Ph.D. Courses

Year 1:

CFGS 7111 Orientation Leadership Core (18 credits)

  • CFGS 7112 Introduction to Global Studies
  • CFGS 7114 Leadership Studies & Theory
  • CFGS 7116 Ways of Knowing & Leadership Development
  • CFGS 7218 Organizational Studies & Theory
  • CFGS 7220 Intercultural Behavior, Worldview & Communication
  • CFGS 7222 Global Leadership, Systems & Policy

Year 2:

Ethics Core (6 credits)

  • CFGS 7124 Leadership &Personal Ethics
  • CFGS 7126 Applied Ethics

Research Core: Part A (3 credits)

  • CFGS 7130 Principles of Research
  • CFGS 8000 Candidacy
  • CFGS 8010 Candidacy Continuation

Research Core: Part B (6 credits)

  • CFGS 7232 Quantitative Analysis
  • CFGS 7234 Qualitative Research

Year 3

Research Core: Part C (3 credits)

  • CFGS 7140 Elective 1: Scholarship & Research Framework

Elective Concentration (15 credits)

  • CFGS 7142 Elective 2
  • CFGS 7144 Elective 3
  • CFGS 7240 Elective 4
  • CFGS 7242 Elective 5
  • CFGS 7244 Elective 6

Year 4

Research Core: Part D (9 credits)

  • CFGS 8112 Proposal Seminar
  • CFGS 8113 Proposal Seminar Continuation
  • FGS 8114 Proposal Defense
  • CFGS 8115 Proposal Defense Continuation
  • CFGS 8215 Dissertation
  • CFGS 8500 Dissertation Continuation
  • CFGS 8600 Dissertation Defense
  • CFGS 8601 Dissertation Defense Continuation

Total credits in degree: 60


Program Overview


An interactive online Orientation provides students with valuable information concerning doctoral program aims, requirements, processes, policies, technologies, library resources, and student services and support. It introduces the Ph.D. Student Handbook, the online Doctoral Learning Community, and other helpful resources.

Leadership Core

The six courses of the Leadership Core provide a solid foundation in leadership theory and practice, global systems and policy, organizational dynamics and communication, and the personal and cultural dimensions of leadership. During the initial course, CFGS 7112 Introduction to Global Studies, students complete (1) the Cultural Intelligence or “Cultural Quotient”[CQ] assessment, which measures students’ ability to engage successfully in any environment or social setting; (2) the Leadership Practices Inventory [LPI], which measures leadership abilities; and (3) the Spiritual Transformation Inventory [STI], which measures spiritual growth from a Christian perspective. Students also begin a Reflection Journal, which they continue throughout each stage of their doctoral studies. As they complete their dissertations, students repeat the CQ, LPI, and STI, and they also write a final Reflection Paper. Johnson University uses these tools to assess the program’s impact on students’ personal development.

Ethics Core

The two courses in the Ethics Core invite students to reflect on their personal character and to develop a philosophy of ethical behavior and decision-making informed by biblical perspectives. As part of CFGS 7126 Applied Ethics, students take the Ethical Lens Inventory (ELI), which assesses how students prioritize core values when making ethical decisions.

Elective Concentrations

In CFGS 7140 Elective 1: Scholarship & Research Framework, students develop a 15-credit Elective Concentration in one of four broad areas: (1) Organizational Leadership, (2) Educational Leadership, (3) Philosophy &Theology of Leadership, or (4) Missional Leadership. Students may earn elective credits through a variety of means, including standard coursework, Directed Independent Studies (DIS), Directed Field Studies (DFS), and transfer courses from other institutions (limit 9 credit hours). Ideally, students’ Elective Concentrations arise from their personal research questions and flow directly into their research proposal.

Research Core, Candidacy, and Dissertation

Once students have completed CFGS 7130 Principles of Research, earning a cumulative grade point average of “B” or better on their doctoral coursework thus far, they may enter the candidacy process. Candidacy involves producing a 25+ page integrative paper and presentation, which must be approved by faculty. The Candidacy Paper demonstrates the student’s ability to produce and defend scholarly work. Students who do not achieve candidacy within a reasonable period of time must exit the program.

Successful candidates proceed through further coursework to the dissertation phase. Students must produce and defend a Dissertation Proposal that includes the purpose and relevance of the study, a literature review, and a discussion of methodology. They must follow Johnson University’s Writer’s Guide for the Preparation of the Dissertation Proposal and Dissertation and seek approval from the Institutional Review Board (IRB) for research involving human participants. Those who successfully defend their proposals then complete their dissertations, which must make an original contribution to the field. A Dissertation Chair and Committee oversee the process. Students must complete the Ph.D. within a maximum timeframe of 7 years.

Continuation Course Guidelines

All degree-seeking graduate students must be active and enrolled in academic endeavors every term. This begins when the student is first admitted to degree status and continues until the student has graduated. There is one exception: If the student has completed all degree requirements prior to the beginning of a term, but did not graduate during the previous graduation cycle (for example, they failed to apply for graduation or they did not complete their thesis or dissertation by the deadline), then that student is not required to register for their final term (the term in which they will graduate).

Most students will reach candidacy status or a point in their academic careers when they have taken all of the required courses and dissertation credits, but are still working to complete degree requirements. These are examples of when continuation courses come into play. Continuation courses allow students to meet the above policy and criteria to continue deferment of loans. In order to be reported as full-time, doctoral students must enroll in the appropriate continuation course:

  • CFGS 8010 Candidacy Continuation–0 hour credit (course fee -$60.00)
  • CFGS 8113 Proposal Seminar Continuation–0 hour credit (course fee -$60.00)
  • CFGS 8115 Proposal Defense Continuation–0 hour credit (course fee -$60.00)
  • CFGS 8500 Dissertation Continuation–0 hour credit course (course fee -$60.00)
  • CFGS 8601 Dissertation Defense Continuation–0 hour credit (course fee -$60.00)

It is assumed that the student enrolled in these courses will be engaged in academic work averaging 15-20 hours per week. The student’s advisor will ensure that this criteria is being met.


The cost per credit hour for the 2020/2021 Academic Year is $675. This results in a total tuition cost of $39,000. Inclusive of other fees related to the program, the estimated total cost (not including books) is about $40,300.