A Curriculum Designed to Enhance Your Leadership Effectiveness & Equip You for Senior Leadership Roles

Executive M.S. in Values-Driven Leadership

Coursework in the EMSVDL program is based on our unique values-driven leadership competency model, which will help you think deeper and lead stronger at four levels: self, others, organizations, and society. Additionally, coursework will help you grow in your understanding of global leadership, strategic change, and corporate sustainability and responsibility.


 The following chart shows the courses in the order in which they are taken. All courses are six weeks long.

Course Order Course Name, Number & Description
1 EMSVDL 600, Your Leadership Journey.  This blended-format course: (1) builds strong working relationships among cohort members, (2) provides an initial introduction to leadership concepts and practice, and (3) allows cohort members to strengthen their leadership vision and capacity by identifying and leveraging their unique strengths. Students will be introduced to the field of leadership, complete a series of assessments and personal development activities to help clarify their leadership vision and strengthen their leadership capacity, and engage in activities to build a cohesive cohort. 4 quarter credit hours.
2 EMSVDL 605, Your Leadership Impact. This blended-format course focuses on students’ current and near-future leadership contributions from a career perspective. It will provide ample reflection time for the students to think about and articulate what leadership means to them in the context of serving others and will provide a model, framework and action plan for identifying the compelling impact that they wish to make in the five roles of values-driven leaders in the near future. 4 quarter credit hours.
3 EMSVDL 610, Leadership Theory & Practice. This course serves as the foundation for developing the practice of leadership. Students will learn and apply major theories and practical models of leadership to real-world situations. Emphasis is placed on how theory can be used to improve practice. Students will explore their personal leadership style using assessment instruments and reflective exercises. 4 quarter credit hours.
4 EMSVDL 615, Moral & Ethical Foundations of Leadership. This course explores social, moral, and ethical concepts related to business leadership. Students relate these concepts to their own purpose, values, and commitments as leaders, their approach to leading and enriching the lives of others, and the role they play in shaping the vision, mission, priorities, and strategies of their organizations. 4 quarter credit hours.
5 EMSVDL 620, Leading Teams. Most organizations use team-based approaches to leverage the strengths and maximize the productivity of workers to achieve team and organizational goals. In this course, students learn about the characteristics, structures, culture, and dynamics of teams, and are introduced to series of team assessment tools. Students use these tools to assess a team within their organization and make appropriate recommendations for improvement. Students will also learn the essentials of meeting management and how to use meetings effectively. 4 quarter credit hours.
6 EMSVDL 625, Leading Change & Innovation. By definition, effective leadership involves leading organizational change and nurturing innovation. This course examines the paradigms, concepts, and practices that support successful change and innovation. Students will learn practical steps for leading change and addressing innovation challenges facing their organizations, and develop skills to infuse a culture of innovation within their organizations to drive sustainable growth. 4 quarter credit hours.
7 EMSVDL 630, Leading & Developing Others. In this blended-format course, students learn how to interact with employees to ensure improved performance throughout the lifecycle of employment. Students will sharpen their skills in building rapport, trust, and respect; listening and understanding; and managing crucial conversations. This course is designed to help students: 1) enhance their coaching and mentor skills; 2) identify strategies that develop the skills of their direct reports; 3) improve their ability to successfully engage in critical coaching conversations. 4 quarter credit hours.
8 EMSVDL 635, Leading Appreciative Inquiry. This highly experiential, blended-format course focuses on the concepts, principles, and practice of Appreciative Inquiry (AI), a positive approach to organizational change. Students will be able to plan and lead an AI Summit, and appreciate the value of building upon the good things that exist in organizations. 4 quarter credit hours.
9 EMSVDL 640, Organizational Leadership Practicum. For this course, students design, plan, and conduct a comprehensive research project investigating a problem or an opportunity in an organizational setting under the guidance of the instructor. Although individualized, students share their work with each other. 4 quarter credit hours.
10 EMSVDL 645, Strategic Leadership. This course focuses on the role of leaders in developing and executing business strategy. It examines historical and contemporary approaches, and the underlying concepts that support them. Emphasis is placed on the challenges and opportunities of developing strategy for sustainable value creation. Students will become familiar with the CVDL Operating Framework and utilize as a tool in evaluating their own organization’s strengths and opportunity areas. 4 quarter credit hours.
11 EMSVDL 650, Organizational Behavior. Organizational Behavior (OB) is the study of how the behavior of individuals and groups impact the organization. It focuses on better understanding of human behavior in order to improve productivity and quality. It also assists in developing methods to empower people as well as to design and implement change programs. OB offers insights into rapid change, globalization, and diversity while providing guidance for managers in creating an ethically healthy work climate. This course teaches both theory and the practical application of OB in organizations in an effort to help students better explain, predict, and influence behavior. 4 quarter credit hours.
12 EMSVDL 655, Business Decision Making. Decisions and the process of decision making are fundamental to all management processes. This course takes students through a decision-making process with values at its core. Students will assess their own decision-making skills, and learn how to use creative processes to identify decision problems, create alternatives, and articulate objectives. 4 quarter credit hours.
13 EMSVDL 660, Responsible Leadership. Using the lens of sustainability, this course examines the qualities of responsible leadership from both a theoretical and practical perspective. The three pillars of sustainability; environment, economy, and social equity, serve as an integrated framework as we explore how critical thinking, systems thinking, and thoughtful stewardship shape responsible leaders. 4 quarter credit hours.
14 EMSVDL 665, Global Leadership. This course focuses on enhancing global leadership competencies, beginning with core concepts and personal assessments, and concluding with a global leadership development project proposal where students demonstrate their ability to move from concept to practice. 4 quarter credit hours.
15 EMSVDL 670, International Exchange. In partnership with universities in other countries, this blended-format course provides students with an opportunity to broaden program learnings by exposing them to scholars, and business and local community leaders from other countries. Students engage in dynamic learning activities during this intensive course. 4 quarter credit hours.
16 EMSVDL 675, Leadership Legacy Capstone. This blended-format capstone course provides students with an opportunity to synthesize what they have learned about values-driven leadership during their graduate degree program and to demonstrate mastery of primary leadership competencies, concepts, principles, and practices. Students will complete an in-depth case analysis to demonstrate their competence in identification, analysis, and solution of leadership problems in organizations and society today utilizing their own unique leadership-point-of-view as their guide. Students will also develop a Legacy Tree – based on the VDL Leader Competency Model – that will capture the essence of their life purpose. 4 quarter credit hours.

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