Center for Leadership Studies

Next Gen Doctoral Programs for Working Professionals

The Center for Leadership Studies (CFLS) is home to Northwest’s Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in Organizational Leadership. These degrees prepare students to lead the leaders of our day.

Our doctoral students study in a diverse, interactive cohort format with an inter-disciplinary approach to learning. Cohorts come together about three times a year on our Kirkland campus for a week of residency class, followed by online learning experiences. Designed for working professionals, the Center’s programs make it possible for Ph.D. students to graduate in four years and Ed.D. students in three years.

Why Choose Our Doctoral Programs?

Financial Support

The CFLS offers five types of financial assistance, including a first-year grant, a matching discount for non-profit employees, two research grants, and a new student referral tuition credit. View CFLS Scholarships

Two Degree Options

The Ph.D. focuses on scholarship, original research, and the generation of new theory. Our Ed.D. is shorter and more practical, helping students apply existing research to problems in the field.

Four Concentrations

Students have access to four Concentrations: Leading Ministry Organizations, Higher Education Leadership, District and School Leadership, and Business Leadership and Consulting.


Our programs offer small, diverse cohorts. Students learn alongside peers who encourage and challenge each other to grow.

Hybrid Delivery

Our program is low-residency, and delivered mostly online. Students study in a mix of formats including three residencies a year, online, and “on the road” at major professional conferences.

Distinguished Faculty

Our professors draw from both academic expertise and real-world professional experience to offer a holistic learning environment.

Integrated Faith and Learning

The degrees integrate a Christian perspective drawing simultaneously from scholarship and faith.

Interdisciplinary Instruction

Bringing together diverse students with outstanding professors from a variety of disciplines produces a rich transformative learning experience.

Dissertation Completion

Each term includes Core, Concentration, and Dissertation classes so students are working on their dissertation from day one.

Unique Learning Environment

Northwest is located among many of the most influential business and non-profit organizations of our time, such as Microsoft, Google, Amazon, World Vision, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Lead the Leaders

Center for Leadership Studies Programs