Eastern Mennonite University's School of Graduate and Professional Studies announces new graduate certificate programs in business administration and organizational leadership.

New graduate certificates in business administration and organizational leadership serve professional needs

Eastern Mennonite University will offer two new graduate certificates in business administration and organizational leadership, beginning in the fall of 2015. Both programs are designed for working professionals seeking leadership skills. Completion time ranges from 9-18 months.

For professionals already in business or leadership roles, the graduate certificate is an intermediate step between a bachelor’s and master’s degree in the field. The coursework can be applied towards an MBA or an MA in organizational leadership.

EMU’s graduate business coursework emphasizes “applied leadership for the common good,” says community justice advocate and educator Andrew Nussbaum, MA `15 (conflict transformation), who took several of the core courses while earning a graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership. “I have been able to apply my learning in both a local and global context with new skills, new colleagues and new understanding.”

EMU’s faculty members, all holding doctorates in their field, bring a variety of expertise and foundational knowledge gained through domestic and international business and non-profit experiences.

Graduate Certificate in Business Administration

Professor Jim Leaman
Professor Jim Leaman

The 15-unit graduate certificate in business administration, which can be completed in less than a year, provides foundational skills and tools necessary to lead effectively in business, public agencies or nonprofit entities.

“Organizational leaders have both an opportunity and a responsibility to facilitate a turn toward solving many of the complex problems we encounter in the world today,” says professor Jim Leaman. “This certificate offers leaders the foundational knowledge and contemporary data to recognize the need for change, and the philosophy and tools to lead a stakeholder-inspired process toward more sustainable and just outcomes.”

Required courses address such topics as business ethics and policy, organizational behavior, and finance and accounting. Students are allowed a maximum of two elective courses, one of which can substitute for a course on comparative perspectives on business and society. Electives from the MBA program of study are offered in technology, information and data analysis; marketing management; human resources; entrepreneurship; and project management and grant writing.

Graduate Certificate in Organizational Leadership

The graduate certificate in organizational leadership can be completed in 18 months. The 17-unit program focuses on developing and broadening leadership skills through the study of organizational behavior and change, teambuilding, mentoring, and conflict transformation techniques. Students are encouraged to reflect on current and past practices, through readings, writings, and the completion of individual and team projects.

Students interested in this program may already have an MBA or other business skills, but desire to improve their management and leadership abilities.

“Most managers in organizations have learned how to manage people, money, and programs. What they usually lack, however, are the skills to lead sustainable change in their departments or organizations,” said professor David Brubaker, a specialist in organizational leadership who has trained or consulted with over 100 organizations, including in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. “This certificate equips participants to both understand the systems they lead and the tools to effectively lead and change them.”

Coursework includes “Leadership and Management for the Common Good,” which highlights ecological, social, and economic stressors of organizations at local and global levels, and approaches to leading people, systems, and organizations in positive ways. Other classes focus on organizational behavior; leadership theory and style; effecting and leading change within organizations; and developing healthy organizations through team building and collaboration. A 2-unit mentorship program is also required.

Faculty with a wealth of expertise and experience

EMU’s faculty members include current and former business owners, as well as non-profit and NGO professionals.

Jim Leaman’s professional experience in business, including 12 years with an NGO in Kenya, lend perspective to his analysis of the role and impact of business and organizations within ecological limits and dynamic social systems, resulting in an integrated lens of sustainability, stewardship and justice. Leaman has a master’s in public administration and a PhD in public and international affairs.

David Brubaker served with several community development and conflict transformation organizations, including five years as executive director of a community development organization in southern Arizona. He has an MBA and a PhD in sociology, with a specialization in religious and organizational conflicts.

Carolyn Stauffer holds a doctorate in sociology. She lived and worked in South Africa for 16 years and the Middle East for 17 years. She was an organizational development consultant (with NGOs and blue chip companies undergoing post-Apartheid workplace diversity shifts), and has also worked in the domestic and gender-based violence field, and as a community development specialist.

Spencer Cowles brings significant international experience and a background in commercial banking and microfinance to courses in business ethics and policy, at the level of the employee, the firm, and the macro economy. Cowles has a master’s of theological studies, an MBA and a PhD in the social foundations of education.

Chris Gingrich specializes in development and international economics. He has a master’s in agricultural economics and a PhD in economics. His research topics have included the fair trade coffee market, mosquito net delivery systems, sustainability and effectiveness of microfinance programs, and issues surrounding financial crises.

Anthony E. Smith has founded, co-founded and/or directed numerous small businesses and nonprofit organizations in community economic development, sustainable agriculture, energy management, and commodity futures trading in energy. Smith has a master’s of architecture and a PhD in social systems sciences. He is founder-CEO of Secure Futures, LLC, a solar development company that developed the EMU solar project.

Ronald L. Stoltzfus, a certified public accountant, specializes in financial accounting reporting issues. He has three graduate degrees: an MBA, a master’s in accounting, and a PhD in accounting. His work experience includes the controllership of a large farm equipment company in southeastern Pennsylvania and summer projects with a local construction contractor, tire retreader, and an aviation company.