Program Philosophy


The doctoral program in Leadership Studies will expand the leadership capacity within communities by helping leaders better understand the dynamics and interactions of public, nonprofit, government, agency, and higher education organizations. Rather than training leaders who are isolated from other disciplines, this program will create an interdisciplinary program that respects and supports the broad diversity of programs within communities.


The 3 core goals of the program are:

  1. To engage students in a rigorous interdisciplinary process of exploration, inquiry, engagement, practice, and reflection to expand their leadership knowledge and skills
  2. To prepare students to exhibit leadership that will enable schools, colleges, non-profits, community agencies, or other organizations to meet identified goals and objectives
  3. To develop visionary leaders who can work across boundaries and disciplines to positively impact the community.


The program objectives are:

  1. To provide students with interdisciplinary knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to lead an organization in changing and adapting in an increasingly global environment
  2. To enable students to examine community issues from an interdisciplinary, systemic perspective
  3. To provide students with an opportunity to develop creative and innovative responses to local, state, national, and international issues
  4. To allow students to demonstrate analytical, problem-solving, and research skills grounded in sound empirical study
  5. To implement and evaluate leadership practices based on various theories, models, and approaches to achieving organizational effectiveness
  6. To examine the dynamics of communities with a focus on interrelationships of leadership, capital, vision, and culture


The doctoral program in leadership studies will be interdisciplinary in nature. Rather than focused specifically on educational leadership, the program will include coursework from across the academic disciplines of Lynchburg College.

Consistent with the challenges facing contemporary leaders, prospective students can anticipate that coursework will include emphases in legal and ethical issues, economic trends and considerations, public policy, governmental affairs, human resources, sustainability considerations, community health, organizational change strategies, quantitative and qualitative research methods and dissertation planning, effective communication, diversity and disability policy issues, community dynamics, and other critical considerations.

These emphases will be reflected in the 14 doctoral seminars that are required within the program. (Note: none of the doctoral seminars can be replaced by transfer classes).