BVU announces new master’s degree

Monday, January 16, 2017

Buena Vista University is launching a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree. The degree will be available fully online with classes beginning March 6, and new opportunities to start the program approximately every 8 weeks.

The new degree can be completed in as few as 1½ years and will provide the skills and knowledge necessary to effectively lead people in an ever-changing work environment. The coursework is designed to prepare professionals for a range of leadership positions in senior management, non-profit administration, various business leadership roles as well as enhance individuals’ membership in, and leadership of, various boards of directors and their community leadership roles.

BVU President Fred Moore said, “Our Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership places an emphasis on the awareness and understanding of self and others necessary to become an effective leader. Many students enter college planning to earn their master’s degree as a way to distinguish themselves in the job market.” Moore believes this new program will appeal to many of BVU’s current students, as well as alumni and working adults focusing on real-world application and ethical leadership development with a desire to inspire innovative, systematic change in their world.

The Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership is an applied degree and consists of 30 semester hours culminating in the student’s choice of capstone experience in either a research effort or executive internship. Program director and professor of communication studies Dr. Mary Gill said, “We will initially offer one course named Essentials of Graduate Study. The primary purpose of this course is to help transition students from the expectations of undergraduate coursework to what expectations of rigorous graduate coursework are.”

According to Gill, mastering leadership requires examination of theory and application. “Whether currently in leadership roles or seeking leadership roles, the program augments learners’ abilities for critical and strategic decision making, personal development of leadership strengths and more effective engagement in the art and science of leadership practices among diverse individuals.”

Our Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership places an emphasis on the awareness and understanding of self and others necessary to become an effective leader.

Fred Moore

Gill said the program will develop graduates prepared to lead with character. “Graduates experience enhanced discernment of real-life situations as they develop a deeper understanding of their abilities, talents, and passions for leadership.” Key course content areas include examination of: the history and theory of leadership, team leadership, leadership diversity, systems thinking leadership, decision making, ethical leadership, leading in social contexts and leading organizational change.

Students seeking the new degree must hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher learning, a 2.75 cumulative undergraduate grade point average and fulfill additional application requirements. The program is fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The course is available fully online at $507 per credit hour, with a priority application deadline of Feb. 20. Financial assistance is available to those who qualify. Additional information about the Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership degree can be found at

In addition to the stand alone Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, undergraduate students enrolled at BVU, both in Storm Lake and the degree completion programs offered at 16 sites across Iowa and online, may choose to enroll in a “bachelor’s plus one” option that will lead to completion of this Master of Arts degree in just one year after completion of their chosen bachelor’s degree program.