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PhD in Organizational Leadership

There has never been a more exciting time to be a professional in the organizational leadership field. With rapid advances in technology having taken place over the past few decades, the business landscape has changed dramatically, with competition increasing on a global scale. This program combines online course work with periodic one-week intensive classes.As a result, innovative methods of conducting business are needed. In the PhD in Organizational Leadership program at SEU, you’ll prepare to become an influential thought leader in the field, helping organizations of all kinds through your research and training. Your study of topics such as organizational systems and management, leadership models, cultural intelligence, teamwork dynamics, quantitative and qualitative research methods and other topics will give you the context and knowledge needed to conduct your own research studies. As a member of the International Leadership Association, you’ll contribute meaningful findings to scholarly journals and books as well as present at academic conferences. In your final semesters of the program, you’ll contribute to the body of knowledge in leadership studies with a major research project — your doctoral dissertation.

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

This program will launch in May 2018. New cohorts will form each spring.
You’ll prepare to become an influential thought leader in the field, helping organizations of all kinds through your research and training of future leaders.
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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?

Program Details

Total credit hours — 60

Cost per credit hour — $795
Estimated total tuition cost — $47,700

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.
  • Advanced Quantitative Research Methods (LDRS 7313)
    This course allows students to study and become proficient in conducting advanced quantitative research methods, including: confirmatory factor analysis, multivariate analysis of variance and covariance, path analysis, and structural equation modeling. After gaining the experience of conducting these types of analyses, students will then apply the knowledge learned by designing an advanced research methodology plan. The primary focus of this course is to design an advanced quantitative research study by demonstrating the ability to conceptualize, design, and execute quality research associated with being a doctoral scholar.
  • Advanced Qualitative Research Methods (LDRS 7323)
    This course allows students to study and become proficient in conducting advanced qualitative research methods. Students will become familiar with the variety of advanced qualitative data collection and data analysis. The primary focus of this course is to design a qualitative research study by demonstrating the ability to conceptualize, design, and execute quality research associated with being a doctoral scholar.

  • 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.

The dissertation is the capstone research and writing project designed to demonstrate program mastery and to make an original contribution to the professional field. Students will enroll in the dissertation sequence while they study for and take the comprehensive exam.
Dissertation I (LPHD 9013)
Dissertation II (LPHD 9023)
Dissertation III (LPHD 9033)
Dissertation IV (LPHD 9043)
Dissertation Continuation (LPHD 9051) if needed

This program consists of online coursework and periodic residencies. The culmination of this program is a doctoral dissertation.

Important Dates

First Residency: May 8-12, 2018

Second Residency: August 30-September 1, 2018

Forum at SEU & Third Residency: March 14‒16, 2019

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

College/University Professor — teaching and research

Researcher — business, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, government agencies

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