Louisiana College now offers a BA in Leadership with concentrations Christian Studies, communication and business, and a new certificate program in missions and/or ministry.
The new interdisciplinary leadership degree will blends courses from business, psychology, humanities, communication, and Christian Studies degree programs.
“In looking at our content rich curricula, we intentionally and strategically selected specific courses to craft our new BA in Leadership,” said Dr. Rick Brewer, president of Louisiana College. “More than ever before, organizations of all types and sizes are demanding that employees know how to effectively transform their workplace. Our new leadership programs will equip students with cutting-edge leadership tools that will make a difference in their workplace, organization, church, ministry and home.”
Interim vice president of academic affairs, Dr. Cheryl Clark, said: “Amid changing demographics, economic pressures, global uncertainties, and technology that moves at lightning speed, dynamic Christian leadership is paramount to navigate the complex world in which we live.”
“The core courses introduce students to ethics, critical thinking and writing, standard business topics, negotiation and debate, principles of leadership, interpersonal relationships, and crisis communication,” said Clark, Chair, Division of Humanities.
Whether students choose a concentration in business, Christian Studies, or communication, they must complete a six-hour internship in each discipline.
“Mastering these skills will enable our graduates to work well in team environments, motivate colleagues and employees, manage conflict, solve organizational problems, achieve greater effectiveness, and lead authentically from a Christian perspective,” Brewer said.
Professor of Communications Studies Dr. Elizabeth Christian said, "Corporate leaders cite communication skills as the most important quality when evaluating job candidates. Whether reporting the news, selling a product or leading people to Christ, how effectively you communicate can have lasting ramifications.”
“This cross-disciplinary degree in leadership teaches crucial skills necessary in any workplace that is consumer- or people-oriented,” she added.
Research shows that most organizations fail not from deficiencies in strategy and quantitative analysis, but from poor leadership, said Dr. Arthur Mazhambe, Chair, Division of Business.
“LC’s new BA in Leadership with a concentration in business is designed to enhance strategic business leadership skills without requiring an overload of quantitative and other general business courses,” he said.
A primary reason many employees are terminated results from their inability to establish healthy working relationships in the marketplace, so LC’s new leadership degree includes studies in psychology.
Professor of Psychology Dr. Jerry Pounds said the study of psychology “helps us to understand ourselves and others; why we think what we think and do what we do. With this understanding, godly leaders will provide the necessary skills in order to develop healthy interpersonal relationships with others. What better way to impact the world for Christ than for our students to be trained as leaders who know themselves and are prepared to impact others for the sake of God’s kingdom. Our new BA in Leadership will guide our students for such a challenge.”
The Bachelor of Leadership in the Christian Studies concentration “offers valuable training opportunities for full- and part-time pastors, along with students entering ministry,” said Dr. Philip Caples, vice president for faith integration.
“This degree concentration delivers training in biblical leadership, as well as biblical and theological studies, all of which will provide a workable and thoughtful balance in the ministerial setting,” Caples noted. “And with a lack of leadership being the major cause of forced ministerial termination, Louisiana College will help to strengthen local churches and state conventions by offering this degree.”
LC’s new 16-hour certificate programs are significant financially, academically and practically, and also will assist churches and state conventions, Caples said. “Bi-vocational pastors will appreciate these certificate programs because we are offering them at no cost.”
The Certificate in Pastoral Ministry prepares the student for pulpit ministry, and the Certificate in Missiology equips the student with practical skills in helping to revitalize a church or to plant one, Caples said.
Each program offers accredited bachelor’s level certificate hours that are transferrable toward a BA in Christian Studies should the bi-vocational pastor seek an undergraduate degree.
“Part and parcel of Louisiana College’s task of preparing graduates and transforming lives is a biblical combination of stewardship and service,” Brewer said, pointing to a journal article written by R. Scott Rodin, president of Rodin Consulting and former president of Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Philadelphia, Pa.
“Rodin has eloquently captured the essence of what we mean when we talk about our professors being the guide by the side and not the sage on the stage,” Brewer said.
In the “Journal of Religious Leadership,” (vol. 1, no. 2, Fall 2002), Rodin observes:
“In speaking of Jesus’ incarnation, Paul tells us, ‘he made himself a man of no reputation, taking on the very nature of a servant’ (Phil 2:7). The verse does not say that Jesus became a man of bad reputation, or questionable reputation, but simply of ‘no’ reputation. That is, reputation, image, prestige, prominence, power, and other trappings of leadership were not only devalued, they were purposefully dismissed. Jesus became such a man. Not by default, nor accident, but by intention and design. And it was only in this form that he could serve, love, give, teach, and yes, lead.”
“The world has known no greater leader than Jesus Christ,” Brewer said. “And by replicating the Lord’s leadership model, we believe Louisiana College will replicate godly leaders, who will serve in the ministry and marketplaces of the world in a Christ-like manner.”
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