Welcome to the Harding University Center for Leadership & Development. 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.

Watch our webinars

Watch our collection of webinars to gain insights and resources in the industry!

Loading most recent news...

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.

Meet our Director

Andrea Bishop Headshot MAOL Director Harding UniversityAndrea Bishop, Ph.D.
Director of Center for Leadership & Development

Dr. Andrea Stark Bishop leads the academic offerings of the center and teaches classes in organizational communications and learning and development. She is an eager and energetic force focused on continually building and strengthening this exciting academic program. She is passionate about establishing standards of academic excellence and brings a wealth of experience as both an educator and leader. She also serves as an assistant professor of education.

Dr. Bishop previously served as coordinator of virtual learning for UofM Global, the online arm of the University of Memphis. She helped create and administer Prep Academy, a unique online bridge program designed to better prepare students for the academic rigor of higher education. She also designed curriculum and coordinated course offerings for TNeCampus, a collaborative partnership offering quality online course options among Tennessee universities.

With nearly 20 years experience in higher education, she believes that better communication leads to better leadership, better teaching and better learning. She also says, “Communication is the center of the workplace and the heart of leadership. It is the focal point of any organization. Communication generates new thought, new practice and new strategies. It defines the culture of families, schools, workplaces and governments, for good or ill. Simply put, poor communication equates to poor leadership while strong communication equates to strong leadership.”

A native of Wynnewood, Oklahoma, Bishop holds a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in education from Harding University as well as a doctorate in writing rhetoric and technical communication from the University of Memphis. She and her husband, Mike, were married in 1997 and have two sons, Zach and Alec.

Center Partners

The Center for Leadership and Development is excited to partner with other organizations to offer our degree options with a streamlined application process, wraparound service from application to graduation, and a tuition discount. The discount can be applied to our fully online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, a 30-credit hour program. It can also be applied to any of our 12-credit hour graduate certificates in Learning and Development, Human Resources, or Executive and Workplace Coaching.

Our Center Partners are:

All students, alumni, faculty, and staff of Crowley's Ridge College are eligible for a 15% tuition discount. To inquire about the discount or to learn more about the application process, please email maol@harding.edu.
Employees of Expedient Technology Solutions are eligible for a 15% tuition discount. To inquire about the discount or to learn more about the application process, please email maol@harding.edu.


If your organization would be interested in partnering with the Harding University Center for Leadership and Development, please contact us for more information: maol@harding.edu. We would love to help you develop a workplace culture of courageous communication and effective leadership!

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 Leadership & Development 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.

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.