• Ph.D. in Leadership Studies

    Lead with Distinction.

    Through our commitment to servant leadership, we develop you for the leadership role you have today—and in the future. Our experienced faculty work alongside your particular interests to guide you to the next level of excellence in your chosen field.

Program Requirements

The Ph.D. in Leadership Studies is a minimum 60-hour research doctorate program designed to develop and enhance the competencies that are essential to servant leadership in the twenty-first century. The degree consists of: 

  • 30-hour core of leadership courses
  • 12-hour concentration in one of four areas (business, higher education, ministry, or general leadership)
  • 12 hours of research and statistics
  • 6-hour dissertation

During the coursework phase, the format of the degree program requires students to attend one weekend a month for three months each fall and spring semester and 7-10 days in the summer.


Concentration Areas

The program includes a 12-hour concentration in business, higher education, ministry, or general leadership.

Summer Institutes

In addition to  semester courses, the program includes three Summer Institutes comprised of 7-10 day intensive sessions. The first Summer Institute is held in Dallas, Texas and focuses upon personal growth, professional development, and leadership courses. The second Summer Institute includes a trip to Washington, D.C., with a special emphasis on political leadership. The third Summer Institute is based in Oxford, England, with a concentration on global and cultural leadership issues. Learn more.


How Our Graduates Impact Their World

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Leadership Studies are highly equipped to serve in executive leadership positions within business, education, industry, ministry, civic, or governmental contexts. They are well-prepared scholars with the required biblical, classical, historical, philosophical, and cultural/global foundation to effectively address contemporary leadership issues. Learn more.

Application Deadline

March 17, 2022

Contact the Director

Mary Nelson, Ph.D.
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Rigorous and Relevant.

"The Ph.D. in Leadership challenges students as scholars all the while cultivating their strengths as leaders and galvanizing their pursuit of God's calling."

— Dr. Mary Nelson, Ph.D. Director

“At DBU, you will have the opportunity to exchange ideas with other top leaders in business, education, government, ministry, and other disciplines.”

— Dr. Jeremy Dutschke

“Being a part of the Gary Cook School of Leadership remains one of the defining moments not only in my educational pursuits, but also in my life and journey as a follower of Jesus.”

— Dr. Marcus Goodloe, Ph.D. Graduate

“The thing that drew me to DBU was the opportunity to pursue a degree that was Christ-centered and had the discipline and rigor associated with the formal Ph.D. program.”

— Dr. Doug Lawson, Ph.D. Graduate

“The Ph.D. in Leadership Studies professors are my coaches spurring me on to become the leader God has called me to be.”

— Dr. Joseph Myung
Senior Pastor, San Diego, CA

“The Leadership Studies Ph.D. at DBU is a life-changing experience. Hard work and challenge await those who enter the program, but the results are personally and professionally rewarding.”

— Dr. Chris Medenwald, Ph.D. Graduate