Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Second Advisor

William H. Green

Third Advisor

David Penner


Purpose. The Leadership Program was established at Andrews University in 1994 as a non-traditional, competency-based, adult-oriented doctoral program. The purpose of this case study was to relate the story of the creation and development of the Leadership Program from 1994 through 2002 by examining the concepts incorporated into the program and the experiences of participants, faculty, and staff involved in the program during those years.

Method. Using a case-study approach, I have examined the conceptual development and procedural evolution of the Leadership Program at Andrews University from 1994 through 2002; that is, from the year of the program’s inception through the latest cohort-year of the participants whom I interviewed. In order to provide a comprehensive account, I used (a) program documents and artifacts, (b) interviews with participants, faculty, and staff, and (c) personal experience. Forty Leadership Program participants representing each of the annual cohorts from 1994 through 2002 and 12 full-time faculty and staff members who served the program during those years responded to semi-structured interview questions. They addressed such program elements as the orientation, the Individual Development Plan, the annual conferences, regional study-groups, and the dissertation. Participants responded to 30 questions; faculty- and staff-members, to 20. No respondent made any attempt to influence the conclusions of this study.

Results. This study generated an extensive amount of data that indicated that the Leadership Program at Andrews University was able, to varying degrees, to fulfill the claims described in promotional material. The majority of the respondents perceived that individualized instruction, collaboration, one-on-one interaction, competency-based rather than course driven curriculum and quality of the faculty were positive aspects of the program. At the two extremes, the data suggested that the program fulfilled the expectations, as stated in the design, , of some respondents but not for others. Responses fell along a continuum from very satisfied to very unsatisfied. In general, respondents who were self-directed and self-motivated reported that they were satisfied with and benefited from the program. Respondents who preferred more direction, however, reported that they often were frustrated. Faculty and staff respondents expressed similar views of the program.

Conclusions. The Leadership Program at Andrews University was created and implemented in 1994. By 2002, oversights and omissions had become apparent and a number of changes seem to have restricted some of the participant-driven aspects of the program. Generally, however, the Leadership Program appears to have been well-designed and well-received, and according to participants, faculty, and staff alike, the resulting experiences and outcomes were positive demonstrations of higher education in general and appropriate experiences for adult learners in particular. The Leadership Program, as originally designed, may serve as a model for other higher-education institutions.

Subject Area

Leadership Case studies, Christian leadership Case studies.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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