Organizational Leadership

Program Director: Gretchen Oltman, J.D., Ph.D.
Program Office: Center for Health Policy and Ethics, Room 104

Mission Statement

The mission of the interdisciplinary Master of Science in Organizational Leadership is centered on developing moral and ethical leaders who use their skills to promote social justice, societal and organizational change for a greater and more just tomorrow. Guided by the Jesuit tradition of continual self-refection and discernment, the program is built on an experiential leadership model that develops creative and innovative professional skills. In consultation with leaders from various industry, business, government, and non-profit organizations, students develop practical application of professional knowledge, skills, and behavior. With increasing self-knowledge, students are empowered to work mindfully toward meeting the needs of their community and workplace, while demonstrating proficiency in written and oral communication skills.

Program faculty and students are drawn from a variety of disciplines and professions and as such provide a rich interdisciplinary learning community for understanding the nature and role if interdisciplinary work in today's world. The collaborative learning community is shaped by the Jesuit ideals of academic excellence, respect for human dignity, and a faith that does justice.

Vision Statement

The vision for graduates is that they will have internalized and practiced the skills through experience and active learning to lead collaboratively, proficiently, and effectively, and guide their efforts at personal and organizational change.

  • Leaders who experience, appreciate, and are prepared to pursue life-long learning in an applied, collaborative team environment.
  • Leaders who possess moral courage to strive for a more just society.
  • Leaders who possess skills to innovate, adapt, and act in a changing world.
  • Leaders who develop professionally by putting theory into practice through a process of formation using continual self-reflection.
  • Leaders who communicate effectively across different organizations.
  • Leaders who use practical reasoning and teamwork to solve complex problems.

Learning Outcomes

  • Apply leadership concepts to enhance critical thinking and problem solving in real world settings.
  • Demonstrate advancing leadership skills in order to allow individuals to lead across disciplines and environments.
  • Apply collaborative skills to leadership processes.
  • Demonstrate ethical leadership skills in accordance with Ignatian values.
  • Demonstrate effective communication skills for personal and organizational leadership.
  • Demonstrate deliberate reflective practice as a means for professional formation.

Admissions Requirements

  • Minimum of 2 years work experience
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.00
  • Two letters of recommendation, preferably from one academic and one professional source, who can attest to your leadership background and aptitude
  • A personal interview or additional background information may be requested
  • All international applicants from countries in which English is not the primary language must demonstrate proficiency in English by submitting a minimum TOEFL score of at least 90 iBT.
  • A program admissions committee will determine an applicant’s admission eligibility after weighing the application, background, leadership experience, interest, and promise of the prospective student.


MSL 600. Leadership Theory, Application and Reflection. 2 credits.

An introduction to leadership principles and development of leadership in action. This course focuses on building an understanding of leadership through the lens of the Jesuit mission and values with the application of reflection. Historic and theoretical leadership principles are studied along with the ethics of excellent leadership practices.

MSL 601. Strategic Planning. 3 credits.

This course integrates traditional strategic planning and thinking into action through data driven problem solving and decision-making. Students will use the application of portfolio/project management and evaluation from a leader's standpoint in aligning the development of a strategic vision towards a sustainable competitive advantage.

MSL 602. Communicating and Leading Across Cultures. 3 credits.

Students will explore interpersonal and organizational communications. Culture is conceptualized as dynamic and broad - including not only nation-states, but also organizations and groups of diverse social identities such as gender, race, social class and age. Students examine how communication both shapes and is shaped by culture.

MSL 603. Leading Innovation and Change. 3 credits.

Student will study leadership and management best practices that encourage innovative thinking in organizations including disruptive technologies, innovation, persuasive techniques, and decision-making under conditions of high uncertainty. Students will also gain greater understanding of power and politics in organizations and crisis management in both small and large organizations.

MSL 604. Approaches to Human Capital. 3 credits.

An interdisciplinary study of managing human capital including employee selection and management, mentoring programs, and team dynamics. Issues of human capital development and succession planning are also studied.

MSL 620. Leadership and Group Dynamics. 3 credits.

This course focuses on how and why leaders can effectively manage and facilitate group cohesion and development, structure, power in groups, group decision making characteristics and conflict resolution.

MSL 621. Cultural Dynamics of Leadership. 3 credits.

Students examine leadership theories through a lens of diversity, equity, and social justice. With an emphasis on inclusivity, this course explores how an ever-changing society presents opportunities and challenges for today's leaders. A historical perspective is provided to contextualize theory and practice. Students consider how diverse leadership styles are shaped by cultural values, perceptions, and context.

MSL 622. Humility and Leadership. 3 credits.

This course examines the concept of humility in leadership and its role within an organization. Topics include benefits of a humble leadership style, identifying key traits of a humble leader, humility as a personal growth strategy and possible challenges associated with being a humble leader.

MSL 623. Developing Tomorrow's Leaders. 3 credits.

This course provides students the opportunity to explore the concept of formal leadership development programs across disciplines. Students will analyze and compare formal leadership development programs. Additionally, students will design a formal leadership development program which can be implemented within their professional practice setting.

MSL 624. Leadership and Well-Being. 3 credits.

As employee or leader, well-being decisions comprise our daily lives. This course examines well-being from two unique but interconnected perspectives. Students will look internally to discern their personal well-being strategy as an emerging leader and then look externally to consider how to improve employee well-being within their organization.

MSL 625. Interpersonal Power and Politics. 3 credits.

This course facilitates the development leadership skills in the areas of interpersonal political skills and how to use them to promote positive change within organizations and society. Students will learn about leadership and power not only within themselves, but also within others. They will also contemplate how to live with a non-anxious presence, empowering themselves with a balanced perspective of power within our world. Finally, students will develop skills that empower them in practice.

MSL 626. Failing and Failure in Leadership. 3 credits.

In this course, students will examine the concept of failure, the process of failing, and how we gain resiliency and find hope in the midst of failure.

MSL 627. Leading Champions: Lessons by and from Extraordinary Athletes and Coaches. 3 credits.

This course studies leadership concepts through the real-life stories of extraordinary athletes and coaches. Students engage with the concepts of sports and coaching in order to understand how leadership impacts a variety of organizational facets and by examining how leadership theories, practices, and applications might influence perceptions of success or failure.

MSL 628. Contemporary Issues in Sports Leadership. 3 credits.

This course investigates the role of sports on economic, societal, and political institutions, in particular how contemporary issues – including diversity, equality, the media, race relations, and ethical and moral conduct – have come to dominant the sports industry and impact nearly every aspect of a country’s economic, societal and political life.

MSL 631. Independent Study. 1-6 credits.

Students may arrange with an instructor to engage in a series of readings related to a specific topic and/or conduct research in an area approved by the department and under the direction of a faculty member. P: DC.

MSL 632. Contemporary Issues in Leadership. 1-3 credits.

This course examines current environmental, social, and economic issues faced by leaders. Students will analyze decision-making processes within contemporary issues as well as reflect on the unintended consequences of the decisions made. Topics will be analyzed from an economic, social, and environmental leadership perspective utilizing the application of Jesuit charisms.

MSL 700. Foundations of Sports Leadership. 3 credits.

This course serves as a study of concepts within sports leadership. The course provides students a historical account of sports and sports leadership as well as the opportunity to examine those factors important to understanding the foundations of sports leadership. Students will examine key areas to include leadership theories and styles, effective communication, and the relationship between leadership, management, and coaching as it applies to different organizational frameworks. Additionally, students will evaluate and analyze the relationship between motivation, empowerment, and emotional intelligence and how and why these factors contribute to effective sports leadership.

MSL 701. Coaching and Leading Through an Ignatian Lens. 3 credits.

This course examines Ignatian values within the context of coaching and leadership. Students will analyze how these fundamental tenets fit into coaching and leadership practices as well as reflect on how these values apply to their own organizations. Topics are analyzed from an organizational leadership perspective utilizing the application of Jesuit charisms and sports leadership fundamentals.

MSL 790. Leadership Capstone. 3 credits.

This capstone course requires students to apply the core theories and concepts in the Masters of Science in Organizational Leadership Program. This culminating course requires students to actively reflect on the Program curriculum and demonstrate what they have learned in the program. P: All core and elective courses must be complete or by permission of Program Director.