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Graduate Leadership Traditional Courses

Our curriculum is designed by the experts in Christian education to give you the real life skills you need to be a transformational leader. The courses cover the breadth of Christian school leadership. Each one engages in real-world, real-time, relevant projects that are immediately applicable to Christian school leaders and you will be empowered to excel.

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Course Schedule

This schedule is designed for working professionals and allows you to balance your life while earning your degree. During your school year, online classes occur in 8-week blocks. These classes are live on Zoom one night a week for three hours. With only one class at a time, this is doable! During the summer, the residency is 1 week and you are in person at Gordon College with your cohort and professor.

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Course Description

LEA 701 Liberal Arts Approach to Leadership Credits: 3

Course will provide a comprehensive liberal arts overview of major issues in leadership perspectives and theories as reflected in the works of leading researchers and theorists. From a Christian perspective, the students will examine profiles of exceptional leaders to identify their humanity and what characteristics (personal traits and skills) provide effective leadership of schools and educational programs. Examination of theory underlying leadership style will enable the identification of a personal leadership style. 

LEA 702 Leadership Theories and Practices Credits: 3

Case studies and problem-based learning are used to address challenging issues encountered by leaders. Students develop personal skills and confidence using leadership theories and strategies introduced in LEA 701. Through a case study and problem-based learning approach, major issues and perspectives of leadership are examined with particular emphasis on problem-solving, consensus building, conflict resolution, ethics, and building relevant community connections from a biblical worldview. Participants will study how to work with governing boards, solve financial issues, foster collaboration, student achievement, and school improvement.

LEA 705 Developing, Leading, and Managing People Credits: 3

The course explores the nature and function of supervision relative to being a leader of leaders, which can be a challenge. Steps to develop collegial supervision are studied with an emphasis on planning, organizing, and evaluating leadership. The course will explore the transition from supervising of teachers to managing and supervising administrators and other campus leaders. Retention and evaluation of staff will be examined. Students will be introduced to entrepreneurial structures and the process of building a school culture of innovation along with cultural diversity.

LEA 710 Instructional Leadership and Assessment Credits: 3

The course provides administrators with tools for effectively navigating the curriculum. Identifies and implements effective instructional strategies and utilizes appropriate performance measures for assessing instructional resources and commitments that drive instructional decisions. The course will also develop strategies for the integration of faith and learning within and across the curriculum. The co-curricular environment will be examined to provide holistic learning within the school. The class will work as an administrative team comprised of leaders in varying roles in order to understand the relationship between leadership and assessment to explore content from those perspectives.

LEA 720 Personnel and Strategic Planning Credits: 3

A leader must possess those skills and understandings that best enable one to work with other adults. The course focuses on ways to manage change to build a strategic campus culture. Topics include personnel searches, interviewing, staff selection, teacher induction, professional development, policymaking, teacher contracts, promotion, dismissal, and conflict management. The course also addresses strategic thinking and the process of enlisting support for creative, positive change along with interpersonal dynamics.

LEA 725 Business, Finance, and Operations Credits: 3

Leaders are required to assess organizational needs and develop a financial plan to successfully address these goals. Students will be able to read and interpret financial statements, identify the major types of budget models, and build a sample school budget. The course provides students with a comprehensive overview of budgeting processes and business administrative functions. A biblical view of stewardship will be explored. Understanding depreciation, managing of investments and controlling costs are introduced. Other related issues regarding the operation and maintenance of facilities and grounds, acquisition and maintenance of instructional equipment and materials (including technology), and transportation management are examined as well.

LEA 730 Private School Law and Governance Credits 3

The course examines contract and constitutional law, statutory and case law, and legal issues pertaining to private education, including the religious rights of Christian schools. The course will explore facets of school law and how it is interwoven in day-to-day decisions. Legal topics to be explored include student discipline, church/state issues, privacy rights, and discrimination, liability, and student activities. Effective board relations, recruiting, developing, and educating board members as well as governance of boards will be examined. Students will discover legal frameworks that surround decisions and actions in day-to-day pursuits as administrators while also honoring their knowledge base of governance structures in independent schools.

LEA 740 Institutional Advancement Credits: 3

The course examines theories and strategies related to institutional development, communication, and admissions. Students will explore ideas for collaboration with members of constituent groups such as parents, alumni, and potential donors. Knowing how to be entrepreneurial, secure grants, access philanthropic organizations, and cultivate relationships with community groups can add to the financial foundation of the school. In addition, this course explores the process of identifying, cultivating, securing and wisely using financial resources for Christian education. Drawing on case studies and external experts, the course will expose students to fundraising and strategies for engaging various types of media along with a Biblical approach to stewardship.

LEA 751 Research-Based Program Improvement Credits: 6
One year course

This capstone master’s thesis course engages students in area-specific, action-research. It allows a student to explore individual program needs and organizational issues of a school. Students will identify a research question appropriate to their specific setting, develop a hypothesis, collect data by exploring ways to address the problem and implement a pilot project. Since this course spans the school year in order to research, implement, and evaluate the project, results will be publication-ready and presented to the class.

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You can fit this into your life!

The Graduate Leadership program has been an enriching experience. I have grown in my career, and character, and built an incredible network of Christian leaders. The coursework is relevant, thought-provoking, and curated in such a way that I could balance it with my job and three kids!
-Kristen Broughton, Alumni Class of '22
Director of Operations, Gordon College, MA

Student Testimonials