Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to the most common questions here.
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- Exceptional scholars: Learning from Benedictine University’s world-class faculty and distinguished visiting scholars and executives from leading universities and companies around the globe
- A cohort of executives: Engaging in the classroom with an exceptional group of peers — experienced executives like yourself who share a passion for values-driven leadership
- Global connections: Traveling to different parts of the world to engage in high-quality learning exchanges with top scholars and executives from other countries and cultures
- World-class research: Participating with Benedictine faculty and a global network of scholars in leading-edge research initiatives focused on leadership, sustainability, and organizational change
- Choice of degrees: You can choose one of two degrees, a Ph.D. (doctor of philosophy) or a D.B.A. (doctor of business administration)
- One-of-a-kind curriculum: Engaging coursework that integrates the fields of business; leadership and organizational change; and social, ethical and environmental responsibility
- Convenience: Attending classes on a schedule convenient for senior leaders working full-time and for those who commute from outside the Chicago area (once a month on weekends, plus an annual 8-day intensive)
- Personal transformation: We are committed to your personal and professional transformation; our faculty work with students to tailor their research and writing to help advance the student’s career and individual goals.
Our goal is to create a diverse cohort of highly-qualified students. We consider quality and quantity of relevant work experience, emphasizing positions of major responsibility. Each application is considered on a case-by-case basis.
Our students are a diverse group of company owners and CEOs, c-suite officers and vice presidents, and others with senior level responsibility in companies of all sizes. They come from across the US and overseas and work in a variety of fields including manufacturing, technology and communications, health care, consulting, education, engineering, financial services, and the military. The executives in our program are seasoned professionals, most with two or more decades of leadership in their field.
You can find student and graduate bios, and learn more about student dissertations, on our website:
Many of our students are also seeking a doctorate to advance their careers: for example, to differentiate themselves among a crowd of MBAs or to learn new theories and tools they can take back to work. Some are approaching a career transition and want the personal growth and insights our unique program offers. They may be preparing themselves for a full or part time role in consulting, teaching, or higher education, or seeking to equip themselves for a career in higher education.
In terms of structure, our program is also distinctive. When designing the Ph.D./D.B.A. Program in Values-Driven Leadership, we conducted extensive research into 75 programs focused on leadership, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and organizational change. We evaluated them in terms of:
- Curriculum (is it exceptionally high-quality; does it focus on leading sustainable companies in today’s global economy; does it equip people to lead at four levels: personally, interpersonally, organizationally, and strategically?)
- Length of program
- Degree type (Ph.D., D.B.A., Ed.D., etc.)
- Target audience (i.e. senior leaders)
- Format: cohort or non-cohort
- When and where classes meet
- Scholar-practitioner vs. traditional program
- Use of visiting global thought leaders (scholars and executives)
- Number and quality of global exchanges
- Ability for students to be involved with faculty in leading-edge research initiatives
We found no other program that incorporates all of these features into the unique and powerful combination offered by our Ph.D./D.B.A. Program in Values-Driven Leadership.
There are a number of high-quality Ph.D. programs in leadership for working professionals, but none of these are targeted specifically at senior leaders; offer both a Ph.D. and D.B.A. track; focus on strategic leadership at the forefront of business and society; or offer the same quality of global exchanges, research opportunities, and access to thought leaders from around the world. We believe we hold a strong competitive position in comparison to other Ph.D. and D.B.A. programs in leadership, sustainability, and organizational change.
Similarities to the Ph.D. OD program include:
- Tailoring the program to working professionals (weekend classes, etc.),
- Using a cohort model,
- Exposing students to state-of-the-art knowledge with an optimal blend of core faculty and visiting thought leaders,
- Engaging in global exchanges and international learning experiences,
- Establishing a leadership position in the field through research, publications, presentations, and leadership in professional associations.
Distinctive differences include:
- The Target Audience – While the Ph.D. OD is targeted at working professionals at all levels, the Ph.D./D.B.A. in Values-Driven Leadership is targeted specifically at senior executives (VP level and above).
- The Format – While the Ph.D. OD holds classes on weekends 16 times per year, the Ph.D./D.B.A. in Values-Driven Leadership holds classes on weekends once a month, plus an annual 8-day intensive, requiring less travel for those who commute from out of town.
- The Content – Whereas the Ph.D. OD curriculum focuses on organization development, the Ph.D./D.B.A. in Values-Driven Leadership curriculum focuses on three core areas only briefly addressed in the Ph.D. OD: global leadership, strategic change, and corporate sustainability.
Michael R. Manning, Ph.D., is Director of Research and a Professor of Leadership, Strategy and Change as well as an associate editor of the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science. Dr. Manning teaches and consults throughout the U.S. and internationally in Mexico, Europe, the Baltic States, the Middle East, and the Far East.
Marie E. Di Virgilio, Ph.D., is a core faculty member in Organizational Change and Corporate Social Responsibility and brings over 30 years of business experience, much of it with Allstate Insurance Company. She also teaches internationally in Poland, the Czech Republic, and France.
James (Gus) Gustafson, Ph.D., is the Leadership Scholar-in-Residence and a core faculty member in Leadership Development. Dr. Gustafson is the former Chair of the Business Leadership Division of the International Leadership Association. Prior to coming to Benedictine, he was Director of Strategic Leadership Research, and Development and Organizational Transformation at U.S. Cellular.
For more information, please visit our Faculty and Staff page.
- Dr. Robert Audi, Professor of Management and John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame;
- Dr. Bruce Avolio, Mark Pigott Chair in Business Strategic Leadership; Executive Director, Center for Leadership & Strategic Thinking, Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington;
- Dr. Richard Boyatzis, Professor in Organizational Behavior, Psychology, and Cognitive Science departments, Case Western Reserve University;
- Dr. Phil Bromiley, Dean’s Professor in Strategic Management, Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine;
- Dr. Bruce Buchowicz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Leadership and Human Resource Management in the School of Business and Management at National University in La Jolla, California;
- Dr. Kim Cameron, Professor of Management and Organizations, University of Michigan;
- Dr. Anjan Chakravartty, Professor of Philosophy, University of Notre Dame;
- Dr. Yochi Cohen-Charash, Professor, Department of Psychology, Baruch College and the Graduate Center of CUNY;
- Dr. John Ehrenfeld, retired Executive Director of the International Society for Industrial Ecology;
- Dr. Jeffrey Ford, Professor of Management in the Max M. Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University;
- Dr. Ron Fry, Professor and Department Chair, Organizational Behavior, Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University;
- Dr. Mary Gentile, Director, Giving Voice to Values, Senior Research Scholar, Babson College;
- Dr. Leigh Hafrey, Senior Lecturer, Behavioral and Policy Sciences, MIT Sloan School of Management;
- Dr. Stuart L. Hart, Samuel C. Johnson Chair in Sustainable Global Enterprise and Professor of Management at Cornell University’s Johnson School of Management;
- Dr. Mary Jo Hatch, C. Coleman McGehee Eminent Scholars Research Professor Emerita of Banking and Commerce, University of Virginia; Visiting Professor IEDC Bled School of Management; Distinguished Visiting Professor, Singapore Management University; and International Fellow, Said Business School, Oxford University;
- Dr. Bob Johansen, Distinguished Fellow, Institute for the Future;
- Dr. Mikko Ketokivi, Professor of Operations Management and Organization Design, IE (Instituto de Empresa) Business School Madrid, Spain;
- Dr. Chris Laszlo, Faculty Research Director of the Fowler Center for Sustainability Value at Case Western Reserve University;
- L. Hunter Lovins, J.D., President, Natural Capitalism Solutions;
- Dr. Rodney Ludema, Professor, Department of Economics and School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University; Chief Economist, US State Department; former Senior Economist, President’s Council of Economic Advisors;
- Dr. G. Thomas Lumpkin, Chris J. Witting Chair in Entrepreneurship, Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University;
- Dr. Cynthia McCauley, Senior Fellow in Research and Innovation at the Center for Creative Leadership;
- Dr. Carlos Mora, Research Scientist, Center for Positive Organizational Scholarship, Ross School of Business at University of Michigan;
- Dr. Peter Northouse, Professor Emeritus of Communication, Western Michigan University;
- Dr. Marc Orlitzky, Chair, Professor in Management, The University of South Australia;
- Dr. Joyce Osland, Lucas Endowed Professor of Global Leadership and Executive Director of Global Leadership Advancement Center, San Jose State University;
- Dr. Bill Pasmore, Visiting Professor of Social-Organizational Psychology, Teachers College Columbia University; Organization Practice Leader, The Center for Creative Leadership;
- Dr. Ron Riggio, Henry R. Kravis Professor of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at the Kravis Leadership Institute, Claremont McKenna College;
- Dr. Abraham (Rami) Shani, Professor of Management, Orfalea College of Business, California Polytechnic State University
- Dr. Inger Stensaker, Professor in Strategic Change, NHH Norwegian School of Economics;
- Dr. Diane Swanson, The Edgerley Family Chair of Distinction, Professor of Management, Founding Chair, Business Ethics Education Initiative, College of Business Administration, Kansas State University.
Our distinguished visiting business leaders are listed below. To read their bios, please visit our Visiting Business Leaders page.
- Dr. Mona Amodeo, founder and President, idgroup;
- Mr. Chuck Bartels, retired Director for Global Social Responsibility and Knowledge Sharing, ManpowerGroup;
- Ms. Maureen Beal, CEO, National Van Lines;
- Mr. Mike Birck, retired founder and Chairman, Tellabs;
- Ms. Julie Brautigam, Director of Ethics, Compliance and Sustainability, Baxter International;
- Mr. Lyell Clarke, President and CEO, Clarke;
- Mr. John Coyle, Senior Vice President, Maddock Douglas;
- Dr. Tom Griffin, Independent Consultant, adjunct faculty, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology;
- Mr. Jim Kouzes, Best-selling author, former CEO, Tom Peters Company, Dean’s Executive Professor of Leadership, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University;
- Ms. Erin Meezan, Vice President of Sustainability, Interface, Inc.;
- Mr. Bill Pollard, former President and CEO, ServiceMaster;
- Mr. David Small, Vice President, McDonald’s Global Leadership Institute;
- Mr. Paul Spiegelman, founder, BerylHealth and Chief Culture Officer, Stericycle;
- Mr. Tom Walter, CEO and Chief Culture Officer, Tasty Catering, author of It’s My Company Too!;
- Mr. Dan Webster, author and founder of Authentic Leadership, Inc.
- Mr. David Ziegler, Chairman of the Board of Directors, Ace Hardware Corporation.
Completing an international application does have a few extra requirements. Contact us early, at email@example.com, to begin the process.
We anticipate a full cohort and encourage individuals to apply as soon as possible. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 829-6225 for more information. You can find the application and a helpful checklist online at www.cvdl.org/application.
Because of our competitive process, some applicants may be placed on a wait list. If that occurs, applicants will be notified of their status within a month of their interview date, and will be updated regarding changes to their status.
During the third year of the program, students work on their dissertations in collaboration with their dissertation committees. Typically, this is done via email and Skype or telephone conference calls so, except for graduation, students normally do not need to come to campus during their third year.
The Ph.D./D.B.A. program is housed in Benedictine University’s new, state-of-the-art Goodwin Hall of Business building on the top floor, which is dedicated exclusively to our doctoral programs. Benedictine University’s Lisle campus is located a convenient 30 minutes from Chicago’s O’Hare and Midway airports.
The program is designed to be completed in three years. Students who do not complete the dissertation in the three-year timeframe continue to pay half the normal tuition rate until the dissertation is complete.
If you do apply for the program, we will be happy to put you in contact with some of our current students who can give you a first-hand account of the classroom experience.
We encourage you to learn more about the program from cohort members any time by watching our Ph.D./D.B.A. video playlist on our website. You may also want to attend a future Roundtable or Leadership Lecture Series event, which will be attended by many of our current students.