Core Competencies

Our PhD in Leadership seeks to develop five core competencies in the student. These include:

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Servant Leader

As a result of completing the Ph.D. in Leadership program, the student will gain the ability to think and execute skillfully as a servant leader. This core competency focuses on the acquisition of the essential knowledge, heart-level commitments, and skills needed to carry out the servant leadership model. Using both a biblical perspective of servant leadership and a values-based model of servant leadership promoted in leadership literature, this core competency serves as the fundamental distinctive of this program. Servant leaders are driven by a foundational commitment to personal integrity and to the worth and dignity of the follower.

Leader Teacher

As a result of completing the Ph.D. in Leadership program, the student will gain the ability to think and execute skillfully as a leader-teacher. This core competency focuses on the acquisition indispensible knowledge and rational skills necessary in comprehending human development processes, learning theory, and the teaching-learning process. Students gain an understanding of the relationship between learning and teaching theory and organizational leadership and development. Students explore appropriate teaching modes based on an examination of human development and learning that are applicable to leadership contexts.

Organizational Leader

As a result of completing the Ph.D. in Leadership program, the student will gain the ability to think and execute skillfully as an organizational leader. This core competency focuses on the acquisition of comprehensive knowledge of major leadership theories and related practice. Based on this knowledge, students identify leadership practices appropriate to a church, faith-based organization, non-profit organization, business, or an institution of Christian higher education. Current research in and theories of interpersonal and public communication, leadership, motivation, and group dynamics are examined with a view to the improvement of leadership praxis.

Change Agent

As a result of completing the Ph.D. in Leadership program, the student will gain the ability to think and execute skillfully as an organizational change agent. This core competency focuses on the essential knowledge, theory-base, and skills needed to function as an agent of change within a church, mission organization, faith-based organization, non-profit organization, or an institution of higher education. This competency promotes an understanding of organizational dynamics, management, and change processes including: coordination, administration, and management processes; the role of power, politics, and conflict in organizational development; and the place of strategic planning in the organizational advancement.

Researcher-Scholar

As a result of completing the Ph.D. in Leadership program, the student will gain the ability to think and execute skillfully as a researcher-scholar. This core competency focuses on the development of research skills necessary in the completion of a research doctoral degree. This is accomplished through four primary means:

  • Precedent Literature Review: Upon admission to the Ph.D. in Leadership program, participants will be required to read (or review if read previously) a significant literature base before the end of the first term of study. The precedent literature requirement enables students to share a common knowledge base.
  • Research Course Sequence: This core competency focuses on the acquisition of the skills required to conducting doctoral level research. Skill development includes identification of the research problem, conducting a literature review, designing of research approach, collecting data, data analysis, and writing of the dissertation. This core competency includes the development of analytical and critical thinking skills necessary to evaluate and interpret research findings. This competency culminates with the writing of the dissertation.
  • Mentored Research: All students are assigned a scholar-mentor who will assist them in gaining the skill of research. The mentor will supervise the student’s research and serve as the chair of the student’s dissertation committee.
  • Dissertation: Each candidate for the Ph.D. in Leadership must complete a dissertation based on the candidate’s own systematic inquiry into an area of advanced research in leadership. The dissertation is intended to demonstrate competency in research design, methodology, and the ability to think critically. The dissertation allows the student an opportunity to make a substantive contribution to the literature base in the field of leadership and church ministry.