Program Director: Jennifer Moss Breen, Ph.D.
Program Office: Reinert Alumni Library, Room 204

Our Mission

Our program's mission is centered on developing leaders who use their skills to promote social justice and societal and organizational change.  Drawing on the Jesuit tradition of Creighton University and Jesuit ideals of academic excellence, respect for human dignity, and a faith that does justice, the program is built on a leadership model that encourages continual, critical self-reflection.  With increasing self-knowledge, leaders are empowered to work mindfully toward a more just community, workplace, and world.

The concept of leaders as stewards of an organization is emphasized during each course and promoted through practicum and research activities.  Program faculty and students come from a variety of disciplines and professions, and as such, provide a rich interdisciplinary learning community for understanding the nature and role of interdisciplinary work in today's world. 

The mission is carried out and fulfilled by attention to the following programmatic themes.  These themes describe the leaders the program strives to develop:

  • Leaders who experience, appreciate, and are prepared to pursue integrative learning in a collaborative community of practice. 
  • Leaders who possess moral courage and skills to innovate, adapt, and act in a changing world, striving for a more just society.
  • Leaders who develop professionally through a process of formation using continual self-reflection.
  • Leaders who understand the organizational and systematic challenges and opportunities in interdisciplinary work and practice.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Interdisciplinary Doctorate in Education Program in Leadership, using an interdisciplinary perspective, students will:

  1. Develop leadership theories and models to inform practice.
  2. Integrate critical thinking to inform professional leadership issues.
  3. Practice ethical decision making informed by Ignatian values.
  4. Model professional communication in scholarly and professional settings.
  5. Apply reflective practices as a means for professional and personal growth.
  6. Model the ability to effectively lead within complex and diverse societies.
  7. Produce original scholarly research informed by leadership theory and social science methodology to improve practice.

Admission Requirements

Applicants must have a master’s or equivalent professional degree from an accredited institution and submit the following documents:

  1. Completed application form and application fee.
  2. Current resume.
  3. Personal essay that reflects on how the candidate can best contribute to the mission of the University and their interdisciplinary cohort, including their leadership experience and personal statement of goals related to leadership.
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges/universities attended (no photocopies are accepted).
  5. Three recommendations from individuals who have a graduate degree or a higher degree than the candidate, from professionals who know the candidate well, who can comment on the person’s capabilities and suitability in a doctoral program. The letters should not come from relatives or subordinates.
  6. A minimum TOEFL score of 90 (internet based) for students from countries in which English is not the native language.
  7. Creighton University reserves the right to request GRE scores or a personal interview.
  8. Two of the applicant’s writing and/or research samples, with at least one academic paper that is the candidate’s own writing (no multiple author papers).


ILD 800. Scholarly Writing Seminar. 0-1 credits.

This course engages students in effective writing strategies at the graduate level. As such, the course exposes students to the basic mechanical tools and principles of the written word. Students will learn how to craft effective arguments, how to provide evidence to support these arguments, and how to use citation, formatting, and referencing requirements in accordance with APA guidelines.

ILD 801. Leadership Styles and Reflective Practice. 3 credits.

This course introduces the student to the knowledge, skills, and values underlying reflective practice. Various theories and leadership styles will be examined from a historical and contemporary point of view. Students will identify leaders and leadership situations that are examples of the various theories and styles. Students will apply leadership theories using their own institution/organization as a laboratory. Special attention will be directed to leaders engaging in reflective practice. Through readings and exercises focusing on leadership styles and reflective practice, the student will develop a greater knowledge of self and will begin the deliberate, life-long practice of reflective thinking. Students will develop a clear personal philosophy of their leadership style as the culminating activity for the class.

ILD 802. Leadership and Applied Ethics. 3 credits.

Consistent with the ideal that leadership is not just an act but a way of being, this course will explore the ethical foundations that inform the leader's personal and professional practices. Students will examine ethical theories and concepts applied to leadership challenges in real world situations. Emphasis will be placed on understanding ethical leadership for social and organizational change, the leader's role as a moral agent, as well as the organization's role as a moral agent in society.

ILD 803. Strategic Planning and Management. 3 credits.

This course integrates systems theory and problem-solving with strategic thinking. Students will engage in deep exploration of all aspects of strategic planning processes, including the following:--Development of an organizations' mission and vision statements within social, political, and economic environments--Creation of a strategic plan through trend analysis, systems analysis, and environmental analysis--Discernment of goals, objectives, and performance outcome measures--Execution and monitoring of strategic management.Principles related to how organizations and institutions operate in the context of a system guided by a strategic plan will be studied and applied to respective institutions and organizations.

ILD 804. Organizational Theory and Behavior. 3 credits.

This course explores the most important theories and models that explain the behaviors and attitudes of individuals (micro OB), teams and other groups (meso OB), as well as the "behavior" of entire organizations (macro OB). The course covers critical topics from organization theory and behavior, including such things as the relationship of environment, size, and technology to organization structure, organization culture, motivating followers, recognizing individual differences, decision making, creativity, leading groups and teams, exercising power, managing conflict, and job satisfaction and other work attitudes.

ILD 805. Administrative and Policy Leadership Issues. 3 credits.

This course examines the research on administrative issues and political power in decision making and the role of leaders in policy development. The course will address social, political, and economic influences on administration and policy development and the relationship between leadership and governance. Learners will review and critique public policy analytic frameworks and their application to contemporary policy issues. Administrative and policy leadership issues will also be applied to community relations and governing boards.

ILD 806. Change Theory and Practice. 3 credits.

Confronted with profound, rapid, and dynamic changes in the nature of their work and organizations, individuals are entering into a "permanence of change." As such, leaders are required to develop their understanding of and skills necessary to lead and/or facilitate complex organizational change.  This course is designed to help individuals explore organizational change theory, analyze research on the multiple perspectives on and elements of change, understand how change can promote a learning organization, and practically apply what they have learned regarding organizational structure and decision making within and across organizations.

ILD 807. Financial and Legal Leadership Issues. 3 credits.

This course has been designed to focus on the leadership skills related to the management of the financial and legal issues in organizations/institutions.   Specific attention will be given to theories of economic and finance, financial planning, sources and uses of financial support, budgeting, the American legal system, institutions as legal entities, authority for governance and administration, employee rights and responsibilities, client/student rights and responsibilities and institutional and personal liability applicable to business, education and health organizations and institutions.  Graduate students are expected to have a basic understanding of business, education or health organizations with practical experience and professional preparation and planning careers for leadership in these types of organizations/institutions.

ILD 808. Leadership Seminar I: Program Orientation and Formulation of Learning. 1-2 credits.

Students will be required to be present on campus for a Learning Community meeting that will provide an opportunity for relationships and community building among students and faculty. The relationships established during this residency will be important as students progress through their program. The philosophy and mission of the Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership will be presented. The learning outcomes and expectations will be presented along with a review of the program requirements. A step by step explanation of how students will move through the program will assist students in understanding the requirements and navigating the program successfully. Attention will be given to distance education via online classes and students will learn how classes are formatted and delivered.

ILD 809E. Mid-program Reflection and Dissertation Design. 2 credits.

Students will review the requirements for forming a dissertation in practice committee, prepare for the dissertation proposal process, ensure completion of CITI training, and review requirements for Candidacy that must be earned before dissertation proposal. Students will complete a mid-program reflection paper appropriate for submission as one piece in the Candidacy e-portfolio. P: ILD 808, ILD 801, ILD 802, ILD 803, ILD 804, ILD 805, ILD 806, ILD 807, or by permission. CO: ILD 899E (if possible).

ILD 810. Leadership Seminar III: Portfolio Review and Dissertation Defense. 2 credits.

This seminar will be the concluding requirement of the program and will be held on campus. Students will present their portfolio to their supervisory committee, present their reflective journal, review a final self analysis of the Gallup StrengthsFinder, and share future professional and career goals/plans. At this time the oral defense of the dissertation will be conducted. Students will be given an opportunity to provide feedback to the committee about the Ed.D. program and share any suggestions on how to improve the program.

ILD 811. Interdisciplinary Practicum. 1-6 credits.

Students will arrange a practical field experience to further develop their skills and abilities in a professional or organizational setting where they will be engaged in interdisciplinary leadership in action. This could include working with another person on a major project or exploring an area outside the student's own field (business, education, or health). The student will gain an understanding of researching internal or external elements related to personnel, policy, politics, economics, finance, governing relationships, elements of change, or other influences that challenge leadership, and then apply or recommend an innovative solution. The practicum experience will be arranged working with the practicum advisor.

ILD 812. Research Design and Professional Inquiry. 3 credits.

Modern social problems are complex and multilayered. Leaders must be able to properly identify effective and accurate research methods to investigate these issues. This course provides an overview of the concepts, procedures, and tools used by modern social science researchers. It is a required course. P: All EdD core coursework or by permission.

ILD 813. Research Design and Data Analysis. 3 credits.

This course builds on the foundations from ILD 812 and further explores select research designs and related data analysis procedures. Students will compare and contrast characteristics associated with qualitative and quantitative research designs, including sampling and data collection methods. Students will also explore and practice data analysis procedures including descriptive, inferential, and thematic analysis techniques. Students will also develop an outline of the methodology setion of their dissertation in practice proposal. P: ILD 812.

ILD 814. Proposal Construction. 3 credits.

This course leads a cohort of 6-10 dissertation phase students through the process of developing a proposal for the Dissertation in Practice (DIP). The goal of the course is the development of an effective introduction, Literature Review, and Data and Methods according to the DIP proposal template, both in paper and presentation form. This is a required course. P: ILD 813.

ILD 815. Interdisciplinary Leadership Seminar. 3 credits.

This course focuses on the field of leadership in interdisciplinary contexts to enhance students' proficiency in facilitating organization-and system-wide improvements. Leadership theories and practices are related to emerging interdisciplinary approaches to promote students' knowledge, skills, and ability hierarchies, varied job roles, and diverse expertise. Through examination of theoretical perspectives and interdisciplinary work, students will develop an ability to ¡ntegrate the contributions of different points of view and ways of thinking crucial to effectively lead high performing organizations in a dynamic world. P: ILD 801, ILD 808.

ILD 820. Jesuit and Ignatian Traditions. 3 credits.

Jesuit education in the 21st century stems from philosophical values rooted in the humanistic tradition of Renaissance culture. This course will explore the historical backdrop that sparked the formation of organized Jesuit schools, including focus on a unique style of social leadership that has sustained the Ignatian tradition for over four hundred and fifty years. To enhance learning, students will engage in critical self-reflection on personal values, attitudes, ethics, and moral development in relation to societal expectations and norms.

ILD 821. Quality and Accountability Issues. 3 credits.

This course introduces students to concepts of program quality and assessment that can be applied to organizations and encourages students to engage in becoming familiar with issues related to the assessment of quality. Students are encouraged to apply the concepts they learn about quality, accreditation, accountability and standards to their organization and experiences. Attention will be given to strategic alignment and the role of values and propositions along with a focus on the utilization of several systems for assessing quality with specific focus on the "Balanced Scorecard" and the Baldridge National Quality Program and the criteria for performance excellence.

ILD 822. Human Resources Leadership and Management. 3 credits.

This course examines the knowledge base of Human Resources Development (HRD) and the organizational setting in which HRD occurs. Topics include the design and development of education and training programs, how change occurs in organizations; how career development can optimize the match between individual and organizational goals and needs; how to improve the performance in organizations by analyzing performance opportunities; and designing employee training to address these opportunities. Students apply knowledge of personnel/Human Resource principles, practices, policies, and procedures to the identification and solution of case problems.

ILD 823. Leadership in a Global Society. 3 credits.

In the ever-shrinking world of the new millennium, leaders are often challenged to work internationally. This course enhances the understanding of students regarding the nature of a rapidly changing world. Students will study international market forces, social issues, and the policy environment that influences the global workplace. Students also develop and practice research skills required in a multicultural workplace. This is an elective course.

ILD 824. Social Justice and Faith-Based Traditions. 3 credits.

In the contemporary era the service of faith and the promotion of justice has become a staple thread of identity in Jesuit education. This course will illuminate the historical perspectives and theoretical foundations of social justice in relation to Ignatian and other faith based traditions. A conceptual framework that incorporates individual, corporate, and sociocultural aspects of privileged and disadvantaged situations will be explored. In particular, students will reflect on personal context in relation to social structures encountered on a global spectrum. A variety of social injustices will be discussed including social power, privilege, authority, environment, race, gender, and disability.

ILD 825. Women and Leadership. 3 credits.

This elective course will explore women's leadership, leadership styles, and contributions to social change from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students will examine the barriers and challenges facing women in different types of careers and their possible causes. Readings will include books and scientific articles on the structural, cultural, psychological, institutional, organizational, political, personal, economical, and financial issues facing women leaders today. Students will reflect on their own experiences and how gender influences their leadership style and perceptions of the leadership.

ILD 826. Applied Development Analysis. 3 credits.

This course is focused on understanding theories of development, and examines a variety of international development projects using the Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The IAD framework, developed by Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom, is a useful tool for thinking about how individuals and institutions interact within the context of projects. Despite our conceptions about development, it is clear that this framework can be used in any context where leaders wish to uncover how a large project involving many people and organizations works, and what intentional and unintended consequences may result. This course will guide the student through the identification of problems, and will subsequently apply the IAD framework to develop a potential development project.

ILD 827. Leadership in School Improvement. 3 credits.

This course explores the research and practices used by school leaders in continuous system-wide school improvement. Students explore school effectiveness research and organizational literature to discover measures that maximize learning for all students. School improvement policies and practices are examined within a framework of six major functions. P: 12 core courses.

ILD 828. Policies, Politics and School Board. 3 credits.

This course provides students with knowledge of the differences between policies, rules, and procedures, as well as school board and administrative functions. Students will gain skills in effectively understanding the politics of education and the relationships between the public, boards, and chief administrators in public and Catholic/private schools. Students will learn and practice dispositions helpful to success in the role of superintendent/chief administrator.

ILD 830. Practicum in School System Leadership. 6 credits.

The course provides students seeking the superintendency or a central office administrative position, the opportunity to gain on-the-job experience. Practicum experiences, under the direction of leaders in K-12 school systems and the practicum advisor, provide opportunities for students to observe and experience various components of system-wide leadership. P: Completion of 12 credits in core courses of ILD 801-808.

ILD 831. Technology and Leadership. 3 credits.

This course introduces students to an overview of the impact of technology in general and the internet in particular on organizations. Through this examination, students will explore how leadership is or should adapt to a changing world. In the past decade, the internet has become a part of life and work. The internet has moved from a virtual space where people want to find information to an active place that is open, social, and participatory. This shift has profound implications on leadership.

ILD 832. Planning Programs for Adult Learners. 3 credits.

This course is designed for novice or experienced leaders who plan or manage educational and training programs for adults in a variety of settings. It is for students who have or aspire to leadership positions in adult education, training, staff development, human resource development, or performance improvement with staff.

ILD 833. Writing for Scholarly Publication. 3 credits.

This course prepares students to write manuscripts for scholarly publication. Course topics include: writing as conversation; topic identification; conversants; exemplars; the components of a scholarly paper; presentation; and editing.

ILD 834. Catholic Social Teaching and Learning. 3 credits.

In the contemporary era, the promotion of justice has become a staple thread of identity and practice in Jesuit education. This course will (1) overview of the conceptual background to this commitment, as contained in official Catholic Social Teaching on justice, (2) early history and theory of Jesuit education, (3) consider a particular perspective on Ignatian pedagogy for justice in higher education. Students will engage perspectives in light of their own faith perspectives, understandings of justice, and leadership responsibilities and goals.

ILD 835. Sustainability Leadership: An Interdisciplinary Approach. 3 credits.

This course explores sustainability concepts, practices, and methods. A whole system design perspective serves as an approach to understand how sustainable organizations can impact the environment, economics, and social equity. Participants will acquire competency in analysis of sustainability issues, and will design a sustainability and stewardship strategy for their organizations.

ILD 836. Leadership, Public Relation and Stakeholder Engagement. 3 credits.

Examine leadership, public relations, and stakeholder engagement from an interdisciplinary perspective. Explore the notion of transparent communication and the impact that it has on creating an open and ethical organization. Identify the opportunities and challenges of stakeholder engagement with internal, external and global audiences, through the news media, social media, crisis communication, and corporate social responsibility.

ILD 837. Introduction to Servant Leadership. 3 credits.

This course is designed for those who wish to integrate servant leadership in order to define their leadership style. Leadership is not about serving one’s personal need and interest; rather, true leadership is about “men and women in service of others,” a primary Jesuit educational objective. First, this course will focus on the theory of Servant Leadership, from ancient text to current research. Following theoretical framework will be practice of Servant Leadership in those whose core principles and first responsibilities are service to relationships and others. Finally, the learner will engage in the activity of discernment in servant leadership as a means toward achieving a definable personal mission statement as a member of the ILD community.

ILD 838. Toxic Leadership. 3 credits.

Investigates and analyzes the impact of toxic leadership on followers, the organization and organizational values and ethics. Employing a three pronged model that examines the interplay of 1) leaders, 2) followers and 3) context, students will examine the environmental drivers that contribute to a dysfunctional and harmful leadership style. The course will evaluate possible mitigation strategies for reframing the detrimental behavior and reinforce an ethical foundation.

ILD 839. Military Leadership. 3 credits.

In this course, students will learn historical factors and recent events that have influenced the current state of military leadership in the United States. Students will learn to compare and contrast military leaders, their leadership styles and determine which of these traits might be applicable to their own leadership strengths or workplace. Additionally, self-reflection exercises will assist students in gaining insight into whether they possess the military leadership traits studied and if they would like to incorporate these traits in their leadership skill set.

ILD 840. Followership. 3 credits.

This course examines the concept of followership and its role within an organization. Topics include redefining followership, leadership-followership paradigm, effective followership, and the challenges of followership. Students apply knowledge of followership principles and practices by analyzing professional followership experiences.

ILD 850. Quantitative Research Design and Methods. 3 credits.

The course will examine theory and practice in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of experimental, quasi-experimental, and descriptive methods for research and evaluation. Basic core concepts of statistics such as the computation and interpretation of measures of central position, variability and correlation; introduction to sampling, probability, and tests of significance will be reviewed. Methods of assessing credibility of published research will also be discussed.

ILD 851. Qualitative Research Design and Methods. 3 credits.

The course will examine theory and practice in the design, conduct, analysis and interpretation of the broad approaches to qualitative research methods used for social and behavioral research. Methods of application of concepts through both critique and planning one's own research will be basic tenets in the course.

ILD 852. Mixed Methods Research. 3 credits.

This approach to research has an interdisciplinary appeal because increasingly diverse worldviews and complex issues and problems require a blending of qualitative and quantitative data. Hence, mixed method designs provide researchers, across research disciplines, with a rigorous approach to addressing multi-dimensional research questions. The purpose of this class is to provide an introduction to mixed methods research, to discuss the steps involved in designing and conducting this form of inquiry, and to focus on the types of mixed methods designs.

ILD 890. Leadership Seminar II: Analysis and Application of Scholarly Literature. 2 credits.

Students will collect and analyze scholarly literature in order to design a framework for the dissertation in practice literature review chapter. P: Completion of the core courses and ILD 812 or by permission. Co:Recommend ILD 899E.

ILD 895. Independent Study. 1-3 credits.

This course will deal with topics in leadership practice, theory, research, and policies under the direction of an Ed.D faculty member. The content of this course will vary depending on the needs of the student. Prior approval from the Director of the Interdisciplinary Ed.D. Program in Leadership is required.

ILD 899. Dissertation Research. 1-9 credits.

The dissertation in practice research project is a process of inquiry focused on practical issues related to the student's discipline. The dissertation in practice addresses real world problems or issues in applied settings. The student workplace or practice setting is the laboratory for development of the dissertation. The dissertation provides the structure for examination of the student's practice in a thoughtful and systematic way. The student should be prepared to seek approval of the dissertation proposal at the conclusion of the first three (3) credit hours of dissertation credit earned. Students take the first three credits in faculty-facilitated courses in order to understand the components and requirements necessary to complete the dissertation. The first credit, identified as 899e, focuses on the dissertation process in which students determine scope of the dissertation in practice. This course is ideally paired with ILD 809E, which focuses on the ethical components of dissertation research. The remaining 899 credits are to be taken over the next 1-2 years, working with the student's chair and dissertation committee collecting data, analyzing data, presenting results, summarizing findings, and drawing conclusions in preparation for the final dissertation in practice paper and oral defense.

ILD 899E. Dissertation. 1 credit.

Students will acquire information about the dissertation process and product for the Creighton University Ed.D. program. Students learn how to identify the different parts of the Dissertation in Practice (DIP), explore the essentials of the applied research dissertation journey, review candidacy requirements, and learn about the proposal and defense processes. Students will also learn how to select an appropriate real-world problem, draft a problem statement, construct a purpose statement, and form an aim statement.

ILD 999. ILD Transfer Cred. 1-9 credits.