Programs (M.A., Certificate)

The strategic leadership program prepares leaders for professional service and leadership through a body of learning grounded in the liberal arts and a Christian worldview. It builds on the foundation of an undergraduate education, enhancing the knowledge, capacities, and competencies of students by integrating academic rigor, theoretical and practical implications, and sound practice.

Leadership, in its broadest sense, is a relationship between people in which some are able to bring about changes that benefit all involved. In an organization this relationship has structure, with mutual expectations and modes of behavior. Thus, leaders play roles that depend partly on their social situation, but also on the needs, values, and opportunities of the entire group.

The M.A. in Strategic Leadership program at Bethel has three primary purposes:

  • To prepare students to apply creative, critical, and strategic thinking to leadership opportunities and challenges.
  • To equip students to adopt new approaches and techniques of information management, knowledge transfer, scholarly thinking, and application.
  • To empower students to discern and apply Christian ethics and worldviews to leadership practice.

Bethel University seeks applicants for the M.A. in Strategic Leadership program who are seeking to further develop their leadership, influence, effectiveness, knowledge, and skills.

Leadership Foundation Outcomes

  1. Integrate leadership theory, scholarship, and practice with developmental self-awareness.
  2. Develop effective tactics and strategies through the effective evaluation of an organization’s context, leadership opportunities, limitations, and competing interests.
  3. Respond to leadership dilemmas in a manner consistent with Christian ethical principles.
  4. Develop productive teams that value personal growth, healthy team environment, and sensitivity to broader networks and cultures.
  5. Communicate effectively in a variety of leadership settings.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the M.A. in Strategic Leadership program demonstrate the ability to:

  • Show sensitivity to the needs and perceptions of others.
  • Respond effectively to complex and often conflicting leadership contexts, including organizational, local, regional, virtual, cultural, and global.
  • Assess various models of human interaction, and develop multi-platform, holistic approaches to leading in distributed, local, and hybrid environments.

Program Design

  • The program coursework is designed to be completed in approximately two years.
  • Courses are taken one at a time.
  • Classes meet one evening or Saturday morning each week. Electives may be offered on a different schedule, and some may only be offered for online delivery. Students are encouraged to consider a variety of opportunities for elective credit, either from those elective courses offered within the program or from the wide variety of 3-credit-hour courses from other Bethel University Graduate School programs. In most cases, electives will require the approval of the department, and in some cases, the course instructor.
  • A supportive learning community allows students to learn, collaborate, and build trust with program colleagues and faculty members. This is a valuable aspect of a transformational learning experience at Bethel University.

M.A. Degree Program

Certificate in Leadership Foundations

BUSN605 • Data Analysis and Decision Making. 3 Credits.

Explores research principles relevant in the business setting. Evaluation of research reports and data with a focus on quantitative data used for decision making. Application of appropriate strategies and tools to make and explain ethical and effective business decisions.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

BUSN625 • Managerial Finance. 3 Credits.

Focus is on the financial management of business and includes international and ethical implications. Topics include financial analysis and decision making; financial markets; risk; valuation; long- and short-term financing and investing; and working capital management. Extensive use of cases and spreadsheets is required.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

BUSN628 • Global Finance. 3 Credits.

Exploration of complexities resulting from the interconnected nature of the global economy. Examination of challenges faced by organizations as they consider conducting business globally during the next decade. Integration of personal faith and ethical thinking with global financial strategies.

BUSN645 • Marketing Management. 3 Credits.

A demographic and psychographic review of current consumer trends. Review of broadly adopted marketing models. Analysis of marketing challenges in an environment of increasing information, Internet channels, and multiple buyer options. Discussion of various global and ethical issues facing marketers and marketing managers.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

BUSN652 • Global Operations Management. 3 Credits.

Focus is on a foundation of the globalization of a firm's operations including the production of goods and services, supply chain management, and global distribution. A review of political and societal issues associated with strategic global operations will be undertaken with particular focus on several global cultures.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Special Notes: Students cannot earn credit for both BUSN652 and BUSN660.

BUSN660 • Operations Management. 3 Credits.

Explores operational management, legal, and regulatory issues throughout lifecycles of organizations considering faith, ethics, and Christian worldview. Evaluate organizational efficiency using quality models such as Six Sigma and Lean. Design plans for organizational success (project management steps, outcomes, technology, production, and outsourcing). Distinguish between operational management process and function.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Special Notes: Students cannot earn credit for both BUSN652 and BUSN660.

BUSN675 • Experiencing Global Business. 3 Credits.

Explore international cultures, faith, ethics, and business structure by traveling internationally on a Bethel-sponsored trip. Gain perspectives on how American companies do business globally and compare American and international cultural, business/economic, educational and spiritual practices.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

BUSN680 • Business Strategy. 3 Credits.

Analysis of the fundamental elements of organizational strategy. Evaluation of the influences on an organization’s strategy and the ability of an organization to achieve its strategy given its characteristics. Integration of ethical thinking and personal faith principles with strategy. Analysis of issues impacting strategic technology planning in organizations.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

ECON635 • Managerial Economics. 3 Credits.

Study of economics, macroeconomics, and microeconomics. Analysis of the economic forces that influence the business environment. Application of economic tools to illustrate how globalization influences performance, strategy, and policy within firms. Analysis of opportunities and risks in a global economic environment.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

LEAD607 • Engaging Your Potential. 0 Credit.

Orientation to Bethel University Graduate School, the MBA and MA Strategic Leadership programs, and the career coaching process.
Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

LEAD611 • Leadership Theory & Personal Agency. 3 Credits.

Analysis of leadership theory and research as it applies to individuals and organizations. Evaluation of personal leadership capacities and the design of a specific plan for capacity increase. Analysis of the relationship between personal faith and leadership service.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

LEAD621 • Worldview, Ethics and Leadership. 3 Credits.

Explore Biblical, historical, and contemporary ethical frameworks. Explore how one's personal spirituality and vision of the world impacts one's leadership. Understand the biblical and theological foundations of leadership. Analyze the nature of ethical issues relating to personal integrity and leadership. Articulate personal foundations for ethical leadership.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

LEAD631 • Leading Change in a Changing World. 3 Credits.

Forecasting and designing alternative futures for organizations. Understanding organizational change as it relates to mission, strategies, tactics, and structure. Strategic planning and opportunity generation in light of theory, historical trends, environmental factors, and organizational capabilities.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

LEAD641 • Organizational Diagnostics and Health. 3 Credits.

Examination of theory and research surrounding organizational structures and behavior. Assessment of organizational health at multiple levels in light of relevant research, theory, and organizational relationships and patterns. Sustainment or improvement of organizational health through leadership techniques that enhance organizational effectiveness and empower individuals.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

LEAD651 • Leadership Formation and Strategic Talent Management. 3 Credits.

Global thought leadership, current theory, and best practice implementation on building leadership cultures and coaching emerging leaders. Understanding structures and systems that foster talent development, employee engagement, retention, and effective succession planning. Introduction to research, best practices, and formal processes to address leadership competency gaps through individual development planning.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

LEAD755 • Portfolio Integration and Capstone Development. 2 Credits.

Culmination of leadership courses as students continue in graduate work. Foundation for a collaborative project that synthesizes scholarship and practice around the development of a business plan. Exploration of interconnections within business and connections with other aspects of life. Introduction to reflective learning through portfolio practices.
Prerequisites: LEAD611. Coaching and assessment fee: $210.

LEAD789 • MBA/MASL Dual-degree Portfolio Addendum. 0 Credit.

Synthesis of key learnings from the two master’s degree programs after having completed LEAD790 for the first master’s degree.
Prerequisites: LEAD611, LEAD621, LEAD631, LEAD641, LEAD651, LEAD755, LEAD790. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis.

LEAD790 • MBA/MASL Capstone Delivery. 1 Credit.

Culmination of Bethel Leadership courses as students complete their graduate work. Teams (assigned in LEAD755) present their collaborative project that integrates scholarship, synthesis, and practice around the development of a business plan.
Prerequisites: LEAD611. Corequisites: LEAD755. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis.

SLDR605 • Topics in Leadership Studies. 3 Credits.

Course is offered as an elective, and covers a variety of emerging, transitional, and/or exploratory leadership topics.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR615 • Managing Projects & Quality Initiatives. 3 Credits.

Introduction to project management theory, issues, and skills associated with project management. Analyze connections between behavior, knowledge, and processes that influence the success of projects in organizations. Assess projects, management, and tools for management based on best practice.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR627 • Global Leadership Summit Studies. 3 Credits.

The Global Leadership Summit, presented annually by the Willow Creek Association, is the foundational context for this elective course. Effective leading and following for any venue is studied through the lens of varied presenters.

SLDR640 • Beyond Diversity. 3 Credits.

dimensions that relate to the workplace. Use of cultural intelligence tools and inventories to increase personal awareness and understanding of others. Synthesis of diversity theory and tools to build effective, inclusive leadership in the workplace and community.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Special Notes: Students may not receive credit for both SLDR640 and SOCS640.

SLDR645 • Leading in Times of Crisis. 3 Credits.

Assessment of crisis situations and the variables contributing to particular episodes. Analysis of resources and opportunities available during crisis and their impact on a crisis situation. Synthesis of self-awareness, faith foundations, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills for the organization and direction of individuals and groups during times of intense difficulty.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR650 • Managing Conflict Through Dialogue. 3 Credits.

Transitioning from "dealing with incidents" to leading teams that learn from conflict. Developing personal and professional boundaries when dealing with complex organizational environments. Thinking productively about conflict from organizational, developmental, and spiritual standpoints.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR660 • Followership: The Other Side of Leadership. 3 Credits.

Overview of the traditional views and attitude toward followers, analysis of different models and styles of followership, and the characteristics of "good" followers. Analysis of relationship between leaders and followers and leadership and follower styles. Exploration of bad leadership, courageous followership, transformational leadership; planning for improving followership abilities.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

SLDR670 • Collaborative Leadership and Associative Platforms. 3 Credits.

Explores how leadership takes place between and within organizations, and how leaders can develop networks for shared planning and action. Technology and connectivity as another platform for collaboration and developing and pursuing shared goals. Planning and managing organizational learning and global information flow, in terms of alliances, networks, and partnerships.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR789 • Portfolio Deliverable. 0 Credit.

Synthesis of key learning from the Master of Arts program, including a reconsideration of earlier work, leadership theories and growth concepts, and the development of a professional portfolio.
Prerequisites: LEAD611, LEAD621, LEAD631, LEAD641, LEAD651, LEAD755. Coaching and portfolio evaluation fee: $100. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis.

LEAD607 • Engaging Your Potential. 0 Credit.

Orientation to Bethel University Graduate School, the MBA and MA Strategic Leadership programs, and the career coaching process.
Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

LEAD611 • Leadership Theory & Personal Agency. 3 Credits.

Analysis of leadership theory and research as it applies to individuals and organizations. Evaluation of personal leadership capacities and the design of a specific plan for capacity increase. Analysis of the relationship between personal faith and leadership service.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

LEAD621 • Worldview, Ethics and Leadership. 3 Credits.

Explore Biblical, historical, and contemporary ethical frameworks. Explore how one's personal spirituality and vision of the world impacts one's leadership. Understand the biblical and theological foundations of leadership. Analyze the nature of ethical issues relating to personal integrity and leadership. Articulate personal foundations for ethical leadership.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

LEAD631 • Leading Change in a Changing World. 3 Credits.

Forecasting and designing alternative futures for organizations. Understanding organizational change as it relates to mission, strategies, tactics, and structure. Strategic planning and opportunity generation in light of theory, historical trends, environmental factors, and organizational capabilities.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

LEAD641 • Organizational Diagnostics and Health. 3 Credits.

Examination of theory and research surrounding organizational structures and behavior. Assessment of organizational health at multiple levels in light of relevant research, theory, and organizational relationships and patterns. Sustainment or improvement of organizational health through leadership techniques that enhance organizational effectiveness and empower individuals.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

LEAD651 • Leadership Formation and Strategic Talent Management. 3 Credits.

Global thought leadership, current theory, and best practice implementation on building leadership cultures and coaching emerging leaders. Understanding structures and systems that foster talent development, employee engagement, retention, and effective succession planning. Introduction to research, best practices, and formal processes to address leadership competency gaps through individual development planning.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

LEAD755 • Portfolio Integration and Capstone Development. 2 Credits.

Culmination of leadership courses as students continue in graduate work. Foundation for a collaborative project that synthesizes scholarship and practice around the development of a business plan. Exploration of interconnections within business and connections with other aspects of life. Introduction to reflective learning through portfolio practices.
Prerequisites: LEAD611. Coaching and assessment fee: $210.

LEAD789 • MBA/MASL Dual-degree Portfolio Addendum. 0 Credit.

Synthesis of key learnings from the two master’s degree programs after having completed LEAD790 for the first master’s degree.
Prerequisites: LEAD611, LEAD621, LEAD631, LEAD641, LEAD651, LEAD755, LEAD790. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis.

LEAD790 • MBA/MASL Capstone Delivery. 1 Credit.

Culmination of Bethel Leadership courses as students complete their graduate work. Teams (assigned in LEAD755) present their collaborative project that integrates scholarship, synthesis, and practice around the development of a business plan.
Prerequisites: LEAD611. Corequisites: LEAD755. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis.

ORGL691 • Integration and Portfolio Development. 2 Credits.

Synthesis of key learnings from the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program including a reconsideration of earlier self-assessment work, as well as a review and modification of personal learning and growth plans.

ORGL790 • Literature Review Portfolio Completion. 1 Credit.

For students who choose not to complete a thesis or project, the portfolio will include an extended scholarly literature review on a topic of the student's choice. The student will work with his or her capstone advisor to prepare and complete the 25-30 page literature review, not including the reference pages, appendices, or portfolio pages.
Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis. Special Notes: Enrollment is restricted to students enrolled in Converge School of Church Leadership.

SLDR527 • Global Leadership Summit Studies. 3 Credits.

The Global Leadership Summit, presented annually by the Willow Creek Association, is the foundational context for this elective course. Effective leading and following for any venue is studied through the lens of varied presenters.
Special Notes: Registration is restricted to College of Adult Professional Studies seniors.

SLDR605 • Topics in Leadership Studies. 3 Credits.

Course is offered as an elective, and covers a variety of emerging, transitional, and/or exploratory leadership topics.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR615 • Managing Projects & Quality Initiatives. 3 Credits.

Introduction to project management theory, issues, and skills associated with project management. Analyze connections between behavior, knowledge, and processes that influence the success of projects in organizations. Assess projects, management, and tools for management based on best practice.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR627 • Global Leadership Summit Studies. 3 Credits.

The Global Leadership Summit, presented annually by the Willow Creek Association, is the foundational context for this elective course. Effective leading and following for any venue is studied through the lens of varied presenters.

SLDR640 • Beyond Diversity. 3 Credits.

dimensions that relate to the workplace. Use of cultural intelligence tools and inventories to increase personal awareness and understanding of others. Synthesis of diversity theory and tools to build effective, inclusive leadership in the workplace and community.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Special Notes: Students may not receive credit for both SLDR640 and SOCS640.

SLDR645 • Leading in Times of Crisis. 3 Credits.

Assessment of crisis situations and the variables contributing to particular episodes. Analysis of resources and opportunities available during crisis and their impact on a crisis situation. Synthesis of self-awareness, faith foundations, interpersonal and intrapersonal skills for the organization and direction of individuals and groups during times of intense difficulty.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR650 • Managing Conflict Through Dialogue. 3 Credits.

Transitioning from "dealing with incidents" to leading teams that learn from conflict. Developing personal and professional boundaries when dealing with complex organizational environments. Thinking productively about conflict from organizational, developmental, and spiritual standpoints.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR660 • Followership: The Other Side of Leadership. 3 Credits.

Overview of the traditional views and attitude toward followers, analysis of different models and styles of followership, and the characteristics of "good" followers. Analysis of relationship between leaders and followers and leadership and follower styles. Exploration of bad leadership, courageous followership, transformational leadership; planning for improving followership abilities.
Prerequisites: LEAD607. Coaching and assessment fee: $105.

SLDR670 • Collaborative Leadership and Associative Platforms. 3 Credits.

Explores how leadership takes place between and within organizations, and how leaders can develop networks for shared planning and action. Technology and connectivity as another platform for collaboration and developing and pursuing shared goals. Planning and managing organizational learning and global information flow, in terms of alliances, networks, and partnerships.
Prerequisites: LEAD607.

SLDR789 • Portfolio Deliverable. 0 Credit.

Synthesis of key learning from the Master of Arts program, including a reconsideration of earlier work, leadership theories and growth concepts, and the development of a professional portfolio.
Prerequisites: LEAD611, LEAD621, LEAD631, LEAD641, LEAD651, LEAD755. Coaching and portfolio evaluation fee: $100. Grade exceptions: Graded on an S/U basis.