Northwestern College to offer leadership studies minor

Northwestern College will add a minor in leadership studies to its academic programs this fall.

The interdisciplinary program is closely aligned with Northwestern’s new Center for Innovation and Leadership. It’s flexible to fit with most majors, including those leading to careers in business, ministry, health care, and sports and entertainment.

“It ties in with the mission and vision of what the center is trying to do,” says Dr. Jason Lief, who is serving as a co-director of the minor with Dr. Jiying (Jenny) Song. “The center is a hub designed to help students think across disciplines.”

A course offered by both the business and biblical studies departments focused on principles of leadership has been revised and retitled “Servant Leadership.” Other required courses include classes on transformational cross-cultural leadership, organizational leadership, and a leadership practicum.

Students minoring in leadership studies will also choose from one of two management courses offered by the business department, as well as classes in the fields of sociology, psychology, Christian studies or communications.

“Students will learn leadership theories and practices through a Christian perspective,” says Song. “We want to give them an understanding of current social and cultural issues. It’s not only about skills and behavior, but more about systemic leadership thinking.”

Song, who is a member of Northwestern’s business department faculty, has a doctorate in leadership studies from Gonzaga University. She serves as the associate editor for The International Journal of Servant Leadership and was the first editor of an anthology titled “Servant Leadership and Forgiveness: How Leaders Help Heal the Heart of the World.”

Lief has a doctorate in practical theology from Luther Seminary and teaches Christian education and youth ministry courses in Northwestern’s biblical and theological studies department. He is the author of three books and is working on a fourth focused on theology and social entrepreneurship.