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Ph.D. in Leadership Core Classes


An interactive online Orientation to the Ph.D. in Leadership Studies 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.

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, Introduction to Global Studies, students complete the Cultural Intelligence or “Cultural Quotient” assessment (CQ), which measures students’ ability to engage successfully in any environment or social setting; the Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI), which measures leadership abilities; and 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.

Year Two: Ethics Core and Research 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 Applied Ethics, students take the Ethical Lens Inventory (ELI), which assesses how students prioritize core values when making ethical decisions.

Once students have completed 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 for the Ph.D. in Leadership. 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 seven years.

Year Three: Research Core and Research Concentration