Graduate School of Business

Welcome to the Harding University Center for Organizational Leadership. We are a dedicated team of faculty and staff who are committed to providing our students access to a life-changing academic experience. We offer the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) degree and three graduate certificates in executive and workplace coaching, human resource management, and learning and development.

Organizational leadership is an interdisciplinary academic field of study that is focused on individual and team success. The daily life of a leader includes skills such as the ability to establish goals, develop strategic plans, recruit teams, communicate effectively, manage conflict, execute plans as well as develop individuals and teams. Organizational leadership is an ideal field of study for individuals who care deeply about people and systems and have a sincere desire to use their leadership abilities to make life better for others.

The skillset of an organizational leadership professional often includes the ability to understand complex systems, the skill needed to communicate clearly, and the grit required to guide individuals and organizations through organizational change.

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Intentionally developing effective leaders

  • We are training leaders to be change makers.

    Dr. Nathan Mellor ,
    Executive Director

Leadership Listen podcast

Coming soon! Stay tuned for Leadership resources featuring some of the top professionals in the industry.

Leadership Lab webinar series

Coming soon! Stay tuned for Leadership resources featuring some of the top professionals in the industry.

Leadership Letter

The Leadership Letter is a way for the Center for Organizational Leadership to keep you up to date on all events, deadlines, etc. when applying for the Masters in Organizational Leadership, give insight into what the degree is all about and provide leadership tips and resources. Read our July 2021 newsletter here!

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Meet the Team

At the heart of the center is a dedicated team of professionals. Drawing upon extensive experience and academic training, the center’s team of faculty and staff are proven and reliable guides for those seeking personal and professional growth. Building upon the expertise of each member of the team, each course is designed by scholar practitioners to help prepare students to anticipate and address real world challenges. Although the pursuit of a graduate degree is a highly personal experience, with the support of our faculty and fellow students, it is not a journey you will take alone.

This is a photo of Andrea Bishop.

Andrea Bishop, Ph.D.
Academic Director

Courses — LEAD 6102: Organizational Communications

Learn more about Dr. Andrea Bishop

Dr. Andrea Bishop provides leadership over the academic offerings of the Center. She is an eager and energetic force focused on building this exciting new academic program and establishing standards of academic excellence for the students of the Center. She brings a wealth of experience as both an educator and administrator.

Prior to her appointment with the Center for Organizational Leadership, Dr. Bishop served as the Coordinator of Virtual Learning for UofM Global, the online arm of the University of Memphis. In that role, she helped create and administer the Prep Academy, a unique online bridge program designed to better prepare students for the academic rigor of higher education.

Dr. Bishop earned her PhD in Writing, Rhetoric, and Technical Communication from the University of Memphis. With more than a decade in higher education, she has taught students at all academic levels, designed curriculum for both online and on-ground courses, and developed programmatic assessments for writing programs. She believes that better communication leads to better teaching and learning.

A confessed word nerd and lifelong learner, Dr. Bishop is passionate about teaching and loves interacting with and learning from her students and fellow faculty. Her research interests focus on voice and agency in student writing.

A native of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Bishop received a BA in English and a MSED from Harding University before beginning her PhD coursework at the University of Memphis. Bishop resides in Bartlett, Tennessee, with her husband of 24 years. Mike and Andrea have one son currently studying Integrated Marketing Communications at Harding, and another son is a sophomore in high school.

This is a photo of Amy Gower.

Amy Gower
Admissions Advisor

Learn more about Amy Gower

Amy Gower is a graduate of Oklahoma Christian University and has over 20 years of diverse experience in the education field. What connects these experiences together is a strong focus on building and nurturing relationships and fostering positive outlooks through communication and action.

Amy enjoys the challenge of meeting new people, making connections, and helping them achieve their goals. Through her work with Oklahoma Christian in Admissions and the Alumni Center, Amy inspired and motivated students, both past and present, towards success.

Her passion for helping others shined through her work with special needs children at the Children’s Center Rehabilitation Hospital. Amy helped patients in and out of the classroom feel valued by giving them attention and affirmations.

In addition to her career experience, Amy acted as a mentor, event planner, and spiritual leader for the young women of Theta, a social service club at Oklahoma Christian.

Amy and her husband of 32 years have two grown children and two perfect grandchildren. She enjoys gardening, snow skiing, and beach combing. and loves baking sweets to share with others.

This is a photo of Nathan Mellor.

Nathan Mellor, Ed.D.
Executive Director

Courses — LEAD 6101: Personal Leadership Development

Learn more about Dr. Nathan Mellor

Dr. Nathan Mellor is the Executive Director of the Harding University Center for Organizational Leadership and CEO of Strata Leadership, LLC. A two-time TEDx speaker, author and executive coach, he has provided in excess of 3,000 coaching sessions for executives throughout the United States.

Nathan is a graduate of Harding University (BA ’95, MSE ’97) and Pepperdine University (MDR ’05, Ed.D. ’08). He has also pursued post-graduate and executive education through the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, Vanderbilt University’s Peabody Professional Institute and the College of Executive Coaching.

Nathan has provided leadership development services to hundreds of nonprofits, governmental agencies, companies, churches and educational institutions. A sampling of organizations he has served includes: AAR Corporation, Agility Medical Group, American Airlines, ArcBest Corporation, Bank of Oklahoma, Bob Moore Auto Group, California State University System, CoorsTek, Cytovance Biologics, Federal Drug Administration, Idemitsu, Immediate Care, Insurica, Kimray, Locke Supply, MidFirst Bank, Mississippi Department of Human Services, National Christian School Association, Oklahoma Department of Human Services, Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Paycom, REI Oklahoma, SandRidge Energy, Sonic, TriCorps Security, Warren CAT, WPX Energy and the Virginia Department of Social Services.

Dr. Mellor has taught part-time or full-time since 1997. Prior to joining Harding in 2021, Nathan taught at Baker College, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Christian University, Pepperdine University and York College. He has been a guest presenter at institutions including: Emporia State University, East Central State University, Oklahoma Baptist University, Oklahoma Christian University, Oklahoma State University, Pepperdine University, University of Central Oklahoma, University of Oklahoma, WPX Energy, Yale University and York College.

His background in higher education administration includes serving as Assistant Director and co-founder of the Mitchell Center at Harding University, Assistant Director of Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law’s Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. He also served as the Vice President of Community Engagement and Advisor to the President at Oklahoma Christian University.

In pursuit of educational, humanitarian and religious interests, Nathan has studied or taught in Australia, Belize, China, England, Guyana, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Russia, and Rwanda. He is passionate about developing future leaders and is the co-founder of the Presidential Leadership Institute, hosted on the campus of York College, in collaboration with the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. He is the former chairperson of the Oklahoma Ethics Consortium and received the Executive Pilot award in 2018.

Nathan met his wife Christie at Harding and the two were married in 1997. They have two daughters, Annalise and Arden. He and Christie are fans of the National Parks and enjoy visiting them whenever possible.

This is a photo of Todd Miller.

Todd Miller, MFT
Director of Strategic Initiatives

Courses — LEAD 6106: Team Building and Team Dynamics

Learn more about Todd Miller

Todd Miller is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Center for Organizational Leadership. Todd has a passion for service, developing others and his family. Prior to joining the Center, Todd served as the Clinic and Community Relations Director at OneLife Wellness Center.

A native of Springfield, Missouri, Todd was an intercollegiate athlete at Harding University where he played baseball. A scholar athlete, he earned the Bachelor of Arts in Human Resources and the Master of Marriage and Family Therapy degree.

For more than twenty years, Todd served in full-time ministry, including 19 years as a Youth and Family Minister. In this capacity, Todd learned firsthand the challenges facing young people, the practical considerations of leadership development and the elements required for healthy organizations. According to Dr. Nathan Mellor, the Executive Director of the Center for Organizational Leadership, “One of the key reasons why we pursued Todd to be a key leader at the Center was due to his background in ministry. I have a great deal of respect for those in ministry. The complexity of the role is consistently underestimated. I think this is why Peter Drucker ranked leading a church as one of the four most challenging jobs in America (the other three were being the President of the United States, serving as the president of a University or the CEO of a Hospital).”

Todd’s wife, Marcie, is a teacher at Harding Academy where two of his sons attend. His two oldest sons are currently enrolled at Harding where they are members of the Harding University football team.

This is a photo of Piper Riggs.

Piper Riggs, MA, MBA
Director of Marketing and Admissions

Learn more about Piper Riggs

Piper Riggs is the Director of Marketing and Admissions for the Center for Organizational Leadership. She is a marketing strategist with a love for higher education and helping businesses find their voice through digital marketing efforts. In addition to her role with the Center, she is the owner of Caraway Lane Marketing, a company she founded in 2018.

Born and raised in central Oklahoma, Piper graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in 2007 with a B.B.A. in Marketing and went on to get her M.B.A with an emphasis in Organizational Leadership in 2008. In 2012, she graduated with an M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Abilene Christian University.

Prior to starting her own company, Piper held a staff role in a higher education institution and has taught as an adjunct faculty for 6 years. She has also directed the Mobile Meals efforts for her city, feeding 200 home bound residents each day. Her love for service and visionary approach to marketing have given her the opportunity to write strategic content for many businesses, blogs and newsletters over the last 10 years.

Piper has been married to her husband Ryan since 2012. Together they enjoy trying coffee shops, traveling and raising their two sweet kids, Kinsler and Ellie Kate.

This is a photo of Kinsey Marshall.

Kinsey Marshall
Admissions Advisor

Learn more about Kinsey Marshall

Kinsey is a graduate of Harding University and has a diverse background. Growing up in Alaska, Kinsey took the leap, heading to Searcy, AR, to attend Harding University Graduating in 2016 she would then go on to work for Walt Disney World as a VIP Tour Guide and also in sales. For the past two years Kinsey has worked for the Harding University Undergraduate Admissions office, helping high school seniors through their admissions process. These experiences helped Kinsey grow in her sales background and realize her love for helping others reach their fullest potential.

Advisory Council

Through the center’s advisory council, experienced professionals from throughout the United States and beyond provide the center staff insights regarding the future of organizational leadership. The council meets on an annual basis, freely sharing their unique personal and professional experiences for the purpose of advancing the field of organizational leadership. In addition to helping ensure the center’s course content is relevant and applicable, members of the advisory council lend credibility to the center by helping connect the center to a larger audience of practitioners.

Scott Balentine, MBA, PMP
Manager, Project Management Office
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare
Memphis, TN

Thaddeus Bartlett, MS
Associate Curriculum Director
Pro-Active Performance
Atlanta, GA

Fila Bertrand, PhD
Senior Manager of Professional Services, PMO
PDI Software
Tampa, FL

Jeremy Bohnett
Director of Sales
Plano, TX.

Lance Boyd, MS
Merit Health Natchez
Natchez, MS

Creston Burse, DSL
Chief Information Security Officer
Jackson, MS

Joy Carter
Senior Manager, CI & Strategy
Tyson Foods
Springdale, AR

Christy Cate, MEd, MSE, MFT
Digital Innovation Consultant
Region 14 Education Service Center
Abilene, TX

Sheryl Chesnutt
Boys & Girls Club of Rutherford County
Murfreesboro, TN

Bryan Clifton, MSOD
Founder and CEO
Myriad Insight
Edmond, OK

Keith Cronk, M.Litt.
Senior VP of HU Online
Associate Professor of Business
Harding University
Searcy, AR

Reet Cronk, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of HU Online
Professor of Business
Harding University
Searcy, AR

Wade Coggins, JD, MBA
Director of Talent Management
Fort Smith, AR

Jennifer Cooper
Director of HR
Administrative Concepts Inc. (ACI)
Philadelphia, PA

Nathan Copeland, EdD
VP of Operations
Wiggins Incorporated
Montgomery, AL

Michael Crouch, PhD
Grad. Research & Teaching Assistant
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN

Drew Custer, MDiv
Instructional Designer
Arkansas Federal Credit Union
Jacksonville, AR

Carter Davis, MBA
Head of Global Loyalty Partnerships
Expedia, Inc.
North Richland Hills, TX

Mary Ann Duncan, EdD
EVP of School Operations
Lewisville, TX

Mark Erwin, JD
Chief Clerk
Mobile County Probate Court
Mobile, AL

Allen Frazier, Ph.D.
Dean, Professor of Business
Harding University
Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration
Searcy, AR

Keri Forney
Talent Business Partner
Career Consulting, Coaching and Connections
Cincinnati, Ohio

Chad Gardner
Benefit Concepts of Arkansas
Maumelle, AR

Shad Glass, MBA
Executive Vice President
Kimray Inc.
Oklahoma City, OK

Susan Hainzinger, PHR, sHRBP
Senior Human Capital Consultant
Hogan Taylor, LLP
Tulsa, OK

Stacey Lewis, MBA
AVP, Sr. Credit Analyst
Vision Bank
Ada, OK

Joe McClary, Ed.S., CAE, CPTD
Executive Director
National Business Education Association
Reston, VA

Scott Mueller, MS
SVP, Organizational Development
MidFirst Bank
Oklahoma City, OK

Ron Nelson, MS, MS
Custom Home Account Executive ADT
New York City, NY

Cassie Niemann, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
Talent & Org. Dev. Manager
Oklahoma City, OK

Eli Perkins, PhD
Director of Sales & Business Development
Nashville, TN

Bret Raymond, MBA
Co-Founder & CEO
The Pack Shack
Rogers, AR

Penny Reed
Dental Coaching Institute
Charlotte, NC

Raymond Richardson, MS
Senior Human Resource Manager
553rd Combat Sustainment Support Battalion
Fort Hood, TX

Andrea Roten, MSE
Sr. Partner, Family Recruiting and Experience
Walton Enterprises
Bentonville, AR

Liliana Sánchez Iglesias, ME
Founder & Consultant
MarketAble Trade & Development
Tegucigalpa, Honduras

Starla Sharpe
Manager of Learning and Development
Planet Home Lending, LLC
Irving, TX

Philip Shero, PhD
MasterMinds Leadership
Fort Worth, TX

Ryan Sorrell, MFT
VP Population Health and Health Plans Network Management
Christus Health
Irving, TX

Tama Williamson
President and CEO
TriggerPoint Media
Austin, TX

Tanya Young Stump
Head of Training & Talent Development
Global B2C Sales at Wayfair
Portland, OR

Rachel Tirhi, MS, JD
VP of Operations & Compliance
People Performance Resources, LLC
Fort Worth, TX

Eryn Tribble, MA
Director of Program Evaluation
Oklahoma Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services
Norman, OK

Lauryn Turner
Chief of Staff
USA Gymnastics
Indianapolis, IN

Jo Umberger
Umberger Development Partners
Dallas, TX

Heather Wells, EdD
CEO/Executive Director
Brain Balance Centers of Katy, Mansfield, Southlake and The Woodlands
Katy, TX

Ed Young
Oklahoma City, OK

Steve Young, MBA
Coach & Development Specialist
Scottsdale, AZ

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should apply?

Due to the interdisciplinary nature inherent to the study of organizational leadership, students from a broad range of academic backgrounds are welcome to apply to this program. All applicants must have completed an undergraduate degree.

How many credit hours are required for the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership?

The MAOL degree requires the completion of 30 credit hours. All classes are 3 credit hours. The completion of the MAOL includes the successful completion of 6 core classes (18 credit hours) plus 4 certificate courses (12 credits hours), for a total of 10 classes (30 credit hours).

If I am pursuing the MAOL, can I start with the courses for my certificate, or do I need to take the core courses first?

Depending on the schedule and course availability, students have the option of beginning with their certificate courses or their core classes.

What are the areas of focus for the certificate programs?

The Center for Organizational Leadership offers three graduate certificate options: executive and workplace coaching, human resource management, and learning and development. For MAOL students who are interested in numerous topics, the strategic practitioner option can be a great fit. You are given an a la carte option to choose four electives from the certificate courses that you find most interesting and useful for your career.

What if I would like to take courses for both learning and development and human resources?

Students are welcome to earn more than one certificate or to pursue a strategic practitioner emphasis with the MAOL. This allows students to use an a la carte option and choose from courses of specific interest.

How many credit hours do I have to take each semester? How long do I have to complete the program?

Students are responsible for pacing themselves through the program based upon their personal and professional goals.

When taking a maximum load, MAOL students can earn their degree in three semesters.

To provide maximum flexibility, MAOL students can take up to 7 years to complete the program.

When taking a maximum load, certificate students can complete their certificate in one semester. Certificate students can take up to 4 years to complete the program.