PhD in Organizational Leadership
“The students in the program are already leaders and they’re coming to the program to become better leaders and to understand leadership and organizational behavior at a deeper level.”
- Boyd Johnson
The Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Organizational Leadership includes both onsite classes in Indiana and online coursework. Its mission is to provide a Christ centered, innovative, and challenging doctoral program, which enables students to become accomplished in current knowledge, best practices, research, self-directed learning, and teaching.
Our curriculum is designed to contribute to the student’s development as a servant leader who has mastered all of the elements represented in the conceptional leadership model.
Relevant and Convenient
- Program is offered online and the onsite is offered in a blended format.
- Complete your degree in as few as 40 months.
- Cohort groups provide mutual support.
- Professors combine academic credentials with professional expertise.
- Each year, three intensive sessions (Friday and Saturday) are required at Indianapolis North campus between January, April and September. Online students will engage in virtual intensives.
- In addition, there are required residencies in July at the Marion, IN campus for all students, blended and online. The remainder of the summer term is completed online for all students.
Contact Indiana Wesleyan to learn more about our nonprofit Christian university, our Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership, or our other degree completion and Master's programs.
Tuition & Financial Aid
$823 / credit hour
* Effective July 1, 2015, through June 30, 2016.
The total cost of the program, including tuition and any fees, will be determined prior to your enrollment. Payment for each course is due three weeks before the course begins. Course textbooks are not included in the costs listed above.
The total credit hours and per-credit-hour costs listed above are effective for the core program. For prerequisite or other required courses if applicable, students will need to pay for appropriate tuition, books, and any additional fees. Costs may change if you withdraw from the program and restart in a future program at a later date.
Financial aid is available in the form of grants, loans, scholarships, veterans benefits, and even employer reimbursement.
The curriculum of the Indiana Wesleyan University Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Organizational Leadership degree program is designed to contribute to the student's development as a servant leader who has mastered seven domains of knowledge:
- Personal Authenticity
- Organizational Learning
- Organizational Theory and Research
- Change, Innovation, Entrepreneurship
- Globalization and Multiculturalism
- Governance and Ethics
- Servant Leaders as World Changers
Full course descriptions may be viewed by clicking on the course titles below.
NOTE: DOL 920B and DOL 920C are also required in subsequent terms, for a program total of 60 credit hours. If needed, additional terms to complete the dissertation will be done in DOL 922: Dissertation Continuation, at 1 credit hour per each term.
A foundational expertise integrated into each domain is the mastery of critical thinking, research, and problem solving.
This program is designed to be completed in three years but can be modified with approval from the department chairperson. The program offers an integrated and seamless progression through courses that requires a one-step enrollment process for the entire program. Courses are taken with a cohort of fellow students, which develops into an action learning team that incorporates the leadership knowledge and experience of both faculty and students. Terms are normally 11 weeks in length and include a blend of classroom and online sessions. Classes meet at IWU's Indianapolis (North) Education Center three Saturdays of each term, with summer residencies held on the main campus in Marion, Indiana, for eight days each July and followed by nine weeks of online discussion forums.
*Course sequence may be changed based on modality.
Below are the lists of requirements for the PhD in Organizational Leadership program. Click on each link to expand the requirements. If you have any questions about the admissions process, feel free to contact one of our admissions representatives at 1-866-498-4968.
This is a selective program and there is no guaranteed admittance even though applicants meet all the admissions requirements. The requirements for admission to the program include the following:
- A master's degree from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body or by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, verified on official transcripts sent by the institution directly to Indiana Wesleyan University.
- An undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 or higher from the baccalaureate degree-granting institution at which a minimum of 30 credit hours was completed.
- A graduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or higher from the master's degree-granting institution at which a minimum of 24 credit hours was completed.
- A minimum of five years of leadership experience in the workplace, in volunteer organizations, or in the classroom as a teacher or instructor.
- Submission of all documents required by the Admissions Selection Committee and approval by the committee for admission into the program (see Application Procedures).
NOTE: The Admissions Selection Committee retains the right to waive admission requirements for special circumstances.
- Students must successfully complete POL 521 in order to continue in the program.
- Students must successfully complete all core and specialization courses prior to taking the capstone course.
Students may transfer up to nine hours of post-master's credit from a college or university accredited by a regional accrediting body or by the Association for Biblical Higher Education, provided that a grade of "B" or higher was earned in each post-master's course meeting the following criteria of the transcript audit:
- The course is clearly comparable to one of the Ph.D. program course offerings.
- The course is at the 600 or higher level in the numbering system and was not part of the master's degree requirements.
- The course has been completed within the past five years.
- The course reflects current knowledge-based and best practices.
- The course reflects higher-order thinking, study, and assessment requirements of the scholarship of discovery.
To fulfill graduation requirements, students must have completed all of the following:
- All credits required in the course of studies with a minimum GPA of 3.25. The Seminars and Praxis and Dissertation credits are recorded as Credit or No Credit.
- Grade of "B-" or higher in each course.
- Comprehensive written exam and oral defense following the third Summer Residency Institute and satisfactory completion of all coursework.
- Dissertation successfully completed and defended orally. Dissertation must be completed within four years from the point of completing DOL-915.
- Payment of all tuition and fees.
Residency for the doctoral program is satisfied by living on the campus in Marion, Indiana, during three Summer Institutes. These institutes take place over seven days, during the month of July.
NOTE: Students are required to attend the three intensives held in the January, April and September terms which run Friday and Saturday at Indianapolis North campus. Online students will attend through synchronized online sessions.
All doctoral courses are a blend of live and asynchronous online discussions. Students are expected to attend all live synchronous sessions. Online attendance is determined by participating in weekly asynchronous discussions. Attendance is required every day of the Summer Institute for all students.
Complete the Online Application.
This is your first step toward making your dreams come true for your future. Whether it's to advance your current career, start a new career path, or simply continue that lifelong love of learning, Indiana Wesleyan University is the place for you.Online Application
Additional Steps to Apply
Official transcripts showing degrees conferred for both the baccalaureate and post-baccalaureate degrees are required. Indiana Wesleyan University will accept for its permanent file only those transcripts sent directly to IWU by the registrar of the attended institution(s) Official transcripts must exhibit the official seal and signature of the registrar. Transcripts that are stamped “student copy,” “issued to student,” or “unofficial” cannot be accepted as official.
Submit a current résumé to include a career objective, previous undergraduate and graduate work, work experience, and special recognition or awards. The résumé should include the number of employees you have supervised in all leadership positions.
3. Recommendation Forms
Using this form, completed recommendations must be made by your current leadership team within the past three to five years (for CEOs, this may be the chairman of the board of directors or a peer at another organization), an academic professor or leader in higher education, and someone who can speak to your spiritual character.
The essay is an essential aspect of the admission process and will be carefully assessed in order to make an informed decision regarding your acceptance into the Ph.D. program. Follow the guidelines carefully addressing each question.
- Typed, double-spaced, and numbered, with a minimum of five (5) pages and a maximum of six (6) pages in length.
- Clear and convincing response to the questions.
- Organization and presentation (i.e., readability and formatting).
- Critical thinking that is clearly expressed.
- Carefully proofread and have convincing language and phrasing.
- Scholarly (academic) writing skills that evidences an ability to analyze and integrate literature from the leadership field.
The following questions are to be answered in a manner that demonstrates the scholarship and critical thinking of the applicant.
- How will the attainment of the Ph.D. in Organizational Leadership enhance your ability to fulfill your life purpose?
- How has your leadership experience prepared you to excel in a doctoral leadership program?
- How will your current leadership position enable you to put into practice the concepts and principles that you hope to learn in this program?
- What is your understanding of the concept of leadership and the need for it in your professional field?
- What convincing evidence can you offer that you are prepared for the scholarship necessary to complete doctoral coursework and a dissertation?
- Do you have convincing evidence of sufficient computer skills to engage in online discussion forums, access online library resources, engage in online videoconferencing, and utilize word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software?
5. TOEFL Scores
Submit a copy of your TOEFL scores if English is not your primary language. For more information about this test, visit www.toefl.org.
Indiana Wesleyan University
Adult Enrollment Services
1900 W. 50th St.
Marion, IN 46953
Please contact your program representative if you have any questions.
Coursework for the Doctor of Philosophy in Organizational Leadership is completed online or at IWU's Indianapolis (North) Education Center, with summer residencies completed at our Marion, Indiana, campus. A new cohort of students begins in January and July of each year. Applications and supporting documentation (current résumé, letters of recommendation, essay, undergraduate and graduate transcripts) are due by April 1 for the July cohort group.
Applicants are encouraged to contact us and speak with a program representative with any questions.
*Early applications are considered.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Organizational Leadership?
Q: When does the program start?
Q: What are the prerequisites for entering into the program?
Q: Is financial aid available?
Q: Is there an application fee?
As of July 1, 2014, Indiana Wesleyan University will no longer require an application fee for most Adult and Graduate Programs.
Q: When is the application due?
A: Applications and supporting documentation (current résumé, letters of recommendation, essay, undergraduate and graduate transcripts) are due by April 1st for the July cohort group.
Early applications are considered.
Q: Is the TOEFL required? Can it be waived if time has been spent living or studying in an English-speaking country?
Q: How long does it take to complete the program?
Q: Is there a residency requirement? What is its length?
A: The three-year program is designed for the self-directed adult learner who chooses to maintain a full-time job and can make the commitment of 15 to 25 hours per week of study, review of literature, interaction with colleagues, field-based action learning, and research. Students will participate in an eight-day residency during summers I, II, and III. They will also be engaged in field-based action learning and organizational improvement projects, and nine Saturday classes during each of the first two years of the program.
During the academic years, doctoral students will be engaged in fulfilling action learning and assessment requirements via interactive online courses, to be supplemented by one-day live seminars and assessment sessions with University advisers.
Q: Is there a foreign language requirement?
Q: Is it possible to arrange an interview as part of the application process?
Q: What is the cost of the program?
Q: When will I be notified whether I'm admitted? When do courses begin?
Applicants will be notified by e-mail by late May about the admissions committee decision. You will then have one week to accept the admissions offer and make the deposit. If applications are submitted before April 1st, an early decision may be made. If you do not meet the deadline, the offer will be rescinded and the next applicant on the waiting list will be contacted.
The first two courses begin online in early July and focus on required readings that prepare students for the Summer Residency. (Required reading assignments will be e-mailed to you by early June.) The Summer Residency takes place in mid-July.
The members of the Organizational Leadership faculty bring a combination of leadership, teaching ability, and scholarly experience to the classroom and dissertation process. You will learn from professors who have been leaders in business, industry, entrepreneurial companies, higher education, public schools, and nongovernmental organizations. Your experience here will take you far beyond basic leadership theory to implement innovative best practices in your own life and work.
Click on a faculty member's name below to learn more about that individual.