M.A. in Ethical Leadership - Courses

1030 units
Completion Time
15 Months
OnlineOpportunities for face-to-face learning are available throughout the program
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Next Term Begins April 13th

The program begins with self assessment and introduces you to leading-edge practices for self-awareness and mindfulness. You then will learn about contemporary approaches to leadership and ethical decision-making from various sources and traditions across the ages. You will explore the new conception that leadership is ethical influence practiced by anyone to make a positive difference in the organization. As a graduate of this program, you will have the knowledge and skills to lead more effectively and influence your workplace in a diverse and changing world.

Program Design

Full-time students take two classes each 10-week term -- one that's specific to their program and another from The Claremont Core™. Electives can be taken from any of the degree programs offered or, with prior approval from the Program Director, from other institutions.

Term Ethical Leadership Claremont Core™
1 Self-Knowledge (req) Mindfulness
2 Leadership Literacy (req) Dialogue
3 Ethical Frameworks (req) Collaboration
4 Ethics and Globalization (elect) Change
5 Shadow Sides (elect) Capstone Action Project

Course Descriptions

Self Knowledge for Ethical Development


Effective leaders know themselves. They know who they are, what they believe, and what they can offer to those around them. In this course, you will participate in self-assessment exercises and engage in readings and dialogue that will help you identify your current leadership skills and how you understand your strengths and weaknesses. You will also be introduced to new skills for lifelong self-assessment that will help you gain deeper awareness of your unique contributions in professional and personal life. This course sets the stage for the rest of the program by helping you discover your natural strengths and identify areas for future development

Leadership Literacy


Leadership is a ever-evolving field of study and practice that has taken on added complexity in the diversified workplace of the 21st century. In this course, you will survey contemporary research and literature in the field that introduces foundational concepts that address leadership development in a global era. You will examine the notion of leadership as an adaptive art, as a frame for professional proficiency, and as a platform for personal and organizational transformation. In the end, you will come to appreciate leadership as the effective and ethical management of positive change.

Ethical Frameworks: From Theory to Practice


Our understanding of ethics – the basic systems for determining right and wrong – are often rooted in complex combinations of our personal, cultural, national, familial, and/or religious experiences and traditions. In this course, you will become familiar with major perspectives on ethical reasoning, including questions of character and integrity. You will read selections from classical and contemporary ethicists, examine multiple sources of and approaches to ethical reflection, and put your new knowledge to work in concrete, contemporary case studies. In the end, you will recognize that ethical deliberation is neither reserved for saints nor specialists and is a part of daily life and work.

Ethics and Globalization


We no longer make workplace decisions in a vacuum. In a truly globalized era, the actions of our organizations have ripple effects that cross borders and reach around the world. In this class, you will focus on the role of ethical leadership in a diverse, interconnected economy. Building on previous courses, this course connects your personal values to the ethical perspectives of different regional, cultural, and national contexts. It draws on various philosophical and wisdom traditions to develop a balanced and responsible organizational ethics. And looking forward to subsequent courses, it considers the role of ethics in global change, global leadership skills, and issues of conflict, commodities, resources and labor.

Shadow Sides: Rethinking Power, Money, and Meaning


Money was invented as a tool for exchange of goods and services, and it’s become both a compelling and corrupting force among humans. But while money can buy many things, it cannot buy everything – and in some cases it costs more than it's worth. In this course, you will explore how capital and other forms of power work in the world and how they can be or should be managed to achieve strategic, sociopolitical or ethical ends. You will develop a vision for how capital can be leveraged in organizations as a resource for positive change toward more sustainable models of business and society. You will also be introduced to leading-edge approaches to social entrepreneurship, social business, and organizing for social change in the for-profit and the not-for-profit sectors.