Graduate School of Business

Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership

Request Information and Apply

Strengthen your marketability with a degree or certificate in organizational leadership. Request more information. You can also apply now!

Organizational leadership is an interdisciplinary academic field of study that is focused on individual and team success. The field includes the many factors that are part of the daily life of a leader. Common skills include the ability to establish goals, develop strategic plans, recruit teams, communicate effectively, manage conflict, execute plans, develop individuals and teams, and the ability to evaluate organizational effectiveness. 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.

An Organizational leadership professional is likely to possess expertise in talent recruitment, learning and development, teambuilding, conflict resolution, strategy and leadership. 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.

How can I use this degree?

The concepts learned through the programs we offer can be applied to numerous roles. Typical roles for those with a background in organizational leadership include executives, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, ministry leaders, educators and human resource managers. Organizational leadership experts develop leaders and assist organizations as consultants, trainers and leadership coaches. The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership can be used to help you grow in your current career or it can provide a path to open new doors of opportunity. Earning your academic credentials signals to others that you are committed to your craft.

Center for Organizational Leadership

This degree is part of the Center for Organizational Leadership. Click the link to learn more about our other offerings, including three certificates and resources such as the Leadership Listen podcast, Leadership Lab webinar series and Leadership Letter monthly newsletter.

Curriculum Plan

18 Core Credits + 12 Certificate Credits = 30 Credits

Core Courses

LEAD 6101: Personal Leadership Development — Personal Leadership Development is focused on the personal development of each student. Designed to promote self-discovery, the course invites students to participate in a battery of assessments to identify their personality type and other factors that contribute to their leadership effectiveness. Students are also provided an opportunity to consider their personal and professional goals and develop a personal strategy to pursue their goals. (3 Credit Hours)

LEAD 6102: Organizational Communications — Organizational Communications introduces students to a range of effective workplace communication strategies. The content of this course includes personal communication, leading meetings, cross-cultural communications, social media management, press and crisis communication. Participants will learn to identify and adapt their messaging to meet the specific needs of their audience. (3 Credit Hours)

LEAD 6103: Leadership Theory & Process — Leadership Theory and Practice explores current thinking about the concepts of leadership. While the primary focus is on the development of an understanding and interpretation of the various theories and models of leadership, particular attention is given to examining the leadership style employed by a variety of recognized individuals from all areas. (3 Credit Hours)

LEAD 6104: Leading Change & Innovation — Leading Change and Innovation reviews the role of leadership in leading change and promoting innovation. In addition to considering the role of leaders, the course also examines the processes and key factors that contribute to an organization’s ability (or inability) to successfully manage change and innovate. Students will also review the key challenges to personal and organizational change. (3 Credit Hours)

LEAD 6105: Negotiation Skills — Negotiation Skills provides the knowledge and skill set to effectively negotiate situations with teams, employees, clients, customers, and other stakeholders. Topics include negotiation planning, strategy, communication, framing, and settlements. Countering manipulative tactics and hardball approaches are addressed. Skills are obtained through extensive hands-on activities and practice negotiations. (3 Credit Hours)

LEAD 6106: Team Building and Team Dynamics — Team Building and Team Dynamics explores the psychological theories and models used to construct and maintain healthy groups and teams. Students will consider the key factors that contribute to effective teams. Particular focus will be given to understanding current research regarding team dynamics, leadership diversity, biases, goal setting, motivation, ethical expectations and cultural norms that define successful teams. (3 Credit Hours)

Certificate Courses

Certificate in Executive and Workplace Coaching

Certificate in Human Resource Management

Certificate in Learning and Development

Why Harding?

Choosing the right graduate program is an important and personal decision. There are several highly reputable institutions nationwide that offer quality graduate programs in organizational leadership. As you consider which option is the best fit for you, we would like to highlight a handful of factors that we believe make our program unique.

“We will provide our students with the best foundation in leadership theory and equip them with practical training so that they can be the leaders needed in their communities.” —Dr. Andrea Stark Bishop, Academic Director

  • Focus: Our faculty and staff utilize a “student first” mindset. We strive to create the optimal educational experience, seek to better understand your unique needs, and create a positive environment in which you can be challenged and supported.
  • Curriculum: The real-world expertise of our faculty allows us to provide a curriculum that balances theory and practice. Our curriculum is continually reviewed to ensure course content is relevant, current and focused. Each course is designed from scratch by practitioner scholars with the goal of equipping you to address real world challenges with clearly defined competencies that you can instantly apply in your personal and professional life.
  • Team: Each member of our faculty and staff was recruited for this program due to their academic and professional achievements. They have a deep commitment to their faith, families, communities and students. For us, teaching is an act of service and an opportunity to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
  • Format: We are committed to maintaining a high-quality learning experience, while offering courses in a format that aligns with your needs. Classes are 8 weeks long and offered 100% online. There are two blocks of courses in the fall and spring and one in the summer. Students are able to take two courses per block, allowing you to earn up to 12 credit hours each semester. MAOL students who take the maximum number of credit hours will complete the program in less than one year. A 12-hour certificate can be completed in one semester.
  • Pricing: The per credit hour cost for academic programs is $599 per hour. The pricing reflects a sincere commitment to providing you access to top-tier faculty and competency-based curriculum from a reputable institution at a reasonable price.
  • Faith: Although the majority of people are likely to consider faith to be an important component in life, the topic is routinely minimized or omitted in many institutions of higher learning. As a faith-based institution, Harding respectfully invites discussions of faith into the classroom.


The Graduate School of Business is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP) which is a leading specialized accreditation association for business education supporting, celebrating, and rewarding teaching excellence.

The association embraces the virtues of teaching excellence and emphasizes to students that it is essential to learn how to learn. ACBSP accredits business, accounting, and business-related programs at the associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate degree levels worldwide.

Recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) in 2001 and again in 2011, ACBSP was the first to offer specialized business accreditation at all degree levels.

**Currently, only the MBA program is approved under the accreditation. As the other GSB programs are new to the College of Business, they have not yet gone through the accreditation process by ACBSP but will be forthcoming.