Educational Philosophy

The PhD in Leadership is built on an applied theory/theology model of leadership study that integrates a biblical worldview with study of the fields of leadership, education and the social sciences. Since leadership, education and the social sciences are connected fields of study rooted in a common theory-base, this program enables students to acquire a breadth of knowledge across these disciplines and gain the skills needed to conduct doctoral level research. The following statements express the educational philosophy of this program.

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Biblical Foundation

We believe the Bible provides the philosophical and practical foundations for leadership in any context—therefore, classroom content and scriptural principles are integrated and applied, in every seminar, to professional practice in all contexts including the Church and society.

Biblical Character

We believe that the character of the leader is crucial for impacting leadership practice— therefore; seminars will seek not only to educate the mind, but to nurture the development of biblical character qualities in our students.

Balance of Scholarship & Professional Application

We believe that a doctoral level curriculum should provide a balance between rigorous attention to contemporary scholarship and a focus on the application of that scholarship to professional practice—therefore; seminar content will facilitate a knowledge of and reflection on social science research and theology with the application of learning to the practice of leadership.


We believe the mentoring process is the most effective means to equip people for the task of doctoral level research-- therefore; each student will have a personal relationship with an assigned faculty advisor, who will guide the academic research process from matriculation to graduation.

Learning Community

We believe adult learners, particularly at the doctoral level, benefit most from participation in a learning community rather than through an individualized academic experience—therefore; doctoral students are encouraged to abandon any competitive habits accumulated during previous years of formal schooling. The research seminar will engage the doctoral student in the giving and receiving of ideas, information, sources, and materials in the context of a community of scholarship. This sort of exchange includes sharing foundational research and advanced research manuscripts with other students for analysis and evaluation. Doctoral students will be expected to ground their research in significant and pertinent literature, and to share ideas and resources with their colleagues.

Life-long Learning

We believe in life-long education—therefore; seminars will emphasize critical thinking and research skills for maintaining continuing education and development beyond a formal degree program.