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The Echo
Taylor University, Upland, IN
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
The Echo

Taylor launches first Ph.D. Program

Emphasis on organizations and education

For the first time in Taylor University’s history, the school has welcomed a new Ph.D. in Leadership program, launching in the fall of 2024.

Spearheaded by Jody Hirschy, associate dean of the Business Department and executive director of graduate programs in leadership, the program will consist of a concentration in either organizational or educational leadership, in addition to core and research courses. The program is constructed to take place online in a cohort-style environment.

Emphasis will be placed on preparing those entering into the workplace and further equipping those already in the workplace to advance their servant leadership skills.

President Michael Lindsay acknowledged the need for student servant leaders, and wants to equip the next generation of professionals to face new challenges. 

“Servant leaders have never been more needed — in the church, across the country, and around the world,” Lindsay said in an advertisement for the program. “For all these reasons, Taylor aspires to move from excellence to eminence in developing servant-leaders, equipping our students to meet the next generation of challenges and opportunities.”

The Ph.D. in Leadership has a spiritual basis, pointing to Jesus as the foundation for all wisdom. The value of servant leadership is putting others before self and learning from Jesus’ example, according to an advertisement for the program. 

Students will be taught by deans of the respective departments, preparing them for professional life outside of the classroom.

“A lot of it is going to be based on the training and the networks that students will receive,” Hirschy said. “They will be learning from top-notch educators.”

Hirschy will be the head of the organizational leadership concentration, engineered for professionals wanting to be better corporate leaders.

Benjamin Hotmire, dean of the School of Business, Education and social Sciences, is leading the educational leadership concentration. This subset of the program is geared towards educators wanting to be leaders in education through a Christian lens.

“(We want) people who are currently educators, maybe teachers, principals or superintendents or they want to be superintendents or heads of schools,” Hotmire said. “So we want people that are practitioners, so that they know what it looks like to implement these sorts of ideas in the field, but then also have a research base for it.”

Since Ph.D. programs are largely based on the dissertation process, the writing process is interwoven with the credit requirements. Four out of eight of the required research courses revolve around the dissertation process. 

Other foundational classes for the Ph.D. feature titles like “The Call to Lead,” “Biblical Foundations of Leadership,” “Managing People, Leading Change: Organization, Culture and Strategy” and “Intercultural Leadership and Cultural Competencies.”

Although not all details are set in stone, Hirschy encourages anybody wanting to learn more or grow in their leadership skills to apply at https://www.taylor.edu/leadership/phd/admissions.