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
.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
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.

In addition to their major and minor areas of study, all undergraduate students follow a common program designed to complete their education in those areas that the University considers essential for a Catholic, Jesuit, liberal, and humanistic education. The University Core Curriculum consists of forty-five credits of course work, with additional designation requirements that can be met through core, major, or elective courses.

The University Core Curriculum is a four-year program, organized around one overarching question, which is progressively addressed through yearly themes and questions. Hence, core courses are best taken within the year for which they are designated. First year core courses encourage intellectual engagement and provide a broad foundation of fundamental skills. Second and third year courses examine central issues and questions in philosophy and religious studies. The fourth year course, the Core Integration Seminar, offers a culminating core experience. Taken at any time throughout the four years, broadening courses intersect with the core themes and extend students’ appreciation for the humanities, arts, and social and behavioral sciences. Finally, the designation requirements (writing enriched, global studies, and social justice) reflect important values and reinforce students’ knowledge and competencies.

Overarching Core Question: As students of a Catholic, Jesuit, and Humanistic University, how do we educate ourselves to become women and men for a more just and humane global community?
Year 1 Theme and Question: Understanding and Creating: How do we pursue knowledge and cultivate understanding?

  • The First-Year Seminar (DEPT 193, 3 credits): The First-Year Seminar (FYS), taken in the fall or spring of the first year, is designed to promote an intellectual shift in students as they transition to college academic life. Each small seminar is organized around an engaging topic, which students explore from multiple perspectives. The FYS is offered by many departments across the University (click here [PDF] for list of FYS courses).  
  • Writing (ENGL 101, 3 credits) and Reasoning (PHIL 101, 3 credits): The Writing and Reasoning courses are designed to help students develop the foundational skills of critical reading, thinking, analysis, and writing. They may be taken as linked sections. Writing (ENGL 101) carries one of the three required writing-enriched designations (see below).
  • Communication & Speech (COMM 100, 3 credits): This course introduces students to interpersonal and small group communication and requires the application of critical thinking, reasoning, and research skills necessary to organize, write, and present several speeches.
  • Scientific Inquiry (BIOL 104/104L, CHEM 104/104L, or PHYS 104/104L, 3 credits): This course explores the scientific process in the natural world through evidence-based logic and includes significant laboratory experience. Students pursuing majors that require science courses will satisfy this requirement through their major.
  • Mathematics (above Math 100, 3 credits): Mathematics courses promote thinking according to the modes of the discipline—abstractly, symbolically, logically, and computationally. One course in mathematics, above Math 100, including any math course required for a major or minor, will fulfill this requirement. MATH 100 (College Algebra) and courses without the MATH prefix do not fulfill this requirement.

Year 2 Theme and Question: Being and Becoming: Who are we and what does it mean to be human?

  • Philosophy of Human Nature (PHIL 201, 3 credits): This course provides students with a philosophical study of key figures, theories, and intellectual traditions that contribute to understanding the human condition; the meaning and dignity of human life; and the human relationship to ultimate reality.
  • Christianity and Catholic Traditions (RELI, 3 credits). Religious Studies core courses approved for this requirement explore diverse topics including Christian scriptures, history, theology, and practices as well as major contributions from the Catholic intellectual and theological traditions (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses) .

Year 3 Theme and Question: Caring and Doing: What principles characterize a well lived life?

  • Ethics (PHIL 301 or RELI, 3 credits): The Ethics courses are designed to help students develop their moral imagination by exploring and explaining the reasons humans should care about the needs and interests of others. This requirement is satisfied by an approved ethics course in either Philosophy (PHIL 301) or Religious Studies (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • World/Comparative Religion (RELI, 3 credits): Religious Studies courses approved for this core requirement draw attention to the diversity that exists within and among traditions and encourage students to bring critical, analytical thinking to bear on the traditions and questions considered. These courses carries one of the required two global-studies designations (see below) (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

Year 4 Theme and Question: Imagining the Possible: What is our role in the world?” 

  • Core Integration Seminar (DEPT 432, 3 credits). The Core Integration Seminar (CIS) offers students a culminating core experience in which they integrate the principles of Jesuit education, prior components of the core, and their disciplinary expertise. Some CIS courses may also count toward a student’s major or minor. The CIS is offered by several departments across the University (click here [PDF] for list of CIS courses).

The Broadening Courses

  • Fine Arts & Design (VART, MUSC, THEA, 3 credits): Arts courses explore multiple ways the human experience can be expressed through creativity, including across different cultures and societies. One approved course in fine arts, music, theatre, or dance will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • History (HIST, 3 credits): History courses are intended to develop students’ awareness of the historical context of both the individual and the collective human experience. One course in History (HIST 101, HIST 102, HIST 112, HIST 201, HIST 202) will fulfill this requirement.
  • Literature (3 credits): Literature courses foster reflection on how literature engages with a range of human experience. One approved course in Literature (offered by English, Classics, or Modern Languages) will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Social & Behavioral Sciences (3 credits): Courses in the social and behavioral sciences engage students in studying human behavior, social systems, and social issues. One approved course offered by Criminal Justice, Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, or Women and Gender Studies will fulfill this requirement (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

The Designations
Designations are embedded within already existing core, major, minor, and elective courses. Students are encouraged to meet designation requirements within elective courses as their schedule allows; however, with careful planning students should be able to complete most of the designation requirements within other core, major, or minor courses.

  • Writing Enriched (WE; 3 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the WE designation are designed to promote the humanistic and Jesuit pedagogical ideal of clear, effective communication. In addition to the required core course, Writing (ENGL 101), which carries one of the WE designations, students must take two other WE-designated courses (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Global-Studies (GS; 2 courses meeting this designation): Courses carrying the GS designation are designed to challenge students to perceive and understand human diversity by exploring diversity within a context of constantly changing global systems. In addition to the required core course, World/Comparative Religion (RELI 300-level), which carries one of the GS designations, students must take one other GS-designated course (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).
  • Social-Justice (SJ; 1 course meeting this designation): Courses carrying the SJ designation are designed to introduce students to one or more social justice concerns. Students must take one course that meets the SJ designation (click here [PDF] for a list of approved courses).

Major-specific adaptations to the University Core Curriculum

All Gonzaga students, regardless of their major, will complete the University Core Curriculum requirements. However some Gonzaga students will satisfy certain core requirements through major-specific programs or courses. Any major-specific adaptations to the core are described with the requirements for the majors to which they apply.