Doctorate in Strategic Leadership

Innovative leaders with strategic prowess are in high demand by organizations of all kinds. As the business landscape continues to rapidly evolve, organizations need visionaries on the front lines who can spot potential challenges, devise strategies for how to overcome them and mentor their teams to success.This program combines online course work with periodic one-week intensive classes. In SEU’s Doctorate in Strategic Leadership program, you’ll be equipped to fill these needs in your industry. You’ll be trained to expertly perform analyses and design change strategies, whether as an internal or external organizational consultant in business, ministry, education or another field. Topics of study include organizational systems and management, various leadership models, cultural intelligence, teamwork dynamics, and quantitative and qualitative research methods. This course work will give you the key theoretical and practical knowledge on which to base your decision-making as well as to contribute to the field by presenting at business conferences and writing for popular press/trade books and magazines. As a culmination to your studies, during the final semesters of the DSL program you’ll complete a major capstone project, such as writing a book manuscript or conducting an actual organizational consultation.

We are pleased to offer competitively-priced tuition. View a cost comparison to similar doctoral programs.

Apply your leadership training by spotting potential organizational challenges, devising strategies for how to overcome them and mentoring your team to success.

Admission Requirements

Prospective students must provide evidence of character, excellence in scholarship, experience with leadership, and potential to conduct scholarly research and presenting results at the doctoral level.

  • Submit an application at SEU.edu/apply
  • Regionally-accredited graduate degree with at least a 3.0 GPA
  • Official transcripts from all institutions attended
  • Current professional resume or curriculum vitae
  • Two professional typed letters of recommendation that address your character, experience with leadership, and ability to complete the doctoral program.
  • Admission Essay (instructions attached) 1000-word essay that addresses why you chose SEU for your doctoral studies, your goals for the program, talents and experiences that can lead to success, and how you will contribute to others.
  • Doctoral Writing Sample (instructions attached) 600-word research paper that demonstrate your research, writing, analytical, and problem-solving skills, answering the the question: what is the most pressing issue in leadership today?
  • Note: We are unable to accept international students into this program at this time (with the exception of students from Canada; please contact us for details).


Program Details

Total credit hours — 60

Cost per credit hour — $795

Estimated total tuition cost — $47,700

*Note: A Doctoral Education fee of $200 will apply to each semester of the program. This fee will cover the extensive doctoral writing support, the MyFire platform, residencies, intensives, library services, and the extra costs associated with operating and attending an excellent doctoral program. Additional fees may also apply. See our tuition & fees page for details.

Financial Aid

We have Financial Aid staff dedicated specifically to graduate students. These staff members can assist you with coordinating employer assistance benefits, church-matching scholarships, federal aid, private loans, and military benefits. Convenient payment plans are also available.

Full Course Listing & Descriptions

Note: DSL and PhD students take the same core courses and then begin their electives and either dissertation or capstone project.

  • Leadership Theory (LDRS 6113) This course provides an in-depth exploration of leadership theory. Areas of emphasis include: leader traits, skills, and styles; implicit, contingency, and situational leadership; transactional, charismatic, transformational, authentic, spiritual, and servant leadership.
  • Organizational Systems and Management (LDRS 6123) This course addresses the structure and design of organizations. Key concepts include management (fundamentals, culture, ethics, environment, decision- making, learning, conflict, communication), planning (strategic management, systems thinking), organizational (theory, structure, design, technologies, and change) and monitoring (performance management, measurement, and effectiveness).
  • Situational and Transformational Leadership (LDRS 6133) This course critiques theories and definitions of situational and transformational leadership. The course emphasizes the importance of self-discipline, humility, and the art of being contemplative as an effective leader.
  • Organizational Change and Strategies (LDRS 6143) This course prepares learners to apply behavioral science to the hyper-turbulent environment of the 21st century. Students will be introduced to techniques and methodologies to systematically produce high-performing organizations. The course helps leaders contrast management versus leadership styles of stability in order to minimize management chaos and instability within organizations.
  • Servant and Authentic Leadership (LDRS 6153) This course critiques theories and definitions of servant leadership and authentic leadership. The course emphasizes the importance of self-discipline, humility, and the art of being contemplative as an effective leader.
  • Ethical Leadership (LDRS 6213) This course provides an in-depth exploration of faith, ethics, and values and how these affect the leader-follower dynamic. Areas of emphasis include: origins of values, ethical frameworks, and espoused vs. practiced values as well as the dangers of situational ethics among organizational leaders.
  • Followership (LDRS 6223) This course explores current theories and concepts of the follower role in various contexts, including follower behaviors and expectations of leaders by followers. Emphasis is placed on synthesizing these traits and concepts into follower behavior at the individual, organizational, and societal levels.
  • Motivation and Influence (LDRS 6233)  This course explores the intersection of influence, persuasion, and motivation between leaders, followers, and other organizational stakeholders.
  • Cultural Intelligence (LDRS 6243) This course provides an in-depth exploration of societal cultures around the world. It prepares students to conduct research and consultation across cultures by exploring the nuances of leadership through major cultural dimension models.
  • Teamwork Dynamics (LDRS 6253) This course provides an in-depth exploration of teamwork theory. Areas of emphasis include: distinguishing between groups and teams, group dynamics, characteristics of effective teams, and developing teamwork in organizations.

  • Foundations of Research (LDRS 7123) This course is designed to prepare doctoral students to become proficient in analyzing and evaluating qualitative and quantitative research. Students will examine the impact of research design and analysis on decision making that informs professional practice.
  • Quantitative Research Methods (LDRS 7213) This course introduces doctoral students to quantitative research methods. Students will utilize descriptive and inferential statistics, experimental vs. non-experimental designs, reliability, and validity. Students will learn how to conduct a variety of statistical analyses including correlations, z-tests, t-tests, ANOVAs, linear regressions, and multiple regressions. Students will utilize various tools to conduct quantitative research, write and display results, provide analysis and implications to improve organizational culture and contexts.
  • Qualitative Research Methods (LDRS 7223 ) This course introduces doctoral students to qualitative research methods. Students will utilize grounded theory, narrative, phenomenology, ethnography, and case study design approaches. Students will learn how to analyze existing studies by examining research designs. Students will gain experience in designing and conducting qualitative research, by writing and displaying results, providing analysis and implications to improve organizational culture and contexts.

  • Coaching, Consulting, Teaching, Course Design and Publishing (LDRS 8113) This course focuses on transmitting knowledge from the scholar to the student. This is done through an exploration coaching and teaching techniques in support of consulting organizations and designing and implanting courses in formal and informal education programs. It also promotes successful publishing of ideas in academic, practitioner, and popular press journals, magazines, and web platforms.
  • Creativity, Critical Thinking and Design Thinking (LDRS 8123) This course is designed to help students lead their organizations in developing creativity, critical thinking, design thinking, and problem-solving skills and processes. It explores factors that affect creativity and debunks creativity myths. The course explores a variety of design-based methodologies and tools.
  • Negotiation and Conflict Resolution (LDRS 8133) This course investigates the origins of conflict and provides techniques for resolution. It considers different means to resolve conflict. Emphasis is placed on empathy and clearly considering the other’s point of
  • Organizational Culture and Design (LDRS 8143) This course explores different organizational cultures, how they come about, how they change, and how to design future ones.
  • Planning and Forecasting (LDRS 8153) This course overviews numerous planning and forecasting models. It uses strategic foresight as a means for leaders to make decisions.
  • Entrepreneurship (LDRS 8163) This course provides an in-depth exploration of entrepreneurship. Areas of emphasis include: social entrepreneurship and marketplace ministry. Students will study creating business plans, sourcing investment capital, marketing ideas, and creating products and services.

Note: Additional elective courses may be offered based on faculty expertise and capacity as well as student demand.

These courses are designed to demonstrate program mastery and to make an original contribution to the professional field. Students will enroll in the project sequence while they study for and take the comprehensive exam. Capstone Project I (LDSL 9013) Capstone Project II (LDSL 9023) Capstone Project Continuation (LDSL 9051) As needed

This program consists of online coursework and periodic residencies. The culmination of this program is a capstone project.

Important Dates

Fall 2021 Residency:
New Students August 30-September 3
Returning Students September 1-3

Residencies are held in Lakeland, Florida. Future residencies will be announced at a later date.

Organizational Consultant — business, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, military, and ministry Executive Coach — business, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, military or ministry Executive Leadership — business, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies, military or ministry