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California Baptist University: Preparing the Future Leaders of Riverside

Responding to the need for skilled leaders in Riverside, CBU’s new doctoral program in Leadership Studies promises to mold professionals into visionary leaders for tomorrow’s challenges.

Dr. John Shoup, the director of the Ph.D. program in leadership studies at CBU leads a lecture.

Looking to advance your career and become a leader in your industry? California Baptist University’s Ph.D. in Leadership Studies prepares professionals for the next step in their careers by focusing on motivating and engaging employees, making wise decisions for long-term organizational health, and cultivating supportive team dynamics and cultures.

As a university, CBU continuously considers its course and degree offerings to ensure it meets the needs of our evolving society, and ethical, intentional leadership is desperately needed in today’s marketplace.

“Managers and leaders increasingly face challenging business decisions,” said Dr. Charles D. Sands, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at CBU. “This program is uniquely designed to place the student in real-world situations, learn how to have tough conversations and stretch them so they are ready to take the next steps to lead.” 

The Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies is an excellent degree choice for those seeking senior leadership positions in a variety of professional and academic settings. The program is designed to help both emerging and established leaders excel in their careers, serving in a variety of fields, including education, ministry, non-profit, government, non-governmental organizations, and business. The program equips scholar-practitioners with critical perspectives and skills to make the right things happen the right way in their personal and professional communities.

The Ph.D. program requires students to complete 58 semester units in classes that provide them with interdisciplinary leadership perspectives and skills to help individuals and organizations to thrive in complex environments. Courses include Leadership and Organizational and Institutional Theories, Ethics and Virtues, Human, Social, and Political Capital Development, Decision Making, Rhetoric, and Research.

“In large part because of the documented leadership crises, the field of leadership studies is emerging as a standalone discipline with programs at both the undergraduate and graduate level at many universities,” said Dr. John Shoup, director of the Ph.D. program in leadership studies at CBU. “Having a strong, faith-based leadership program right here at CBU is a testament to our commitment to meeting the needs of our students in response to what is happening in the world around us.”

Through the leadership studies Ph.D. program at CBU, doctoral candidates learn what is required to be ethical transformational leaders, how to shape organizational culture to align with core values, and how to manage complex environments while implementing creative and wise decisions. The program is led by an interdisciplinary team of scholars from business, communication arts, health and public administration, leadership studies, and political science.

“What makes CBU’s Ph.D. program so unique is the faculty and students,” said Shoup. “The program attracts those who are dedicated to growing in wisdom and understanding in life and leadership to better help others live their purpose.”

The program is designed for students to complete their coursework and dissertation in three years or nine continuous semesters of study and offers synchronous and asynchronous course options. Through a scholar-practitioner, student-centered, faith-based approach to learning, faculty and administration provide a strong, nurturing learning environment for candidates to succeed.

If you’re ready to Live Your Purpose®, visit to learn more about CBU’s Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership Studies.