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Course Catalog

Comprehensive Leadership Program

Director: Josh P. Armstrong, Ph.D.
Program Coordinator: Kristin Telin, M.A.

The Comprehensive Leadership Program (CLP) at Gonzaga University provides selected undergraduate students with the opportunity to develop core knowledge and skills for leadership. The CLP fosters the development of individuals who lead for the common good. This interdisciplinary, experiential program exposes undergraduates to, and prepares them for, leadership experiences in the world. Students will explore power, authority and influence through three dimensions of leadership: self-awareness, relationship with others, and leadership for the common good.  

Students who complete this undergraduate leadership minor will:

  • gain knowledge and understanding of foundational leadership theories and demonstrate the ability to apply theories in the practice of leadership
  • construct an evolving personal philosophy of leadership that demonstrates self-knowledge and theoretical understanding
  • develop an understanding of organizational change processes, team dynamics, emotional intelligence, and conflict management within the practice of leadership
  • acquire knowledge of diverse cultures, cross-cultural communication, the dynamics of privilege and oppression, and the uses of power between groups

Undergraduates take the Minor in Leadership Studies in conjunction with their chosen major in any academic field, including business, engineering, nursing, computer science, biology, chemistry, education and the liberal arts. Admission to the Comprehensive Leadership Program is competitive and the application takes place during the fall of a student’s first year, and is based on demonstrated leadership and desire to study leadership through written essays, individual interviews, and group interviews.


Students in the Comprehensive Leadership Program complete the requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in business, engineering, the arts and sciences, nursing and human physiology, or education, etc., along with a Minor in Leadership Studies. Students must satisfy the University and college core curricula relevant to their major.

The courses listed below constitute the Minor in Leadership Studies for undergraduate students. The program is designed flexibly so that students with any major can graduate in four years. Waivers and substitutions for department requirements may be granted to meet special academic needs. In addition, the University waives the fees for credits in excess of the usual eighteen-credit per semester limit for qualified students, up to 21 hours per semester when taking an LDRS course in that semester.

CLP students will complete the following Leadership Studies LDRS courses that amount to 15 credit hours, and select 6 credit hours from the interdisciplinary list of courses, one of which must be an LDRS course.

Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies (COML) and Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (ORGL) 4+1 Pathway Program:

Majors interested in pursuing a Master of Arts in Communication and Leadership Studies (COML) or a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (ORGL) may apply to the graduate program at the end of the academic year immediately preceding their final year of undergraduate study. Those who meet the COML or ORGL admissions standards will be granted provisional acceptance. During their final year of undergraduate study, these students will be able to enroll in up to six graduate-level COML or ORGL credits in addition to their undergraduate course load, with no additional or separate charge for graduate credits. "4+1" students will be limited to a maximum of 18 credits per semester, including graduate credits, in each of the two semesters of their final year of undergraduate study.

Leadership Studies Minor: 21 credits

Leadership Studies Common Courses: 15 credits
First Year
   LDRS 200 Foundations of Leadership 3 credits
Second Year
LDRS 315 Theories of Leadership & Organizations 3 credits
LDRS 325 The Practice of Leadership 3 credits
Third Year
LDRS 375 Leading Across Cultures 3 credits
Fourth Year
LDRS 450 Contemporary Issues in Leadership 3 credits
Interdisciplinary Electives for Leadership Minor 6 credits
  BENT 490 Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  BRCO 470 Broadcast Leadership  
COMM 401 Communication and Leadership
  COMM 430/INST 430 Intersectional Communication  
  COMM 440/INST 440 Rhetoric of Social Change  
ECON 311 Global Economic Issues
  EDTE 305 Intercultural Competence Development  
ENSC 405 Engineering Project Management
INST 344 International Organizations
INST 350 International Ethics
LDRS 355 Intercultural Experience on Leadership
LDRS 390 Outdoor Leadership
LDRS 392 Women in Leadership
LDRS 394 Leadership and Storytelling
LDRS 395 Service and Leadership
  LDRS 396 Leadership & Social Change   
  LDRS 397 Leadership and Film  
LDRS 497 Leadership Internship
MGMT 350 Principles of Management
MGMT 355 International Management
PHIL 455 Health Care Ethics
  PRLS 450 Organizational Issues for PR  
  PSYC 380 Industrial-Organizational Psychology  
RELI 327 Christian Leadership
  SOCI 330 Society and the Individual  
WGST 202 Gender, Difference, and Power
WGST 303 isms: Racism, Classism, Sexism   

In addition to the course work above, Comprehensive Leadership Program students participate in a variety of co-curricular activities including seminars, retreats, and speakers.

Lower Division
LDRS 200 Foundations of Leadership
3.00 credits
This course is designed to engage students in essential foundational questions relating to the areas of knowledge and competence that are fundamental to the study and practice of leadership. Spring.
Upper Division
LDRS 315 Theories of Leadership & Org
3.00 credits
This course explores leadership theory and organizational frames models as students develop and systematic theoretical leadership framework for personal and complex organizations. Fall.
LDRS 200 Minimum Grade: D
LDRS 325 The Practice of Leadership
3.00 credits
This course is designed to be a practical, skill-building leadership course. The focus of this course will be on developing and practicing key leadership skills such as managing conflict, team building, communication, decision making, ability to delegate, creativity, empathy and emotional intelligence, practice of presence, provide appropriate feedback, and listening. The course will involve simulations, case studies, role plays, exercises and discussions designed to give students opportunities to practice and cultivate essential leadership skills. Spring.
LDRS 200 Minimum Grade: D
LDRS 350 Intercultural Persp Ldrshp
1.00 credit
Understand and practice key concepts of leadership theory through an international experience. The leadership theories explored include servant leadership, social change model, and adaptive leadership in Zambia, Africa. Spring
LDRS 355 Intercultural Exp on Ldshp
3.00 credits
This course seeks to understand and practice key concepts of leadership theory through an international experience, develop and promote an ethic of accompaniment through our community development projects, develop intercultural competencies as they strive to be global leaders, and develop self-awareness and critical thinking skills through experiential education and critical reflection of our international service. Summer
LDRS 375 Leading Across Cultures
3.00 credits
Through this course, students will gain knowledge of diverse cultures, cross-cultural communication, the dynamics of privilege and oppression, and the uses of power between groups. To develop cultural competency, leaders need to know: themselves, others, the relevant issues, and have an appreciation and curiosity for working with others. Students will connect global leadership concepts to practice and engage in a number of activities, discussions, and self-assessment instruments to increase their self-awareness of leadership styles, abilities, strengths, and limitations. Fall.
LDRS 315 Minimum Grade: D and LDRS 325 Minimum Grade: D
LDRS 390 Outdoor Leadership
3.00 credits
This course is designed to look into the models of outdoor education known as Adventure Education and Expeditionary Learning. Both Adventure Education and Expeditionary Learning came out of the Outward Bound movement of the 1940's in England and later in the 1960's in the USA. While the concepts are based in the foundational tenants of outdoor education, Adventure Education and Expeditionary Learning focus on the concept of adventure and the context of the "expedition" as the container in which learning takes place. This is a leadership seminar, but it is also a seminar about risk, adventure, decision-making, education and outdoor competency - it will be about teaching, learning and leading through adventure.
LDRS 392 Women and Leadership
3.00 credits
This course will look at gender differences in leadership styles and efficacy as well as specific issues women face in attaining and retaining leadership positions. Through readings, discussions, and projects that critically examine images and gender stereotypes of women leaders, the course is designed to give students practical skills they can use to be better communicators and leaders. Spring.
LDRS 394 Leadership & Storytelling
3.00 credits
This course offers students an opportunity to explore the growing synergy between two research areas: leadership, and narrative or story. Spring.
LDRS 395 Service and Leadership
1.00- 3.00 credits
In this course we will explore the links between community service, social action (activism) and public leadership, which we define as making a difference in one's community, organization, government, state and/or nation. The goal of the course is to bring students to a deeper understanding of their role as servant leaders in the communities they not only find themselves living and working in, but also those they wish to affect in humane ways. Spring.
LDRS 396 Leadership & Social Change
1.00- 3.00 credits
This course provides critical study and preparation for the East LA spring break immersion experience by exploring contemporary expressions of kinship, leadership, and social change. Readings, reflections, and assignments explore societal and structural issues related to homelessness, mass incarceration, gang violence and immigration reform. Students will understand and practice the skills and vision necessary to promote community engagement and social change both locally and in East LA. Students must go to East LA Spring Break, open to all undergraduates by application.
LDRS 397 Leadership and Film
3.00 credits
The course initiates a thoughtful consideration of the nature of leadership as depicted in film. Spring.
LDRS 450 Contemp Issues in Leadership
3.00 credits
Through exploring contemporary issues in leadership, this course is designed to be a capstone experience of integrating leadership knowledge and skills. This course will provide students with an understanding of the principles of Servant Leadership (Greenleaf, 1970, 1998, 2001) and an exploration of adaptive leadership theory and practice (Heifetz, 1994, 2001, 2009). These two leadership theories in tandem provide a uniquely Jesuit approach to leadership, with servant leadership cultivating the heart, while adaptive leadership provides an avenue for the head and hands. A focal point of the course is on helping students begin to develop a vision of their vocation as leaders by participating in real-time, casein-point examples of adaptive leadership. As a capstone to the Minor in Leadership Studies, students will practice their leadership skills and knowledge in a legacy project and construct a learning portfolio from their coursework. Fall
LDRS 200 Minimum Grade: D
LDRS 489 Leadership Seminar
1.00- 3.00 credits
Topic of course to be determined by department and instructor.
LDRS 490 Independent Study
1.00- 3.00 credits
Course content to be determined by the instructor.
LDRS 497 Leadership Internship
1.00- 3.00 credits
This course is designed to give students a hands-on experience in leadership. The course affords students the opportunity to use the skills and knowledge learned through the CLP in real-world internship context. The course materials cover theories behind experiential education, mentorship and internship education. The class time allow opportunity to process and reflect on the student' internship experience.