Executive Doctorate Program | Leadership Development Program

Executive Doctoral Program: What We’re Looking for in Our Students

Jim Ludema Doctoral Program

What makes a good scholar-practitioner? Director Jim Ludema, Ph.D., shares his reflections.

Executive Doctorate Program | Leadership Development Program


Not long ago, we asked Dr. Jim Ludema to share his thoughts on what makes for a great executive doctoral students. His reflections below highlight the scholar practitioner focus of our program, and its emphasis on leadership development.

What is Benedictine University looking for in an executive doctoral student? 

We are looking for senior leaders who want to change the world through business, leaders with track records of success and a desire to build profitable, sustainable, high-integrity companies with excellence. This is based on the idea that business is currently the most powerful institution on the planet, and the institution with the greatest potential to influence positive change. We are looking for CEOs, chief officers and their direct reports, presidents and vice presidents, heads of business groups, and others who want to be a part of a learning community that will help them advance their life and their careers by changing the way business is done from a values-driven perspective. We are a scholar-practitioner program with a strong focus on individuals who are actively leading companies and organizations.

We are looking for scholar-practitioners, leaders who want to dig deeper to understand the theories and research that support, explain, enhance what they do in practice. In this program, you are not just a consumer of knowledge the way you would be in a master’s program. You become a creator of new knowledge. This means you bring your experience and best thinking into the classroom and combine them with the experience and best thinking of other students, faculty, and distinguished visiting scholars to build new theory, do new research, and test them in the world of practice. This also means that while in the program and afterwards, you are active in sharing and refining your ideas by presenting them at domestic and international conferences and by writing them up for publication as a way of advancing the state-of-the-art of the field.

In this program, you are not just a consumer of knowledge the way you would be in a master’s program. You become a creator of new knowledge.

We are looking for authentic leaders, people who are comfortable in their own skin and who want to learn, grow, develop, and make a positive contribution through their life and their work. Our program is different from any other doctoral program, whether it’s a traditional program, an executive program, or an online program. It is designed to help you grow as a leader, as a scholar-practitioner, and as a person. We provide a safe and inviting space in which you can find your edges, push your edges, and open yourself to personal and professional transformation. This requires humility, curiosity, persistence, and a passion for collaborating with others. We have found that the executives who thrive most in our program are those who open themselves to the world of ideas; jump in with both feet; explore as many theories, models, perspectives, and experiences as possible; and engage in deep and meaningful dialogue with others.

Is this program right for you? Learn more about this management development program targeted for senior executives by visiting www.cvdl.org/doctorate or attend an upcoming open house.

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