equations of motion, control problems that are characterized by non-unitary time evolution, nonlinear dependencies of the Hamiltonian on the control, time-dependent targets, and optimizationfunctionals that depend to higher than second order on the time-evolving states. We furthermore show that the nonlinear (second order) contribution can be estimated either analytically or numerically, yielding readily applicable optimization algorithms. We demonstrate monotonic convergence for an optimizationfunctional that is an eighth-degree polynomial in the states. For the “standard” quantum control problem of a convex final-time functional,linear equations of motion and linear dependency of the Hamiltonian on the field, the second-order contribution is not required for monotonic convergence but can be used to speed up convergence. We demonstrate this by comparing the performance of first- and second-order algorithms for two examples.