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Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership Curriculum

Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership Quick Links:
Foundation Curriculum (24 credits)
Research Curriculum (12 credits)
Business Leadership Concentration Curriculum (12 credits)
Nonprofit Leadership Concentration Curriculum (12 credits)
Educational Leadership Concentration Curriculum (12 credits)
Comprehensive Examination
Dissertation

Foundation Curriculum (24 credits)

The foundation curriculum consists of 12 courses in research methodologies and the leadership of dynamic organizations.

LEAD 710: Historical and Cultural Perspectives of Organizational Leadership
3 credits
In this course students examine the history of leadership theory and research to understand the pattern and future direction of leadership studies. Students will also explore the nature and character of leadership.  The key questions are: What is leadership? What are the different aspects of leadership? How has that understanding remained the same or changed throughout the global  history? How does context affect the nature of leadership? What are the moral purposes of leadership? This course utilizes an interdisciplinary approach in its survey of leadership issues, incorporating historical, literary, political, scientific, sociological, and cultural perspectives.

LEAD 720: Leadership Theory and Practice
3 credits
This course will expose students to leadership literature and theories, so that they may use them as a platform to reflect on their personal practices within their own organizations. Because leadership is influenced by the complexities of the human element, as well as various worldviews and their corresponding value systems, students will be challenged to integrate their understanding of leadership practice with the tenets of Christian faith. Through this course, students will develop an understanding of the main exponents of leadership theory and their respective theories as they learn to critically evaluate their own personal practices as leaders. Completion of this course will satisfy Pennsylvania standards in the preparation of superintendents, specifically the certification requirements for the “Letter of Eligibility.”

LEAD 730: Models of Organizational Behavior
3 credits
In this course we will explore the dynamics of human behavior in organizational settings by familiarizing ourselves with basic organizational behavior (OB) theories at these various levels of analysis. A recent shift in the field is the prominence OB scholars have given to the role of positive psychology. From this perspective, managers strive to be altruistic, authentic, and transformational in their interactions with followers. In addition, each individual is viewed as inherently seeking to live a virtuous life by realizing their true vocation or calling. In short, regardless of our profession or work environment, we are whole beings who cannot, and should not separate our values and spiritual needs from our professional pursuits. When managers, employees and organizations recognize the value of and pursue such a philosophy of organizational behavior, we can achieve extraordinary levels of success and fulfillment. Completion of this course will satisfy Pennsylvania standards in the preparation of superintendents, specifically the certification requirements for the “Letter of Eligibility.”

LEAD 810: Strategic Leadership and Organizational Change
3 credits
This course will enable students to develop an understanding of strategic management concepts and to analyze, assess, and resolve complex management problems. Students will learn to use the four analytical techniques of SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis, value chain analysis, strategic cost analysis, and competitive strength assessment in the formulation of comprehensive leadership strategies. Students will also explore theories of organizational change with an emphasis on transformational change (change that occurs at a fundamental level of the system). Strategies for identifying and positively affecting the core of the organization will be discussed. Further, students will acquire a vocabulary and conceptual framework for integrating technical definitions of communication, subjectivity, motivation, and beliefs into a coherent image of collective activity. They will also practice strategies, models, and methods for adapting to and affecting change in interpersonal and group situations. Completion of this course will satisfy Pennsylvania standards in the preparation of superintendents, specifically the certification requirements for the “Letter of Eligibility.”

LEAD 825: Capacity Building in Human Resources
3 credits
This course introduces human resource management from a strategic perspective. In this course, students will learn how to manage human resources effectively in the dynamic legal, social, and economic environments currently governing organizations. Students will develop an understanding of strategic management and its importance in building an effective and healthy organization. Among the topics included are: formulation and implementation of human resource strategy, methods of recruitment and selection, techniques for training and development, performance appraisal, compensation and benefits, and the evaluation of the effectiveness of HRM systems. The course will adopt an integrative approach in that applications will be made to organizations within the business, education and non-profit sectors and supported with studies/case studies in the respective fields. Completion of this course will satisfy Pennsylvania standards in the preparation of superintendents, specifically the certification requirements for the “Letter of Eligibility.”

LEAD 830: Leadership, Spirituality, and Mission
3 credits
This course introduces students to the nature and purpose of spirituality and spiritual development. The course proposes to assist students in constructing and refining those spiritual principles of interpretation that are philosophically, theologically, and pastorally relevant to the tenets of the human condition within the Christian community and other religious traditions. The placement for leadership (for this course) lies within the context of human development, spiritual awakening, and self-discovery through introspection and reflection. This course is leadership oriented, spiritually significant, and theologically challenging to help integrate holistic and personal growth in areas that are quintessential aspects of a leader illuminated by spirituality. The critical questions that must be asked and answered are: How does each of the eight interdependent areas impact and enhance leadership either individually or collectively?

LEAD 840: Leadership, Justice, and Servanthood
3 credits
Meaningful responses to human suffering are grounded in discernment regarding human conflict; harm and oppression; power and the abuse of power; and the rights, responsibilities, and opportunities – personal, communal, and global – that arise from the crucible of potential that is our humanity. Using a lens of contemporary social justice theory, students will look at what it means to be leaders who champion just systems and practices in their own organization, industry sector, and profession. This course asks students to address such questions as: What does it mean to lead justly, to advocate for justice? How can one choose servant leadership, restorative justice, and forgiveness in the face of systemic oppression, suffering, and grave human atrocities? What does it mean to be a person of restorative justice and forgiveness? In Leadership, Justice, and Servanthood, students engage in reading, reflection, research, and discussion that inform their practice as leaders and leadership scholars who advocate for justice and who model servant leadership.

LEAD 860: Leadership in Global Contexts
3 credits
Because globalization is an evolving concept relative to all disciplines, 21st-century leaders must develop a framework for engaging with all of the opportunities and challenges presented by global interconnectedness. This course examines the complex issues related to leadership within a global context. The practice of effective and moral leadership requires attention to particular contextual and situational factors, including the specific needs and perspectives of individual leaders and their followers, as well as the various dimensions of culture that inform and influence both the theory and practice of leadership. In this course, students will seek to understand how culture and identity shape moral worldviews and methods of interaction. In addition, students will critically engage with thinkers who offer—individually and collectively—their own normative conceptions for constructing cross-cultural ethics or even a “global ethic.” Finally,students will examine not just how practices of effective and ethical leadership vary across nations and cultures, but also the ways in which leadership theory itself is culturally dependent.

Research Curriculum (12 credits)

LEAD 740: Foundations of Research Methodology
3 credits
This course is the first of four courses aimed at grounding doctoral students in the methods of social and behavioral science research and thus begins the preparation for the doctoral dissertation.  It is assumed that students will have some background in statistics and research methodology, nevertheless this course will revisit the foundations of research methodology providing students with a basic framework to critically evaluate social and behavioral science research.  Students will be evaluated on their understanding and ability to apply the major concepts and methods of qualitative and quantitative research.   The application part of this course emphasizes the critique of research articles and in particular the appropriateness and strength of the research methods used.  This course should enable students to evaluate more critically the claims of the author’s in the scientific literature as well as the “experts” in the popular press.  To learn method is to learn how to reflect on the world in a systematic way. 

LEAD 870: Qualitative Research Methodology
3 credits
This research methodology course introduces doctoral students to a variety of qualitative research methods and the research process of doing fieldwork, analyzing and interpreting data, and writing a report. Students will gain knowledge of qualitative research methods, such as narrative study, autoethnography, ethnography, grounded theory, phenomenology, and case study; develop a workable research design based on their self-selected topic and method, conduct a mini-scale research study, write a research report, and present the report to the faculty and peers.  LEAD740 is a prerequisite to this course. 

LEAD 871: Quantitative Research Methodology
3 credits
This research class introduces students to the knowledge base, processes, and experiences involved in designing, conducting, and reporting quantitative research studies relevant to selected research problems in the social sciences. The course examines frameworks for quantitative field studies and experimental designs, assessment of measure reliability and validity, and use of descriptive and inferential data analysis. Students will apply course content toward the conceptualization and completion of an empirical study on a selected topic. This class utilizes a research team model and requires participation and collaboration by well-prepared students every week. LEAD740 is a prerequisite to this course.

Choose one of the following three courses to finish the Research Curriculum Sequence:

LEAD 880: Advanced Qualitative Research
3 credits
This advanced qualitative research seminar course provides an opportunity for third-year doctoral students who elect a qualitative research method for their dissertation study to conduct an extensive literature review on their research method and to complete the method chapter of their proposal. For this reason, students are expected to learn independently and take an active role in searching and critically evaluating reading materials suitable for their dissertation topic and method.  Students who elect this course are expected to have a clear idea of their dissertation topic and have selected their research method.  This course is offered as one of three advanced method course options in the third year of study (other two options are LEAD881Advanced Quantitative Research and LEAD882 Research Team).  Students are recommended to take this course concurrently with LEAD920 Dissertation Proposal Seminar.

LEAD 881: Advanced Quantitative Research
3 credits
In this course, students learn and apply methods for conducting research projects and analyzing information to answer research questions and test hypotheses.  The course covers methods of study and analysis used in quantitative research in the fields of organization and leadership.  The course involves study design, as well as collection and analysis of data.  It includes executing and writing up the results of a research study. It also includes dialogues that cover key issues in measurement in quantitative research, statement of testable hypotheses, presentation of statistical analysis, and interpretation of research findings.  Throughout the course process, students are called upon to improve scholarly writing techniques and explore skills needed to successfully design and execute a PhD dissertation. This course is offered as one of three advanced method course options in the third year of study (other two options are LEAD880 Advanced Qualitative Research and LEAD882 Research Team).  Students are recommended to take this course concurrently with LEAD920 Dissertation Proposal Seminar.

LEAD 882: Research Team
3 credits
This course is aimed at giving doctoral students practical experience in designing and conducting full-scale empirical research by working in a research team guided by a faculty member. The topic of research is determined by the faculty mentor, depending on his/her research agenda. The research seminar agenda is focused on reading and evaluating research on the topic set by the faculty mentor, collecting and analyzing either qualitative or quantitative data (or both for mixed methods projects), and/or writing and publishing a research report. The focus of the course may vary each year. Students must gain permission from the faculty mentor to participate in this course. Once accepted to the course, they are to expected to participate in the research team for at least two semesters. Space is limited in the course. This course is offered as one of three advanced method course options in the third year of study (other two options are LEAD880 Advanced Qualitative Research and LEAD881Advanced Quantitative Research). 

Business Leadership Concentration (12 credits)

MNGT 750: Organizational Design
3 credits
This course examines contemporary organizational design, evaluating organizations as living, dynamic systems. Organizations are explored through the frames of structure, human resources, politics, symbols, chaos and complexity, and appreciative inquiry. Students will also be introduced to classical organizational theory and will learn to critically examine the role of the leader in organizations.

MNGT 765 Leading in Community: People, Problem-Solving and Conflict
3 credits
Interpersonal relationships within an organization are critical to the success of the enterprise. Although leaders must often focus on articulating the mission and vision of an organization to external constituents, this emphasis may lead to underdeveloped structures and undernourished personnel within the organization. Leading in Community will provide students with multiple frameworks within which to analyze their own leadership styles, characteristics and effectiveness for the purpose of cultivating community within the organization. In addition, this course will focus on the role of Human Resources within an organization. By the completion of the course, students will develop an ethical framework to identify organizational systems and processes for increasing communication, solving problems, and reducing conflict.

MNGT 780 Training and Development
3 credits
Building upon the belief that people are an organization's greatest resource, this course examines effective methods for providing employees with training and professional development experiences in order to align them with the purposes, values, and culture of a particular organization.  Students will engage with both research and best practice to determine the roles of the leader, the human resources department and external consultants in training employees. By the completion of this course, students will be able to design and conduct a training program based on research and best practice and to evaluate the effectiveness of a training and development program.

MNGT 880 Consulting Practice
3 credits
This course examines the philosophy of consulting to include the “main body of leadership mind”—ethics, courage, reality, and vision—as intelligence tools. It also analyzes the consulting domain as it relates to internal and external barriers of organizations, such as structural concerns, gaps in leaders’ skills and knowledge, and effectiveness of collective intelligence. Students will learn to understand, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate consulting principles and practices through a variety of instructional activities and to participate in the consulting process through case studies and research

Nonprofit Leadership Concentration (12 credits)

BUSA 750: Strategic Management of Nonprofit Organizations
3 credits
Guided by the unique mission of the non-profit sector, this course will develop the students' ability to manage organizational resources strategically. Specifically, the course will cover the use of operational and financial data for non-profit management decision-making and review organizational and governance models, including hybrid models (profit generation within a non-profit), to ensure alignment with the organization's mission and long-term sustainability.

BUSA 760: Advocacy and Public Policy
3 credits
As governments make public policies that have significant impacts on human relationships of all types, those who desire God’s justice and peace for the world make understanding and influencing policy a priority.  Thus, this course prepares leaders to analyze public policy and assess and deploy appropriate strategies to engage the public and governments at all levels.  First, students will evaluate historic models of public engagement to assess the roles and strategies of groups engaged in civil society.  Students will also become familiar with the range of government policy instruments and strategies used in various national and political contexts.  Second, coursework will emphasize developing critical analyses of the broad range of conceptual and strategic approaches to advocacy and utilizing and evaluating policy analysis tools.  Students will compare critical policy needs in various countries and appraise the policy analysis tools and advocacy strategies surveyed.  In order to approach advocacy from a uniquely Christian perspective, participants will examine the Christian witness to the state (at all levels) and evaluate the role followers of Jesus have in walking with the oppressed to seek justice for them.  Case studies from a variety of Christian and secular organizations will highlight the various approaches used to influence policy and levels at which advocacy can occur.

BUSA 770: Advancement, Fundraising, and Philanthropy for Nonprofit
3 credits
This course will examine the timeless subject of philanthropy, beginning with its Judeo-Christian roots, tracing its development through history, and culminating with research findings in contemporary philanthropy.  Historical analysis of the role of money and giving in society will be balanced with a view of modern philanthropic developments.  Challenges to voluntarism and philanthropy will also merit our attention.  The aim of our study, debate, interaction, and reflection will be to engage the hearts, minds and souls of those on whom our institutions depend—the philanthropists—in order to find a commonality of vision that extends shared wishes and dreams. The domains, structure, and competencies of the modern development office will be explored and practiced.

BUSA 880: Collaborative Leadership and Partnership
3 credits
This course will cover the development of a philosophy of partnership and collaboration for the organization focusing on the concepts of servant leadership and organizational stewardship.  Practical implications will be the conceptual and practical questions in the design, implementation, and ongoing management of partnerships both with the internal stakeholders and external organizations.  Collaborative competencies and models of partnership between non-profits and government, non-profits and the church, and non-profits and non-profits will be examined.

Educational Leadership Concentration (12 credits)

EDU 750 Leadership and the Chief Executive Officer in Education
3 credits
This course addresses the unique role of the Chief Executive Officer of an educational institution, whether the president of a university, head of a private school, or superintendent of a school district.  The CEO of an educational institution has responsibility for the multiplex of issues that impact his or her office.  Students will analyze that multiplex to determine how the CEO can be most effective, evaluating the relevant political, economic, and social factors; the focus on academic excellence; the clarification of organizational structure; the recognition of decision-making patterns; the necessity of strategic leadership; and the strategies of consensus building. Emphasis is placed on the leadership skills necessary for the successful CEO to lead his or her educational enterprise. Completion of this course will satisfy Pennsylvania standards in the preparation of superintendents, specifically the certification requirements for the “Letter of Eligibility.”

EDU 760 Equity, Justice, & Accountability in Educational Leadership and Policy
3 credits
This course will introduce to educational leaders concepts, theories, and policies pertaining to educational equity and justice and governance accountability; help the leaders apply the equity framework to the critical analysis of national, state, and local policies affecting educational practices in their organization; and develop the leaders as transformational problem-solvers promoting educational equity, justice, and accountability.  The leaders are expected to utilize qualitative and quantitative information from scholarly and primary sources to gain knowledge of educational policies and to seek ways to improve the policies to effect equitable, just, accountable education for all students. The role of boards in educational institutions will be examined. Completion of this course will satisfy Pennsylvania standards in the preparation of superintendents, specifically the certification requirements for the “Letter of Eligibility.”

EDU 780 Advanced Study of Educational Law and Finance
3 credits
The first part of the course focuses on methods to analyze financial status, forecast financial projections, and negotiate financial solutions for building programs. The second part of this course focuses on contemporary legal issues confronting primary, secondary, and post-secondary (higher educational) institutions.  Completion of this course will satisfy Pennsylvania standards in the preparation of superintendents, specifically the certification requirements for the “Letter of Eligibility.”

EDU 880 Educational Leadership Practicum
3 credits
The emphasis of this course is placed on the integration of prior course work and work-place experience necessary for the preparation of the educational leader who intends to serve in higher education, K-12 public education, private schools, charter schools, international schools, for-profit schools, or educational consulting firms. This course is designed for students to apply knowledge acquired from prior core and concentration courses through a  mentored practicum experience.  Two sections of the course are typically offered.  In the K-12 section, the course will provide for reflective experience in various leadership functions including: finance, law, curriculum, assessment, planning, human resources, communication, student development, advancement, marketing, community relations, or governance.  Seventy hours of extended practicum hours are required for students pursuing the Superintendent Letter of Eligibility.  The higher education section focuses on higher education teaching, introducing university teaching as a profession and vocation.  Students will examine critical issues in higher education, historically and currently, explore pedagogy and practice teaching skills appropriate to various institutional settings, populations and methods of delivery.  Ultimately, students will be prepared to define their own philosophy of teaching, develop effective teaching skills and artistry, and plan to navigate a university career.  15 hours of on-site field work/ internship are required.

Comprehensive Examination

Successful completion of comprehensive examinations is necessary for progression to Ph.D. candidacy in the program.
The purpose of the doctoral examination is for students to independently demonstrate:

  • Thorough mastery of the content of the first two years of the curriculum supported by literature and/or related research.
  • The ability to demonstrate critical thinking through application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation of knowledge
  • The ability to present answers in an organized and grammatically acceptable way. 

The comprehensives occur in two phases: the written exam and a portfolio assessment. The written exams are administered after successful completion of two years (36 credits) with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0 prior to sitting for examinations. The portfolio is submitted after the successful completion of three years (54 credits) with a cumulative grade-point average of at least 3.0.

Dissertation Curriculum

LEAD 910 Dissertation Proposal Seminar
3 credits
This seminar introduces students to the process of dissertation proposal development. Utilizing online discussions, student evaluations, and faculty feedback, this course will provide students with the opportunity to apply the knowledge obtained in previous research design courses, to develop their ability in writing research questions/hypotheses, and to critically evaluate organizational leadership research proposals. By the conclusion of the seminar, each student will complete the first draft of his/her dissertation proposal.

LEAD 920/921/922 Dissertation I, II, III
3 credits, 3 credits, 3 credits
The doctoral dissertation in Organizational Leadership is designed to demonstrate the student’s ability to conduct scholarly research. This project is accomplished through the collection and analysis of research data on a specific problem. The research must be on a problem worthy of study, using both primary and original data. The goal is to develop new sources of knowledge within an intellectual tradition. The dissertation should be original research that contributes to the field of knowledge, while simultaneously demonstrating the student’s comprehension of existing scholarship on the subject. LEAD910 is a prerequisite to LEAD 920 and subsequent dissertation courses.

LEAD 931 Dissertation Continuation
2 credits
Students must enroll in this two-credit dissertation continuation course each semester to receive uninterrupted advising from their dissertation chair and members beyond LEAD920/921/922 until the semester when they defend their dissertation and are conferred.

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