MA, Leadership: Organizational Leadership Specialization

Study Format Online
Program Length 33 credits*, 24 months


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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.

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