Lisle, Illinois ~ Students, faculty and staff gathered recently to celebrate a milestone in Benedictine University's new doctoral program in Values-Driven Leadership – completion of year one.
The three-year program is designed for senior executives interested in growing profitable businesses through leadership, organizational change and sustainability. Students may choose either a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or a Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.). Both tracks lead to a dissertation in the third year after two years of coursework.
Students in the program commute from across the country and around the world. The 22 members of Cohort 1, the first group of students to begin the program, toasted their progress so far, which includes 280 hours of classroom time, 18 textbooks and nearly 6,000 pages of reading.
Jacquelyn Woodard, a senior vice president for RBS Financial who lives in Boston, Mass., was looking for a program that did not require her to leave her successful career in banking.
"I wanted a strong set of classmates and a strong curriculum with access to thought leaders in the field," said Woodard, who earned a Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) at Harvard, "I couldn't put my career on hold, and I wanted a program that let me explore the breadth of a topic and find my own niche. I found all of those at Benedictine."
Basil Chen, a professor at Centennial College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was attracted to the program by its unique executive model that combines convenience with solid academic rigor.
"There are amazing insights that come with the program," he said, citing the program's use of Benedictine faculty and distinguished visiting scholars.
With one year under their belts, students report that the education they receive in the program's weekend classes has a direct impact on their work on Monday.
"I'm taking more time," said Lee Murphy, CEO of Integrated Case Management in Naperville, Ill. "I'm more reflective about what it is that I do. I'm looking at it with a different lens than I would if I wasn't in the program."
Jim Ludema, Ph.D., the director of the program and co-founder of Benedictine's Center for Values-Driven Leadership (www.cvdl.org), said the long-term vision for the program and the center he manages is to bring the academic and practitioner worlds together.
"We believe there's a strong business case for responsible leadership – that you can grow profit while doing well socially, ethically and environmentally," he said. "Our program combines the latest research with clear understanding of how to apply this knowledge within the workplace."
As for the milestone of completing the program's first year, Ludema says he couldn't be more proud.
"This is an exceptional group of executives," he said. "They are already powerful leaders – and their capacity is growing."
For more information, including a curriculum overview and biographies of the cohort members, visit www.cvdl.org/doctorate or call (630) 829-6225.
Benedictine University is an independent Roman Catholic institution located in Lisle, Illinois just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois and Mesa, Arizona. Founded in 1887, Benedictine provides 55 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate and four doctoral programs. Benedictine University is ranked No. 1 among the country's fastest-growing campuses between 2002-2012 in The Chronicle of Higher Education's list of private nonprofit doctoral institutions, and Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the fourth consecutive year in 2014. Benedictine University's Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.) program is listed by Crain's Chicago Business as the sixth largest in the Chicago area in 2014.