Course Descriptions

LSP901 Empirical Research I: Critical Inquiry and Research Design

This course explores critical thinking and reflection processes and then applies those concepts to research evaluation and interpretation. Students develop the knowledge, skills, and disposition for critical inquiry and research development, preparation, analysis, interpretation, and evaluation.

LSP902 Biblical and Theological Foundations of Leadership

This course examines biblical and theological themes that directly impact leadership practice. This course builds a theological and ethical foundation for the practice of leadership. Students learn to think theologically about theories, issues, and concepts drawn from the disciplines of leadership, education, and the social sciences. A framework for integrative thinking is developed.

LSP903 Character and Ethics in Leadership

This course is an examination of the qualities of a biblical servant leader, essential character qualities for effective leadership, and principles for ethical decision-making. This course provides a study of the inherent complex of attributes that determine a person’s moral and ethical actions and reactions. Ethical dilemmas will be considered in case study format to aid students in applying ethics to management and leadership decisions.

LSP904 Personality and Developmental Theory

This course provides a review of major personality and developmental theories and their potential application to leadership, education and discipleship. Course content includes an analysis of each theory’s worldview assumptions, scientific worthiness and potential contribution to leadership and instruction.

LSP905 Learning and Teaching: Theory and Practice

This course is an examination of major theories of learning and their application to teaching methodology and curriculum design. The course provides an understanding of the role of teaching and learning in the process of leadership practice and leader development. Additionally, this course prepares students for teaching in a Christian higher education context.

LSP906 Leadership and Management Theory

This course provides a critical examination of historic and contemporary leadership theories, principles and practices in the light of biblically-based models and criteria for leadership and management. This course also includes an analysis of each theory’s worldview assumptions, scientific worthiness and potential contribution to leadership and organizational development.

LSP907 Team Dynamics

This course is a study of group theory and team processes and their application to organizational leadership. Team dynamics, team development and the role of the team leader are examined.

LSP908 Empirical Research II: Research Problem and Literature Review

This is the second course in a series of three research methods seminars designed to develop research proficiency necessary for the development and implementation of the research prospectus. In this seminar, students will gain an understanding of the research process including the identification of a research problem, the development of a literature review, and the design of research study. Students produce three dissertation profiles with view to the development of a research prospectus and a literature review.

LSP909 Organizational Theory and Development

This course provides a review of theoretical approaches to management and the development of organizations. It includes an analysis of each theory’s worldview assumptions, scientific worthiness and potential contribution to leadership and organizational development. Students gain skills in the analysis of organizational culture, communication processes, and staff training.

LSP910 Change, Power, and Conflict

This course provides an analysis of the change process, the role of power and authority, and the process of conflict management and resolution.

LSP911 Empirical Research III: Prospectus and Instrument Development

This course is the final in a three course series designed to develop the research proficiency necessary for the development and implementation of the research prospectus. It provides an overview of survey research and research instrument design. It covers the process of questionnaire design, providing students with an opportunity to create and revise their own questionnaire and critique instruments used in educational and leadership research.

LSP912 Comprehensive Exams

Comprehensive examinations involve a series of individualized research questions incorporating and expanding upon the findings of doctoral course work. Doctoral students must complete the comprehensive examinations successfully before the prospectus can be approved and dissertation data gathering can begin.

LSP913 Prospectus: Chapters 1-3

After completing comprehensive exams (one of which is dissertation related), the student develops a prospectus that will present the student’s research questions and strategy. The student’s dissertation Committee supervises the dissertation writing process including the writing of the prospectus. The student defends the prospectus in an open hearing. The student cannot begin dissertation research until the Dissertation Committee accepts the prospectus.

LSP914 Dissertation

The student implements the research design submitted and approved in LSP913 Prospectus Defense: Chapters 1-3. Data are collected and dissertation conclusions developed. The student writes and defends the final dissertation product.

The process of writing the dissertation is not a sudden enterprise, but a progressive investigation of a line of empirical inquiry begun in the research seminars. Students first encounter the empirical research model in the first term during the Critical Inquiry and Research Design course. Through seminar course work, students continue to identify potential research questions.

In the Empirical Research seminars, the student receives formal training in research methodologies. As the student progresses through the sequence of required seminars, each student will develop their study of the literature base related to their intended dissertation topic. In the final Empirical Research seminar, students gain skills in instrument design, data collection, and the selection of statistical techniques. Based on these seminars, the student completes the prospectus described above. Once approved, the student embarks on the dissertation research and writing task.