Study Format

  • Online

Program Length

  • 33 Credit Hours
  • 24 Months

Application Deadlines

Jan, 06

Domestic Students

Spring 2021 Completed file due | Classes start Jan. 11, 2021

Nov, 23

International Students

Spring 2021 Completed file due | Classes start Jan. 11, 2021


The organizational leadership curriculum will support the development of scholar practitioners who will grow their organizations by incorporating various methods of strategic planning and forecasting, innovative change initiatives, organizational diagnostic strategies and purposeful reform interventions.

Concordia University Chicago's master of arts in leadership studies program is based on the conviction that leaders must learn to lead change so that services and deliverables are effectively, ethically and efficiently delivered to an increasingly diverse population in the context of a changing economy and rapidly developing technologies. The graduate program in leadership studies focuses on practitioner needs by linking theory to the best practices of leadership.

The leadership skills that students attain while pursuing a master’s in leadership are transferrable across all types of organizations—private, for profit, nonprofit and public. The Concordia-Chicago leadership curriculum was developed to prepare students to lead organizational change and innovation while managing the challenges of continuous change and global competition.

Students who pursue their master’s in leadership may be working as or want to pursue careers such as information officers, strategic planners, project managers, sales directors, military officers, hospital administrators and religious leaders. The Concordia-Chicago master of arts in leadership studies is designed for people with all types of backgrounds and interests, whether they work or want to work in the government, nonprofit, for-profit, health care, higher education, military and human services at the local, regional, national or global level.

Core Qualities of a Leader

While salaries vary based on industry, experience and geographic location, the following qualities are essential leadership skills that are relevant and necessary for all organizations. The MA in leadership at Concordia University Chicago is the program where you can acquire or hone your leadership and managerial skills, with special emphasis on communication, problem-solving and decision-making.

Communication skills. Top executives must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. They must effectively discuss issues and negotiate with others, direct subordinates, and explain their policies and decisions to those within and outside the organization.

Decision-making skills. Top executives need decision-making skills when setting policies and managing an organization. They must assess different options and choose the best course of action, often daily.

Leadership skills. Top executives must be able to lead a successful organization by coordinating policies, people and resources.

Management skills. Top executives must organize and direct the operations of an organization. For example, they must manage business plans, employees and budgets.

Problem-solving skills. Top executives need problem-solving skills after identifying issues within an organization. They must be able to recognize shortcomings and effectively carry out solutions.

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Top Executive.

Why Pursue a Master's in Leadership?

Are you a big-picture or a detail-oriented person? The organizational landscape is one that is global, change-oriented, and fast-paced. Leaders need to be forward thinkers, innovators, sensitive, flexible, and able to adapt to the demands and expectations of stakeholders.

While an MBA will prepare you to manage, an MA in leadership will prepare you to lead. Organizations need leaders who understand that the top-down type of leadership must give way to an organic and fluid method of leading others. You will emerge with confidence knowing you can lead with strategic foresight.

The program’s central core focuses on leadership theory and offers specializations in knowledge management, health services, servant leadership, higher education leadership and organizational leadership. Concordia University Chicago leadership students become part of a global learning community of individuals and graduate with the essential leadership toolkit containing communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, research and analysis, and people skills.


Program Information

Curriculum

This curriculum will support the development of scholar practitioners who will grow their organizations by incorporating various methods of strategic planning and forecasting, innovative change initiatives, organizational diagnostic strategies, and purposeful reform interventions.

 

Core Courses

Leadership and Excellence

Overview of leadership theories and leadership concepts, systems and organizational perspectives, organizational performance and effectiveness, and learning organization concepts and strategies.

Strategic Leadership and Planning

The course is designed to prepare students with diverse perspectives, frameworks, skills and tools for executing effective strategy within mission driven organizations. Topics include effective mission driven organizations, role of strategic leadership, tools for developing and assessing strategic engagement, stakeholder concerns, and opportunities for leading change initiatives and strategic planning.

Ethical and Social Leadership

Examine and explore ethical dilemmas of leadership, the context and foundations of moral choice, moral implications of decisions and ramifications of leader choices. Ethical challenges and decision making criteria, stewardship and social responsibility in an age of increased organizational accountability and transparency.

Introduction to Research

This course examines foundation level principles and processes of social and behavioral research as applied across disciplines. This course is designed to enable students to acquire both a basic understanding and skills in general research methods. Specifically, the course prepares students to be critical consumers of research and to be an active participant in the generation and implementation of research knowledge. 

 

Specialization Courses

The Leader as Trainer, Mentor and Coach

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the methods used by leaders to approach training, coaching and developing their organizational workforces. Faced with the constant of change and ever increasing global competition and pressures, organizations must find ways to develop the individuals, teams and leaders in their organizations if they are to remain relevant and competitive in today’s marketplace. Students explore various means that can be used for development including various forms of training, mentoring and coaching. Ethical issues as they relate to development and coaching are also examined.

Leader Development: Cultivating, Sustaining and Renewing the Organization

This course is designed to provide an opportunity for exploration and critical examination of self in the context of leadership development and proficiency. The organizational leader is viewed as the lead learner whose responsibility is to cultivate, shape and sustain the development of the organization and personnel. Emphasis is placed on the practice of self-reflective leadership grounded in established theory and principles. Students are encouraged to self-assess and articulate their own generative capacities, professional renewal initiatives and leadership legacy. Purpose, intention and actionable plans for leadership growth and development are encouraged.

Leadership: Politics, Power and Applied Ethics

In this course students will examine the ethical dilemmas of leadership, the foundations and context of moral choice, and the moral implications of decision making. In doing so, the purpose is to make visible the ethical challenges and decision criteria facing leaders, the role of politics and power in organizations and the leader’s ability to promote and infuse organizational ethics and integrity into the culture.

Leadership Communication and Decision-Making

This course is designed to provide students with an overview of the key elements of communication and decision-making in 21st century organizations. Current, relevant and timely resources are explored to provide students with opportunities to analyze elements and functions of communication and decision-making. Significant emphasis will be on effective communication skill sets and competencies utilized in organizational communication and decision-making in the current global millieu, working in both real-world and virtual environments.

Agents of Change

In this course students will examine the various roles and processes in organizational intervention as they relate to identifying, implementing and sustaining change. Organizational culture, climate, communication practices, mental models and change theories will be explored.

Knowledge Management Information Leadership

Strategic planning, implementation and management of information systems in the organizations. Terminology, management strategies and utilization of information systems as key components in the delivery and assessment of organizational issues and trends.

 

Capstone Experience

Leadership Capstone

This course serves a culminating experience in which students are expected to apply knowledge and insights gained from their graduate course experience. The course is designed to provide a final experience in which students demonstrate mastery of content and allow an opportunity for closure and connection between courses. The purpose of this capstone course is to facilitate the integration and synthesis of content through critical thinking; it is also a turning point for the student from education to professional practice.

Seminar in Higher Education (EDU 6015)

In addition to the base program curriculum, international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus are required to take the Seminar in Higher Education, a 3-credit course.

Course Description

This course will serve as an introduction to the U.S.-based higher education learning environment. Students will work to understand Concordia University Chicago’s academic conventions, technological systems and communication culture while developing English grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills.

The Seminar in Higher Education is an excellent opportunity for students to further develop critical skills to help them to be successful in their academic program. This 3-credit course is mandatory for international students attending face-to-face classes on the CUC campus. 

Course Objectives

  • Developing knowledge about local and academic culture
  • Building grammar, reading, writing, speaking and listening skills
  • Conducting graduate-level research with the use of electronic and library resources
  • Developing note-taking strategies for coursework
  • Reflecting on the U.S.-based education system

Academic support for work in students’ current coursework will also be provided during or after class. Guest speakers include representatives from the campus library, writing center and technology services.

Student feedback for the Seminar in Higher Education

  • After taking the Seminar, I have the ability to perform more professionally in my assignments.

  • The instructor was very dynamic and a good listener. He gave feedback and made sure all the students understood.

  • The hands-on activities after the lessons helped my learning experience.

  • The professor truly cares for the students. He helps students individually and encourages us to support our peers.


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