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Ph.D, D.B.A.,
in Values-Driven Leadership
for Senior Executives


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The Ph.D./D.B.A. in Values-Driven Leadership program is a rigorous, fully-accredited doctoral program for senior executives that connects students to globally influential leaders and a broad range of opportunities for research and practice in the areas of global leadership, strategic change and corporate sustainability.

Benedictine University’s Ph.D./D.B.A. program is the first scholar-practitioner program in the world focusing explicitly on values-driven leadership – that is, the theory and practice of leading profitable, sustainable, and responsible companies in today’s global economy. The program equips students to become thought leaders who have a transformative impact on business and society by leading boldly at four levels: personal, interpersonal, organizational and globally.

Key Program Features Include:

  • Exceptional scholars: Learning from Benedictine University’s world-class faculty and distinguished visiting scholars and executives from leading universities and companies around the globe.
  • Global connections: Traveling to different parts of the world to engage in high-quality learning exchanges with top scholars and executives from other countries and cultures.
  • A cohort of executives: Engaging in the classroom with an exceptional group of peers — experienced executives like yourself who share a passion for values-driven leadership.
  • World-class research: Participating with Benedictine faculty and a global network of scholars in leading-edge research initiatives focused on leadership, sustainability and organizational change.
  • Choice of degrees: You may choose one of two degrees, a Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy) or a D.B.A. (doctor of business administration).
  • One-of-a-kind curriculum: Engaging coursework that integrates the fields of business; leadership and organizational change; and social, ethical, and environmental responsibility.
  • Convenience: Attending classes on a schedule convenient for senior leaders working full-time and for those who commute from outside the Chicago area (once a month on weekends, plus an annual 8-day intensive, for the first two years of the program). Complete the degree in three years.
  • Personal transformation: We are committed to your personal and professional transformation; our faculty work with students to tailor their research and writing to help advance the student’s career and individual goals.


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Candidates for the Doctor of Philosophy/Business Administration in Values-Driven Leadership will have the opportunities to:

Understand and apply core knowledge in the fields of values-driven leadership, strategic change, and corporate sustainability, including history, current trends, and future directions.
Research Methods and Analysis: Understand and apply appropriate research methods in the fields of values-driven leadership, strategic change, and corporate sustainability.
Make an original contribution to the fields of values-driven leadership, strategic change, and corporate sustainability through independent research.
Provide values-driven leadership in business and society.
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Creativity and Discipline

Benedictine University’s award-winning Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)/Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.) in Values-Driven Leadership program is specifically designed for senior executives committed to using the creativity and discipline of business to:

  • Create short-term and long-term shareholder value.
  • Enrich people’s lives and help them to thrive.
  • Produce products and services that benefit society.
  • Contribute to the health, sustainability and flourishing of the planet.
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Designed for Senior Executives

The program is designed to be completed in three years (66 semester credit hours), and is tailored to meet the exacting standards and demanding schedules of senior leaders who work full-time. To accommodate those who commute from around the globe, classes are held once a month on weekends and during an annual 8-day intensive. Benedictine University is about a 30-minute drive from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.

Earn a Master's Degree en route to your Doctorate

Students who begin the Ph.D./D.B.A. program in Values-Driven Leadership (in 2019 or later) may earn a Master’s of Science in Values-Driven Leadership en route to their doctorate. The master’s degree can be awarded after the student has earned at minimum 30 semester credit hours or at minimum 45 quarter credit hours (for those entering the program prior to Spring 2021) of qualifying courses within the doctoral program and must be awarded within the six year graduate program limit; it cannot be awarded after the Ph.D. or D.B.A. is complete.

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Lisle Campus

I was told the Ph.D. in Values-Driven Leadership was very “student-centered,” unlike other Ph.D. programs, and that was one of the draws for me. What really sold me is they truly means this. The staff and faculty of the Ph.D. in Values-Driven Leadership are incredibly supportive and are there to see the student succeed in every aspect. The authenticity of this is of great value to me and to the program.

Nancy Sayer

Nancy Sayer, Ph.D., LCPC, PCC
Founder and CEO of the Leadership Evolvement Institute
LEADS Programming Consultant