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The Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership is a purely online degree program and is designed to equip individuals for the highest level of scholarship and leadership in business, ministry, education, public service, healthcare, and non-profit organizations.

This program is designed to prepare working professionals to understand and to analyze the complexities and challenges of leading organizations. The program offers a focus on strategy and change in creatively leading complex organizations. This interdisciplinary program provides students with opportunities to engage in scholarship and research in developing professional competencies related to:

  • Organizational culture and change
  • Leadership strategy and practice
  • Team and employee engagement
  • Industry-specific knowledge and trends
  • Research methodology for understanding the current practices of organizations and leadership
  • Consulting and Coaching

The PhD program is a 48-credit hour degree with coursework in leadership and organizational studies, research methods, and concentration electives. The program can be completed in as few as two-years but may take 3-5 years. The program is designed for individual pacing given the constraints of professional leadership and the best of adult learning paradigms.

The PhD in Leadership at AU currently provides two distinct pathways (concentration) that enable you to align the program to your research interests. Concentrations consist of five elective courses (15 credit hours). Students declare a concentration upon application but are permitted to take two electives (6 credit hours) from a different concentration.

Business Concentration

The PhD in Leadership (Business concentration) enables students to advance as scholars and leaders in for-profit and non-profit environments. Prepared to accept high-level positions, graduates of the PhD in Leadership will be able to implement and create leadership models that assist organizations in improving and expanding their cultures of leadership.

This degree will provide students with career pathways as corporate strategists, leadership consultants, executive coaches, talent leaders, or executive leaders. The program will prepare and enable graduates to address the leadership challenges of today and tomorrow.

Christian Ministry Concentration

The PhD in Leadership (Christian Ministry concentration) will equip individuals for the highest level of scholarship and performance in leading churches, denominational agencies, educational institutions, or ministry organizations.

Students may build or advance their careers as pastors, professors, researchers, organizational leaders, strategists, or leadership consultants. The program equips its graduates with the knowledge and methodological tools to conduct research on the pressing ministry leadership issues of the day.