The Doctor of Leadership program is designed for mid-career leaders who want to refine and refresh their leadership practice. In this program, participants will be challenged to explore their foundational beliefs and expand their understanding of what it means to be a leader. Working independently and with other learners, each participant will be asked to reflect on their understanding of theory, demonstrate how those theories may have been represented in their work, and challenge themselves to see how to serve others more authentically. They will explore areas such as purpose and mission, organizational dynamics, creativity and innovation, leadership ethics, the essentials of execution, and leadership research, all with a focus on improving leadership decision-making, inspiring others, and learning to emulate and follow God’s leadership.
The program uses a flexible learning structure that is learner-driven, life-embedded, and competency-focused. It employs a learning model that values the power of learning communities and harnesses the benefits of networking with others from a variety of leadership settings. These and many other experiences are encompassed within a learning community and do not require a move of their families or a break in their careers.
The Doctor of Leadership program is designed to be completed in 3-5 years while working full-time. All work is expected to be completed within 7 years. Those who have completed an MA in Leadership from Andrews University are deemed to have met the Core Requirements (14 credits) for the DLead if each of the Core Requirement classes have been taken in their MA in Leadership, or their equivalent. For more information regarding the program, please see the Leadership program website.
This program is offered both as an interactive online program, and also as a job-embedded design at approved off-campus locations, which includes face-to-face delivery. The online courses typically follow fixed enrollment with semester start and end dates. Participants interact with each other and with instructors throughout the courses (see School of Distance Education definitions). They are also part of a learning group which meets monthly for mutual support and accountability, and to engage in significant sharing and evaluation of learning related to competency development. The online program also requires on-campus attendance of a two-week orientation during the summer of their first year of coursework (LEAD 630). In subsequent years, the online participants attend the on-campus annual Leadership Conference and Roundtable (LEAD 600, typically 3 days). Additionally, participants will have the option of attending other planned learning events designed to support them in specific areas of their program (e.g., research boot camps, innovation workshops, writing retreats, etc.) organized in connection with the Annual Conference. Students are also encouraged to come to campus for graduation.
Research and Doctoral Project - 20+
DLead participants demonstrate competency in both qualitative and quantitative social science research methods through the research competencies, including a doctoral project with data collection, analysis, and application. Depending on previous documentable research experience and in consultation with their advisor, appropriate research method courses are selected to fulfill the research plan. EDRM 505 or equivalent is an expected prerequisite for doctoral-level research.
Portfolio and Publishing - 2
- LEAD 895 - Doctoral Portfolio Credits: 2
Completion of the Doctor of Leadership degree requires the development, documentation, and final presentation of a professional portfolio of the required competencies to a faculty panel. A list of the competencies can be found at the Leadership Program website.
All Doctor of Leadership participants must submit a research-based article to an appropriate professional publication, in collaboration with their faculty supervisor(s).
Specialty Concentration (Optional)
Participants seeking to develop a specialty within their doctoral leadership program can do so under the guidance of a qualified faculty advisor with appropriate academic or professional expertise to guide and assess the specialized coursework and the competencies in the area of the desired concentration. Participants must fulfill the following requirements within their course of study in the Leadership Program to receive a specific Specialty Concentration:
- A minimum of 12 credits, 600 level or above, in the area of the concentration.
- Three competencies in the area of the concentration.
- An approved professional publication in the area of the concentration.
Specialties (such as Creativity and Innovation, Healthcare Leadership, etc.) will be noted on the transcript of the participant.
Maintaining Active Status
In addition to other university requirements, active status in the Leadership program requires the participant to maintain:
- Monthly interaction with Learning Group. Participants register for LEAD 605 (0 credits) each semester.
- Continuous progress. Appropriate progress in fulfilling the LLP.
- Contact with the advisor.
- Continuous registration every semester.
- Yearly registration and attendance at the annual Leadership Conference and Roundtable.
- Satisfactory financial arrangements with the university.
- Employment must be maintained throughout the program.
- Evidence of progress through regular competency evaluations.
- A sample of your best writing (e.g., published article, organizational document, research paper, etc.).
- A successful interview with two or more members of the Leadership faculty.
- Minimum of five years of professional work experience in a leadership setting is expected.
- A Masters degree or equivalent is expected for admission.
- GRE scores are not required for admission. However, an applicant may choose to take the GRE test and submit scores to Andrews University for consideration in potential scholarship awards.
- Current, full-time employment or business/ministry owner. This environment must provide a “laboratory” for developing and demonstrating growing expertise in the competency areas and for preparing the portfolio.
These program admission requirements have been designed to be aligned with the Graduate Admissions section of this bulletin. Those interested in applying for this program will also want to read that section as there may be additional admission requirements.
Applicants must commit to participate in:
- First year only: The Leadership Orientation (LEAD 630).
- Monthly: Regularly scheduled Learning Group meetings, typically on a monthly basis (LEAD 605).
- Every summer: Attending the Annual Leadership Conference & Roundtable event (LEAD 600).
- Regular online communication: The participant must be responsible for keeping abreast of program announcements and updates sent by faculty and staff to participants (e.g., e-mail, website, etc.).
Credit for Prior Learning and Education
Credit for Prior Learning*
Applicants with considerable leadership experience may consider discussing options for Academic Credit for Prior Learning. For more information, visit the Credit for Prior Learning section of the bulletin, contact an advisor (or program faculty), and contact the Andrews University Credit for Prior Learning Coordinator. Applicants may also find significant personal leadership experiences that allow them to fulfill a portion of required competencies.
Credit for Prior Education*
Applicants with previous post-masters and/or doctoral coursework may be allowed to use these courses to fulfill a portion of the program requirements.
*Credit for prior learning and education are granted on a case-by-case basis.
Student Learning Outcomes
The DLead program requires documented theoretical knowledge, practical application, and reflection in a portfolio that includes the following core areas:
- Successful participants will demonstrate reflective praxis within their personal development as a leader. This will include areas such as worldview, ethics, values, & spirituality.
- Successful participants will demonstrate reflective praxis in developing interpersonal leadership. This will include areas such as communications, mentor/coaching, & social responsiblity.
- Successful participants will demonstrate reflective praxis in developing their leadership within organization(s). This will include areas such as resource development, legal and policy issues, organizational development, creativity, innovation and change, & evaluation and assessment.
- Successful participants will demonstrate growth and maturity in leadership scholarship. This will include areas such as reading and evaluating research, participating in both qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis for improved decision-making, & reporting and publishing their scholarship.
View the most current Leadership competencies.