Interdisciplinary Leadership

Program Director: Leah Georges, Ph.D.
​Program Office: Eppley Building, B11

​Our Mission

The Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership Program at Creighton University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution is a practitioner-based doctoral degree for adult lifelong learners.

  • We believe leadership is practiced in both obvious and subtle ways by anyone willing to help (Lowney, 2003; Wheatley, 2006). 
  • We believe in preparing individuals to work for and with others by fostering a rich interdisciplinary learning environment.
  • We believe in preparing individuals to embrace complexity by practicing self-reflection, an openness to diversity, and the integration of Ignatian values.
  • We are diverse in the life experiences, ways of thinking, and knowledge base that faculty, staff, and students bring to the program.
  • We are reflective scholar-practitioners focused on modeling the leadership our communities and workplaces need today and in the future.
  • Alongside critical thinking and social science methodologies, we use innovative, leading edge education approaches such as the emerging approach of interdisciplinary leadership, adult learning theory, and dissertations in practice to prepare individuals to work across differences to address complex problems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Interdisciplinary Leadership Program, using an interdisciplinary perspective, students will:

  1. Utilize 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 studies.
  5. Apply reflective practices as a means for professional and personal growth.
  6. Demonstrate the capacity for effective leadership within complex and diverse societies
  7. Produce original scholarship by applying social science methodologies to improve leadership 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 or CV.
  3. A personal statement regarding the motivations of the applicant in seeking to pursue a degree in interdisciplinary leadership at Creighton University.
  4. The completion of a writing exercise (the prompt will be provided at application).
  5. Official transcripts from the highest degree attained (at the master's level or above); other transcripts are optional.
  6. Three (total) letters of reference from instructors in the applicant's master's program, supervisors at work, or others that may speak to the applicant's potential success in a doctoral program. Co-workers, fellow students, or family members should not be asked to submit letters of reference.
  7. A minimum TOEFL score of 90 (internet based) for students from countries in which English is not the native language.
  8. Creighton University and program faculty reserves the right to request a personal interview with any applicant.

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.), Interdisciplinary Leadership

The Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Interdisciplinary Leadership Program consists of a minimum of 51 semester hours and a required master’s or equivalent professional degree. Students will tailor the dissertation to focus on their particular professional/workplace interests.

Degree Requirements (51 credits)

Core Courses
ILD 800Introduction to Reflective Practice, Interdisciplinarity, and Residency4
ILD 802Leadership and Applied Ethics3
ILD 804Organizational Theory and Behavior3
ILD 805Administrative and Policy Leadership Issues3
ILD 815Interdisciplinary Leadership Theories3
ILD 816Social Justice and Leadership3
ILD 817Systems Thinking in Leadership4
Select 6 credits from the following:6
Introduction to University Teaching
Interdisciplinary Practicum
Human Resources Leadership and Management
Leadership in a Global Society
Contemporary Trends in Interdisciplinary Leadership
Women and Leadership
Analyzing Complex Problems
Leadership, Public Relation and Stakeholder Engagement
Introduction to Servant Leadership
Toxic Leadership
Research Courses
ILD 855Social Science Research Methods and Design4
ILD 856Social Science Research Data Use and Analysis3
ILD 891Scholarly Literature Review Seminar4
ILD 892Dissertation in Practice Proposal Seminar4
ILD 893Dissertation in Practice Manuscript and Defense Seminar4
ILD 894Dissertation in Practice Practitioner Recommendations and Professional Conversation3
Total Credits51

Ed.D. in Interdisciplinary Leadership students in the final stages of completing the doctoral dissertation, who anticipate degree conferral at the end of the summer term (August) are permitted to participate in the preceding May Commencement/Hooding ceremony as long as they have scheduled the date for the oral defense of their dissertation no less than three weeks prior to the May degree conferral date.  August degree candidates who do not meet that deadline are permitted to participate in the December ceremony, or the May ceremony the following year. Students should file a degree application by the deadline (Feb 15 for May conferral; June 15 for August conferral; October 15 for December conferral) if there is the potential that they will complete their oral defense in the respective semester. 

The Master of Science (M.S.) in Interdisciplinary Leadership consists of 33 credit hours and is only available to students who:

  • have successfully completed at least 30 earned credits in Creighton's Ed.D. program
  • are in good standing with Creighton University
  • have maintained a 3.0 GPA in Ed.D. coursework at Creighton University
  • have no more than six credit hours of grades below "B-" or any one grade less than "C" in Creighton's Ed.D. program
  • complete an application to the M.S. in Interdisciplinary Leadership program
  • successfully complete the 3-credit capstone course (ILD 795) upon acceptance to the program

Degree Requirements* (33 credits)

30 Credits of ILD Coursework in Creighton's Ed.D. Program30
ILD 795Interdisciplinary Leadership Capstone3
Total Credits33


ILD 720. Introduction to University Teaching. 3 credits.

If you teach or want to teach college or university courses, this course will explore the foundational aspects of teaching and learning and help you meet your need to be prepared. This course is grounded in learning theory, self-reflection, and an understanding of learning environment relations and dynamics to help you foster your teaching and learning development. Participants will develop a clear personal teaching philosophy and teaching portfolio as the culminating activity for this course.

ILD 795. Interdisciplinary Leadership Capstone. 3 credits.

This capstone course requires students to develop a written grant proposal to a funding agency of their choice. Students will explore fundamental components of grant proposals, develop an original program or project idea, and write and present a grant proposal informed by leadership concepts, Ignatian charisms, and ethical best practices. P: 32 earned hours of ILD credits; formal acceptance to the MS in Interdisciplinary Leadership Program.

ILD 800. Introduction to Reflective Practice, Interdisciplinarity, and Residency. 4 credits.

This course provides students with an introduction interdisciplinary thinking, the nature of interconnectedness, and integrative perspectives. Students will explore the knowledge, skills, and values underlying Jesuit education, interdisciplinarity, and reflective practice. Students will also engage with scholarly readings, group discussions, and reflective and academic writing exercises to help sharpen their leadership skills, build community, and prepare for the EdD journey. As the culminating activity, students will participate in an on-campus residency.

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. Learners will use policy analysis frameworks to address contemporary policy issues within a student's topic of interest.

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 808. Program Orientation and Residency. 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 810. Dissertation Defense. 1-2 credits.

This seminar is the concluding requirement of the program. The dissertation defense is held on the Creighton University campus. Students will share their dissertation, the oral defense, interact with faculty and guests, and discuss theoretical and practical leadership implications of their work. Students will have an opportunity to provide feedback about the Ed.D. program and share suggestions for improvement. All dissertation-related edits and paperwork must be submitted to the program and graduate school prior to conferring the Ed.D. degree.

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.

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 section 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 899E.

ILD 815. Interdisciplinary Leadership Theories. 3 credits.

This course provides an overview and opportunity to apply various leadership theories, approaches, and perspectives. Students will be introduced to the complexity and potential of interdisciplinary thinking and will use a wide range of scholarly articles from multi and interdisciplinary fields, group engagement, and reflective writing to critically evaluate and differentiate leadership theories. Ultimately, students will evaluate the contributions of different leadership perspectives and ways of thinking crucial to effectively lead within our dynamic communities.

ILD 816. Social Justice and Leadership. 3 credits.

In this course, students will consider the causes and consequences of injustice and explore the intersectionality between a variety of topics including race, gender, (dis)ability, and socioeconomic class. This course will challenge students to consider the historical, psychological, sociological, and political perspectives that inform leadership practices that have led to injustices. Students will examine inclusive excellence and integrate Ignatian values to focus on modeling effective leadership within our complex and diverse society.

ILD 817. Systems Thinking in Leadership. 3-4 credits.

This course explores the characteristics of systems thinking and demonstrates how our ability to practice leadership can be enhanced by understanding systems. Students will engage with practical reading, discuss application of, and write narratives that utilize systems thinking. Students will analyze a system and create a systems map that will inform their interdisciplinary leadership practice.

ILD 819. The American Professoriate: A Faculty Perspective. 3 credits.

This course will examine contemporary faculty issues in post-secondary institutions from the perspective of a faculty member. The course includes an assessment of the current status of faculty in the United States, faculty workloads, performance reviews, and structuring professional development activities and special topics. Toward this end, the professoriate will be explored to include: 1) current conditions of the professoriate, 2) academic careers and the stages of an academic, 3) faculty culture, including academic freedom and tenure, 4) faculty work, 5) health professions faculty, and 6) special topics selected on the basis of the students' need and interest assessment.

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. Contemporary Trends in Interdisciplinary Leadership. 3 credits.

Students will explore a topic of contemporary prominence that has a direct application of or implications for interdisciplinary leadership. Students will engage with a combination of instructor assigned reading and student selected literature, develop and facilitate discussion forums, and produce a scholarly project that critically applies leadership theories or constructs to the chosen course topic.

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. Analyzing Complex Problems. 3 credits.

This course demonstrates Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom's Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The IAD framework, an analytical strategy from the field of public policy, is especially useful in analyzing the complex problems that often occur within and between teams of people engaged in meaningful work. Students will learn to apply the framework to analyze complex problems within organizations of their own choosing and to design and appraise potential solutions to these problems based on the evidence of their studies. In this way, it is an ideal course for scholar-practitioners interested in creating evidence-based solutions at the applied level.

ILD 829. Leadership in the Health Professions. 3 credits.

This course will explore contemporary trends in today's volatile and complex health care/higher education organizations (micro, meso, macros levels) with an analysis of theories and executive/manager competencies that contribute to positive outcomes. Students examine innovation, change, psychological safety, and communication strategies that maximize human potential and organizational success.

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 841. Teaching Internship. 3 credits.

This course investigates best practices in healthcare environments for planning and developing student-centered educational and clinical activities as well as principles of effective teaching. Through this course, students will gain advance skills and knowledge in application of techniques and principles relating to instruction in the student's area of specialization. Students may teach a continuing education course or a didactic/lab course with the support of a mentor who will work closely with the student in the development of course materials, content and presentation/facilitation. Teaching may be done face-to-face or as part of an online delivery method. Interdisciplinary Leadership students may also take this course as an elective in the EdD program.

ILD 845. Learning in the Health Professions: Strategies for Developing the Master Adaptive Learner. 3 credits.

This course will sue a master adaptive learner (MAL) framework as model for the integration of key learning theories and concepts in health professions education. Learning in the health professions is progressive development of expertise across a career including building formal and clinical knowledge, clinical reasoning abilities, and clinical performance. Central to all of the health professions education is self-directed lifelong learning. The course will examine application of learning theories to the learner, teacher, and the clinical learning environment. The MAL framework will be used as a conceptual model (planning, learner engagement, assessment, and adjusting) to investigate the development and assessment of a master adaptive learner.

ILD 850. Quantitative Research Design and Methods for Leadership Decision-Making. 3 credits.

This course examines the connection among research topics, questions, concepts, foundational assumptions of statistical tests, and the practice of quantitative methods. The interpretation of results will also be explored. This course enhances the ability to read statistical results and will inform leaders and those who intend to pursue quantitative dissertations.

ILD 851. Qualitative Research Design and Methods for Leadership Decision-Making. 3 credits.

Qualitative research provides scholar-practitioners with ways to observe and make sense of the world in all its rich and complicated complexity. This course will examine the design, analysis, and interpretation of qualitative research needed for leadership decision-making. Student will explore the craft and the art of qualitative inquiry.

ILD 854. Data Use and Analysis (Quantitative). 3 credits.

This required course is open to students who are implementing quantitative research designs in their dissertations. It focuses on: a) using statistical software to conduct a variety of statistical tests; b) presenting and interpreting the results of these tests in a manner consistent with social science methods. The latter focuses on the substantive application of results to leadership decision-making.

ILD 855. Social Science Research Methods and Design. 4 credits.

This course provides students with the foundations of social science research methods. Students will compare characteristics associated with different qualitative and quantitative research designs that describe, explore, or examine leadership phenomena. Students will read empirical social science research, discuss the appropriate application of methods for answering research questions, explore research as a transformative process, and practice scholarly writing. As the culminating activity in this course, students will present their initial ideas for an original, primary research project focused on a student's topic of interest.

ILD 856. Social Science Research Data Use and Analysis. 3 credits.

In this course, students will explore how to use and analyze social science research data. Students will practice data analysis procedures that will describe, explore, and assess complex leadership phenomena. Through engaging in foundational reading, critical discussion, and scholarly writing, students will become more comfortable identifying the alignment between the utilization, analysis, and design of interdisciplinary social science research. As the culminating activities of this course, students are required to complete responsible conduct of research training and will develop a draft of the methodology and analysis sections of their dissertation in practice proposal. P: ILD 855.

ILD 890. Analysis and Application of Scholarly Literature. 3 credits.

One of the foundational elements of scholarly research is the accurate and comprehensive analysis, synthesis, and application of relevant literature around a particular topic. In this course, students will identify and begin to explore a real-world problem that will become the focus of their Dissertation in Practice. Over the course of the class, students will apply scholarly searching, reading, and writing principles to develop a draft of a literature review that informs the Dissertation in Practice problem they identified in the early weeks of the course.

ILD 891. Scholarly Literature Review Seminar. 4 credits.

In this seminar, students will work with the guidance of their dissertation in practice chair to write a scholarly literature review. This course will provide students with an opportunity to apply interdisciplinary thinking and deeply engage with the state of literature on a student's topic of interest. One of the foundational elements of scholarly research is the accurate and comprehensive compilation, synthesis, and application of relevant literature around a particular topic. Students will identify and begin to explore the contextual, conceptual, interdisciplinary, and theoretical background of the topic that is the focus of their dissertation in practice. Over the course of the seminar, students will apply scholarly searching, reading, discussion, and writing principles to develop a draft of their dissertation-in-practice literature review.

ILD 892. Dissertation in Practice Proposal Seminar. 4 credits.

In this seminar, students will work with the guidance of their dissertation in practice chair to write an effective proposal. Over the course of the seminar, students will write an introduction, revise and edit their literature review and methods sections by engaging with and responding to the feedback from their cohort members, dissertation in practice chair, and a second committee member. In accordance with the dissertation in practice handbook, students are required to complete and pass this seminar prior to progressing towards data collection.

ILD 893. Dissertation in Practice Manuscript and Defense Seminar. 4 credits.

In this seminar, students will work with the guidance of their dissertation in practice chair to prepare their manuscript and defend their dissertation in practice study. Over the course of the seminar, students will prepare their manuscript in accordance with an appropriate scholarly publication outlet. The dissertation in practice defense is held virtually as an open presentation. Students will present the background, methods, and results of their DIP study, interact with faculty and guests, and discuss initial theoretical and practical leadership implications of their research. In accordance with the dissertation in practice handbook, completion of the manuscript and dissertation in practice defense are required components of the dissertation in practice process.

ILD 894. Dissertation in Practice Practitioner Recommendations and Professional Conversation. 3 credits.

In this seminar, students apply lessons learned during the EdD in Interdisciplinary Leadership Program to personal and professional situations. Students will contemplate how they have been transformed by their learning experiences and what they will do next. As the culminating activity in this seminar, students will apply reflective practice, interdisciplinary thinking, and advanced leadership acumen to create a practitioner recommendation plan based on their dissertation in practice work. As the culminating activities in this course, completion of the practitioner recommendation plan and participation in a professional conversation with the instructor, cohort members, and other program faculty are required.

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. 1-8 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 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 890, 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 810).

ILD 899E. Dissertation and Candidacy Preparation. 3 credits.

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. Upper Level ILD Transfer Cred. 1-9 credits.