Center for Leadership Studies

Center for Leadership Studies

The Center for Leadership Studies (CFLS) is home to Northwest’s interdisciplinary Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs in Organizational Leadership. These degrees prepare students to lead the leaders of our day across the fields of education, business, Christian ministry, and beyond.

The Center coordinates these programs and serves as a support base for our students, facilitating their success and dissertation completion.

Lead the Leaders

Why Choose our Doctoral Programs?

Financial Support

The CFLS offers four types of financial assistance. In the first year, every student is eligible for merit-based funding. Non-profit employees can qualify for a discount matching their employer’s contribution. Also, grants are available for dissertation research and travel to professional presentations. 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.

Three Concentrations

Students have access to three Concentrations: Leading Ministry Organizations, Higher Education 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 non-residential. Students study in a mix of classes held daytime on-campus, online, and “on the road” at major, field-specific professional conferences. Approximately 50% of the program is delivered online.

Distinguished Faculty

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

Integrated Faith and Learning

The programs integrate a Christian perspective that draws from the highest intellectual level and the depths of faith simultaneously.

Interdisciplinary Instruction

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

Dissertation Completion

Each term features Core, Concentration, and Dissertation classes so students are working on their dissertation research and writing skills 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.

Welcome to the Center for Leadership Studies! Our goal is to prepare students for influence at the strategic level across a variety of fields.

Our graduates will write the books others are reading and guide the organizations others are copying. These accomplishments will happen the “Northwest Way,” characterized by spiritual vitality, academic excellence, and social engagement.

We offer small, diverse cohorts in an interdisciplinary model of instruction that produces transformative learning. Thanks for becoming part of that journey!

Dr. Earl Creps
Director, Center for Leadership Studies

Center for Leadership Studies Programs