“Globalization, the Web, technology, and emotional intelligence are shaping the world we live in — how we relate, how we work, how we live our daily lives. As a result, leadership has also had to adapt to this changing landscape. People desire leadership that is creative, innovative, and ingenious,” said Crowell School of Business professor of management Jake Aguas, talking about Crowell’s new Master of Arts in Leadership and Innovation program that is currently taking applications for Fall 2021.

“It will take forward thinking and innovative leadership to effectively meet the challenges and demands of the workplace today and into the future,” said Aguas. “The M.A. in Leadership and Innovation is a business program built to inspire servant leadership, whether within kingdom-based businesses, within the public sector or in your own organization. The skills offered through this program will apply to any role that requires leading others with emotional, cultural, and social intelligence, creativity, and ethical decision-making.”

Innovation is a word heard a lot in the business world. Sometimes it’s treated like a magic word, a cure-all that will immediately lift market share and reduce costs. So it’s important to define just what innovation is.

“Innovation isn’t just new ideas,” said Gary Lindblad, Dean of the Crowell School of Business. “Innovation is the ability to do something new that makes a difference. So that requires not just an openness to new ideas, but also the ability to refine and implement those ideas.”

Crowell recognizes the importance of combining innovation with leadership. Developing and executing new ideas that improve outcomes requires leadership. The M.A. in Leadership and Innovation is therefore designed to be a holistic program that develops a student personally and professionally in order to become a better leader in the workplace and also a better leader within relationships.

“Creativity and innovation define the future of every organization,” said Crowell Professor Jeff McHugh. “And since God is creative and we are designed in his image, we are also creative. However, because of socialization and formal education, a lot of us start to stifle those creative and innovative impulses. We need to realize that creativity is a muscle that needs to be exercised; it’s something you practice, not just something you’re born with. And leaders of innovative organizations promote innovative cultures which promote risk-taking and disregard the fear of failure.”

Innovation cannot come just from the leader — the leader needs to have a team that cultivates innovation, and for that to happen, the team must be led well.

“In this program, students will learn how to build an innovative culture that cultivates engagement and enthusiasm, challenges people to take risks within a safe environment, and fosters learning and independent thinking,” said McHugh.

The Crowell advantage is that students learn leadership and innovation in a culture which honors the ultimate leader and the ultimate innovator, God.

“Leadership is an often misused and misunderstood term,” said Professor of Leadership and Ethics Helen Mitchell. “Even less understood is the biblical basis for leadership and how to walk in it as a holy calling, how to hold an eternal perspective and fulfill God’s work here on earth. We will take an in-depth view into scripture and God’s purposes and vision for leaders and how we can fulfill that calling — aligned with his kingdom principles — and affect our communities and workplaces.”

The program is designed to be flexible for working adults and can be completed either fully online or through a hybrid model of online and in-person study. Faculty and professional mentors will be available for one-to-one advising. Students can complete the 36 units by attending part-time, taking 6 units per trimester, and can complete the program in two years. Students who are able to study full-time can take 9 units per trimester and earn their degree sooner.

Applications are already being accepted. Learn more about the new M.A. in Leadership and Innovation program.

Photo by Ramón Salinero on Unsplash