Department of Leadership and Organizational Psychology

The Azusa Pacific trolley offers free transportation between East and West campuses, including this stop by Turner Campus Center on East Campus.

Department Overview

The Department of Leadership and Organizational Psychology offers a unique blend of academic and experiential learning that provides students with an effective type of learning experience for personal and professional growth.

The department offers an undergraduate leadership minor that assists students in identifying and developing personal and professional competencies that enable them to contribute more effectively to all areas of their lives, as well as two graduate degree programs, the Master of Arts in Leadership and the Master of Science in Organizational Psychology.

Learn more about the Department of Leadership and Organizational Psychology.

Accreditation

LDRS 103, Calling, Major, and Career Exploration: A Strengths-Based Approach to Life Planning, 3 Units

This course complements LDRS 100 by using a strengths-based approach to life planning in order to specifically help lower-division students make decisions regarding their individual calling, selection of a major, or exploration of a career. Emphasis is on identifying and developing strengths, gifts, and talents. This course is designed specifically for freshmen/sophomores. (Not recommended if you have completed LDRS303).

LDRS 201, Foundations of Leadership, 3 Units

This course blazes the trail for understanding the concepts of good leadership and followership, identifying oneself as a leader, discovering one's sense of calling, establishing a commitment and plan for whole-person leadership development, seeing leadership through an interdisciplinary lens, and grounding one's "leadership story" in an awareness of current history and the reality of the Kingdom of God. Through creative experiences, meaningful texts, and powerful assignments, students are prepared for further leadership education.

LDRS 303, Career and Life Planning, 3 Units

For students entering the professional world, this course aids in understanding career development options, finance management, and coping with stress. Students gain a greater understanding of their strengths, values, interests, skills, and personality as they seek employment and/or apply to graduate school. Relevant guest presenters spend class time sharing important information that benefits students in planning for careers and life.

LDRS 311, Leadership Values and Virtues, 3 Units

This course views leaders as authentic servants committed to transformation. Students study the leader's motivations, the dreams of followers, conflict resolution, as well as personal, intellectual, and civic virtue. Perspectives for steering clear of bad leadership and toward collaboration with those who share the leader's commitment to the common good are considered. The course focuses on the development of leaders who are responsible, good, humble, and who understand the diverse values of others.

Prerequisite: LDRS 201 (may also be taken concurrently) or junior standing or department consent.

LDRS 311H, Leadership Values & Virtues - Honors, 3 Units

This course views leaders as authentic servants committed to transformation. Students study the leader's motivations, the dreams of followers, conflict resolution, as well as personal, intellectual, and civic virtue. Perspectives for steering clear of bad leadership and toward collaboration with those who share the leader's commitment to the common good are considered. The class focuses on the development of leaders who are responsible, good, humble, and who understand the diverse values of others.

Prerequisite: LDRS 201 (may also be taken concurrently), Junior standing, or departmental consent. Must also be a student admitted to the Honors College and be considered a member in "active" status

LDRS 322, Leadership Strengths and Skills, 3 Units

This course focuses on a strengths-based approach to leadership and leadership development, as well as the skills necessary for good leadership. Opportunities to understand and practice essential skills such as continual learning, powerful communication, problem solving, managing process, goal achievement, conflict resolution, win-win negotiating, and empowering stewardship are woven throughout the course. Training additional leaders is also a key topic. Effective leadership practice through emphasis on strengths development is the goal of this course.

Prerequisite: LDRS 201 (may also be taken concurrently) or junior standing or department consent.

LDRS 333, Leadership Influence and Impact, 3 Units

This course looks at the leader as agent of change on three levels: personal change, influence on individuals and small groups, and impact on cities, organizations, and cultures. Through historical reflection and developing a systemic vision, students are equipped to make a difference in many social settings. By learning to work as mentors, facilitators, and ambassadors, emerging leaders can leave a dynamic legacy.

Prerequisite: LDRS 201 (may also be taken concurrently) or junior standing or department consent.

LDRS 335, Leadership Communication, 3 Units

This course teaches students the theoretical, empirical, and practical aspects of leadership communication by taking a distinct communication approach to leadership studies. Topics covered include leadership and followership communication styles and practices; various leadership theories and perspectives; power and influence; team/group leadership; organizational, crisis, and public leadership; diversity; ethics in leadership; and leadership development.

LDRS 401, Leadership Studies Capstone, 3 Units

This course deepens students' capacity for leadership based on wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. In addition to concluding the leadership minor by linking leadership practice to leadership theory, students dialogue about leadership issues such as gender, community, temptation, finding one's voice, mission, and the whole-person model. A thoughtful and thorough final project and a high-quality portfolio presentation are crafted to integrate students' learning about leadership and to provide a postgraduation plan for lifelong leadership development.

Prerequisite: LDRS 201, LDRS 311, LDRS 322, LDRS 333

LDRS 497, Readings, 1-3 Units

This is a program of study concentrating on assigned readings, discussions, and writing arranged between, and designed by, a student of upper-division standing and a professor approved by the Program Chair. The course allows the student to identify a specific leadership theme and investigate it further.

LDRS 501, Foundations of Leadership Theory, 3 Units

This course provides a conceptual and practical survey of predominant leadership theories providing students with opportunities for critical reflection and application. A focus is given to transformational theories of leadership and application is made to the M.A. in Leadership core competencies.

LDRS 502, Cornerstones of Christian Leadership, 3 Units

This course utilizes APU's Four Cornerstones to discuss leadership from the Christian tradition. Students look at the example of Jesus, the ultimate servant leader, and how His followers through history have both succeeded and failed in following His example. Through probing into how Christian scholars have written about and understood leadership, as well as seeking to show that the goal of Christian leadership is to serve God and the common good of humanity, students gain a faith-based benchmark for further studies in leadership.

LDRS 503, Organizational Behavior, 3 Units

This course investigates the effective functioning of individuals and groups within organizational settings. Emphasis is placed on how leaders perceive organizations from strategic design, organizational culture, and political environment perspectives. This course applies theoretical concepts to major organizational challenges such as organizational effectiveness, motivation, conflict, job stress and satisfaction, and decision making. The focus of the course includes organizational communication, as well as the attitudinal and behavioral implications for leaders.

LDRS 510, Creative and Collaborative Leadership, 3 Units

This course enables students to integrate the concepts of personality, leadership, and creativity; investigate collaborative leadership; identify and apply creativity and preferred leadership styles; and explore the effects leadership styles can have on given organizational communities.

LDRS 511, Exploration of Leadership Thought, 3 Units

This foundational course provides an overview of the evolution of leadership thought, including a review of the fundamental theories and principles that led to the study of leadership as a discipline, as well as an examination of the story of leadership from a biblical perspective. Students are introduced to a holistic framework for leadership development informed by an understanding of the importance of ethics, values, and spirituality from a Christian worldview.

LDRS 512, EQ I: Self-Leadership, 3 Units

This course focuses on the self-competence elements of emotional intelligence - leader self-awareness and leader self-management - from psychological, spiritual, emotional, and developmental perspectives. Students enhance their self-leadership through the improvement of self-competence and self-development.

LDRS 516, Leadership Development and Practice, 3 Units

This course emphasizes the process of leadership development from a transformational perspective. Students consider both their personal growth and the dynamic mechanisms necessary for facilitating the development of others. Emphasis is on the issues and challenges of creating a lifelong learning mindset individually and organizationally, mentoring strategies, team building, developing effective followers, and designing career development systems. This course provides the opportunity for application through a practicum assignment.

LDRS 520, Understanding Vocation in a Changing World, 3 Units

This course focuses on understanding one's true overarching vocation in life as it connects to the purposes of God in this world to steward the earth and its peoples. One's vocation then influences what one does with his or her life. The concepts of career are continually changing, but work/life planning continues to be important personally and professionally. Students have the opportunity to use various self-assessment tools and diagnostic instruments to evaluate their own working history, interests, skills, values, and career anchors. Students also learn to design career programs for organizational settings.

LDRS 523, EQ 2: Relational Leadership, 3 Units

This course focuses on the social competence elements of emotional intelligence - leader/follower social awareness and leader/follower relationship management - from psychological, spiritual, emotional, and developmental perspectives. Students enhance their relational leadership acumen through the study of motivation, and social skills for leader/follower relational development.

Prerequisite: LDRS 512

LDRS 524, Principles and Practices of Design Thinking, 3 Units

Students in this course explore the fundamental principles and practices of design thinking, in relation to the workplace and in the context of the person as leader. Concepts such as creativity, empathy, failure, risk, and creative confidence are explored. This course also provides the opportunity to practice design thinking on personal and organizational levels.

LDRS 532, Leadership Practicum, 3 Units

This course creates a dialogue between previously explored concepts/theories of leadership and the practical experiences of exemplar practitioners. Students are involved in community service and exposed to community leaders for interaction, observation, and analysis. These encounters enable students to assess and activate their leadership journey based on spiritual, mental, educational, and emotional aspects of leadership development.

Prerequisite: LDRS 501, LDRS 502, and LDRS 503

LDRS 533, Systems and Strategic Planning for Leaders, 3 Units

This course focuses on systems thinking from a leadership perspective. By working with stories, scenarios, and strategy, students learn to address complex problems, anticipate consequences, and leverage potential. Attention will be given to the use of narrative for influencing constituent participation. Finally, organizational design is considered as a key concern for leaders in organizations.

Prerequisite: LDRS 501, LDRS 502, and LDRS 503

LDRS 534, Leader as an Agent of Change, 3 Units

This course looks at the leader as an agent of change through three lenses: self examination, change theory, and organizational culture. Each is assessed in light of implications for those involved in the change initiative. Special attention will be given to the transformational change that takes place for leaders and followers when the call for change occurs. Application is made to organizations, informal networks, temporary situations, and other social contexts.

LDRS 535, Leading Dynamic Change, 3 Units

This course focuses on the practice of leading organizational change, as well as the importance of personal change within the life of the leader. Students engage in activities and projects to enhance understanding of the role of the leader as a change agent within the organization.

LDRS 536, Disruptors and Conflict, 3 Units

This course prepares students to manage their responses to conflict in order to leverage disruptive issues in leadership with creative confidence. Through the study of personal and organizational conflict management skills, students become equipped to solve complex issues that are disruptive to personal, team, and organizational functioning.

LDRS 542, Leading Across Cultures, 3 Units

In a pluralistic society, leaders are often tasked with the responsibility of bridging both domestic and international contexts in a convergence of global learning. This seminar will examine the historical, organizational, and interpersonal significance of leading across cultures, with particular emphasis on discerning the underlying values of community behaviors as well as the attitudes, beliefs, values, skills, knowledge, and self-awareness necessary for leaders to effectively serve in diverse contexts. A variety of theoretical, research and applied issues are addressed; in particular, the course aims to explore social location theory as a means of equipping graduates to advance equity and positive change through increased capacity for diversity engagement.

LDRS 547, Navigating Social Climates, 3 Units

This course equips students as leaders in today's globalized organizations and societies who analyze, through multiple lenses, issues of inequity and injustice that exist locally, nationally, and globally. The course utilizes conceptual and experiential learning in which students encounter and reflect on realities of inequity and injustice in the social and natural worlds, in interpersonal, intergroup, and organizational relationships. Students are also expected to begin to develop habits and skills to promote shalom-oriented organizations and communities.

LDRS 548, Strategic Foresight, Thinking, and Planning, 3 Units

This course focuses on engaging the full strategy cycle, which includes strategic foresight, thinking, and planning. Through an applied project, students engage in scanning for trends and developing stories and scenarios; develop strategic thinking skills; and engage in a strategic planning process.

LDRS 559, Curiosity to Inquiry, 3 Units

This pass/fail course underscores curiosity as an innate human capacity and cultivates students' ability to use it toward human-centered inquiry and socially transformative innovations. Students engage in the ideation and inspiration phases of Design Thinking in solving a complex leadership challenge for an organization or a community. Through the process, students are expected to become familiar with traditional as well as innovative data collection techniques and become informed consumers of published research. Successful completion of this course results in a prototype for the leadership experiment, which the student implements in LDRS 560 Leadership Experiment.

Prerequisite: LDRS 511, LDRS 512, LDRS 523, LDRS 524, LDRS 535, LDRS 536, LDRS 547, and LDRS 548.

LDRS 560, Leadership Experiment, 3 Units

As a completion of the M.A. in Leadership program's 4D model of Discover, Design, Develop, and Deliver, this final course helps students continue their leadership experiment started in LDRS 559 and culminates with a TEDx-style presentation. This is a pass/fail course.

Prerequisite: LDRS 559, and enrollment in the M.A. in Leadership program.

LDRS 561, Group and Conflict Issues in Leadership, 3 Units

This course helps the student understand small-group behavior. It uses experience-based methods, case studies, reading material, and simulation. The course examines role behavior, group dynamics, conflict control, leadership, and group development. It also addresses motivation and problem solving as essential elements of organizational behavior.

LDRS 563, Ethical Decision Making, 3 Units

This course investigates the intersection of ethics and effective decision making. Students will explore ethical implications of the decision making process, with particular emphasis on the ways that ethical decision making applies to individuals, groups, and organizational systems. This course applies theoretical concepts to significant organizational problems requiring effective decision making processes. Attention will be given to systematic rational approaches as well as the role of intuition and group dynamics in the decision making process. The course will utilize lecture, case study analysis, group exercises, review of current literature, classroom discussions, and simulations to create an effective learning environment.

LDRS 571, Leadership for a Learning Environment, 3 Units

This course looks at the leader's role in designing and implementing effective learning strategies and effective methods for educating adults. Emphasis is given to the creation of programs that focus on learning styles, discussion-oriented teaching, inspiring presentation skills, and results-oriented outcomes. During the course, students are given opportunities to demonstrate competency in the principles and practices of materials development, teaching, training, and skill development.

LDRS 592, Research Methods and Design, 3 Units

This course provides an introduction to basic concepts, principles, and methods of evaluation and research in the leadership setting, focusing on research traditions, procedures, theories, and methods. Emphasis is placed on identifying methods appropriate for particular research questions and conducting disciplined inquiry regardless of method selected. Particular emphasis will be placed on identifying a research question and conducting a comprehensive review of relevant literature.

LDRS 593, Applied Research, 3 Units

This course provides an introduction to basic concepts, principles, and methods of evaluation and applied research in leadership settings, focusing on action research methodology. A faculty-student collaborative process, participatory action research allows students to engage in inquiry and action for change in response to organizational or community problems. During the course, students will identify a research question in their personal leadership contexts, review the current research literature, develop a plan to collect initial data, and present their project and findings to the class. At each stage of inquiry, the professor and peer research groups will provide feedback.

Prerequisite: LDRS 592 (May be taken concurrently)

LDRS 595, Capstone Project in Leadership, 3 Units

The capstone course is an opportunity for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the goals for learning established through the M.A. in Leadership program competencies. The course assesses cognitive, affective, and applied learning in a student-centered and student-directed manner which requires the command, analysis, and synthesis of knowledge and skills. The capstone course integrates scholarship and praxis through the development of a literature review and 360-degree assessment and requires application of that learning to professional and personal contexts as evidenced through artifacts demonstrating competence. In culmination of their graduate studies, students will formulate a personal philosophy of leadership and develop a personalized growth plan that synthesizes their academic learning and outlines future professional and intellectual goals.

Prerequisite: Students enrolled in the M.A. in Leadership program

LDRS 597, Current Issues in Leadership, 3 Units

Current topics are chosen for discussion, research, and decision making relevant to the Organizational Leadership emphasis.

LDRS 598, Special Topics, 3 Units

In this course, a topic of current interest or need is examined in depth. Students analyze and evaluate topics/ issues to reach and express a position, provide training for a particular population, or enhance personal development. If students elect this course more than once during their program, each course must address a different topic.

LDRS 599, Readings in Leadership Studies, 1-3 Units

The independent study vehicle allows students and their sponsoring faculty members to pursue approved investigations beyond regular course offerings.

OPSY 501, Introduction to Organizational Psychology, 3 Units

This course is an introduction to the field of organizational psychology, providing an overview of the fundamentals of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Students are introduced to the field along with the various sub-fields with the discipline. Special consideration is given to topics that integrate the application of psychology to organizational environments. Coursework will provide a history of I/O psychology, offer a comparative review of topics within both Industrial Psychology and Organizational Psychology, and help students gain a fundamental understanding of employee selection, training, motivation, job satisfaction, communication, group behavior, and stress management. The course will also include a review of the organizational psychology literature as well as ethical guidelines and professional standards governing the practice of organizational psychology.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MS, Organizational Psychology program.

OPSY 502, Organizational Ethics, 3 Units

This course presents philosophical and ethical perspectives integral to understanding the moral context of leadership and decision-making within organizations. Students learn how virtues and values frame leadership development, gain an appreciation for ethical and moral reflection in decision-making, and understand the processes and rewards of character within organizational relationships.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MS, Organizational Psychology program.

OPSY 503, Group and Organizational Behavior, 3 Units

This course offers a behavioral science approach to organizational life and enables students to investigate the effective functioning of individuals and groups within organizational settings. Emphasis is placed on the psychology of teams, team dysfunction, group conflict, and organizational culture. This course applies theoretical concepts to challenges such as team dynamics, conflict, decision making, and organizational behavior patterns.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the M.S. in Organizational Psychology program; successful completion of OPSY 501 is recommended.

OPSY 505, Individual and Team Assessment, 3 Units

Students receive instruction and training in individual assessment techniques for vocational and business applications including pre- and post-employment assessment for selection, onboarding training, advancement, developmental or remedial coaching, and succession planning. Students are introduced to qualitative and quantitative assessment methods as key tools for leadership assessment and will learn the importance of assessment in organizational and leadership dynamics, gain competency in the use of several key assessment methods and instruments, and learn to apply these instruments to leadership development within work team environments. Students will also be introduced to job analyses and use measurement tools relevant for assessing occupational interests, abilities, competency modeling, and work-related personality constructs. Students will complete several individual assessments as part of the experiential, outside-of-class portion of the course.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MS, Organizational Psychology program.

OPSY 510, Organizational Assessment and Interventions, 3 Units

Students are introduced to interventional strategies that correspond to the primary issues related to organizational life: change management, organizational culture, and leadership and team dynamics. Students gain competency in focusing on these critical areas of assessment and intervention: qualitative method, conducting needs analysis, proposing consultation projects and employee assistance programs. Students become familiar with research methodologies related to existing programs and successful programs within companies.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of OPSY 501

OPSY 515, Qualitative Approaches for Coaching Application, 3 Units

Students in this course examine theories and practices within the fields of psychology, organizational behavior, business, and other relevant fields as they relate to the practice of executive coaching. They also explore coaching competencies, professional ethics, and models of executive coaching, and are introduced to a repertoire of basic coaching skills applicable to most executive coaching situations (e.g., self-awareness, empathy, listening, questioning, giving and receiving feedback, confrontation, limit setting, demonstrating leadership, etc.).

Prerequisite: OPSY 501

OPSY 520, Consultative Applications of Organizational Psychology, 3 Units

This course approaches the applied aspects of organizational psychology, providing an overview of the consulting process as it relates to external and internal consultation in industry. Students are introduced to the theoretical and practical aspects of providing organizational consultation. Special consideration is given to topics that integrate the competencies needed for applying psychology to organizational environments. Coursework provides an overview of organizational consulting models and frameworks, and focuses on the fundamental steps in the consulting process that lead to high-impact outcomes. The course also includes a review of the organizational psychology literature, as well as ethical guidelines and professional standards governing the practice of organizational psychology.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the M.S. in Organizational Psychology program, and successful completion of OPSY 501.

OPSY 534, Organizational Systems: Theories of Change, 3 Units

This course will engage the idea of organizational change from a systems perspective and approach content through analysis of theory, praxis, and story. Practical application will be explored as to how students can and will be equipped to serve as change agents in both an internal and external consultant role. Special attention will be given to the specific steps involved in identifying the need for change, engaging internal and external stakeholders in the change process, and implementing desired change initiatives.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of OPSY 501

OPSY 542, Organizational Implications of Diversity, 3 Units

This course explores theoretical and practical ideas about diversity in organizations by equipping students to identify and engage individual, societal, and organizational dynamics related to 21st century workplace diversity and inclusion. The course will explore basic psychological processes-including attitudes toward marginalization, structural inequity, privilege, and prejudice-that affect how members of different social groups perceive and interact with one another in organizational settings. Providing critical perspectives on the historical, socio-cultural, and psychological factors of organizational diversity, students will explore the ethical implications of navigating complex organizational cultures and will discuss strategies for fostering and sustaining diversity.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MS, Organizational Psychology program.

OPSY 590, Statistics in Organizational Psychology, 3 Units

This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of statistical ideas and methods that aims to equip students to carry out common statistical procedures and to follow statistical reasoning in the practice of organizational psychology. Principles of measurement, data summarization, and univariate and bivariate statistics are examined. The course also addresses reliability, validity, and utility as criteria for evaluating the quality of any psychological measurement tool. Emphasis is placed on the application of fundamental concepts to real world situations. The course also offers an introduction to basic statistical analysis and use of SPSS program.

Prerequisite: Acceptance into the MS, Organizational Psychology program.

OPSY 592, Research Methodology and Survey Applications, 3 Units

This course introduces and applies quantitative and qualitative research techniques of investigation to psychological activities in organizations. Methods of acquiring, analyzing, writing and presenting qualitative research are presented, and ways of linking quantitative and qualitative data are addressed. Students will learn methods of participant observation, data collection techniques (interviews and focus groups), along with development, administration and analysis of surveys. Related topics will include principles of survey design, item development, attitude and opinion measurement scale development, and reliability and validity of item scales. Students will learn how to design and apply effective research methods in organizational survey application arenas such as job analyses and competency-modeling projects, training, recruitment, customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and 360o performance rating activities. Final project includes developing and administering a small-scale survey. Students will analyze the results and provide deliverables. The course also provides opportunities to enhance statistical analysis skills through the use of the SPSS program.

Prerequisite: OPSY 590

OPSY 595, Introduction to Thesis in Organizational Psychology, 3 Units

This course provides a student researcher with a directed study focused on preparing a master's thesis in leadership. Students identify a worthy research topic, write a comprehensive literature review, select an appropriate research method, and shape a compelling research proposal.

Prerequisite: Permission from the department chair and OPSY 501, OPSY 502, OPSY 503, OPSY 505, OPSY 510, OPSY 515, OPSY 520, OPSY 534, OPSY 542, OPSY 590, and OPSY 592

OPSY 596, Thesis in Organizational Psychology: Data Collection and Analysis, 3 Units

This course provides a student researcher with a directed study focused on completing a master's thesis in organizational psychology. Building on the research proposal completed in OPSY 595, students collect and analyze data and present their findings in the form of a completed master's thesis and oral presentation to the thesis committee.

Prerequisite: OPSY 595

Faculty

Chair

Edgar Barron, Ed.D.

Director, M.S. in Organizational Psychology Program

Wendi Dykes, Ph.D.

Director, M.A. in Leadership Program

Jillian Gilbert, DSL

Administrative Assistant

Emmaleigh Carson

Professor

Michael M. Whyte, Ph.D.

Associate Professors

David Dunaetz, Ph.D.

Jillian Gilbert, DSL

Shawna Lafreniere, Ph.D.

Frances Wu, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Wendi Dykes, Ph.D.

Faculty Emeriti

Gary Lemaster, Ph.D.

Adjunct Faculty

Tara Anderson

John Baugus, MBA, MDR, SPHR

Richard Benjamin

Lacey Dang, M.A.

Meghan Ebersole, M.A.

Robert Fuhs, M.A.

Andre Garces, M.A.

Andrew Gonzales, Ed.D.

Mike Medeiros, D.Min.

Don Pierro, M.A.

Dana Powell, M.A., MBA

Ebenezer Puplampu, M.A.

Amy Rosdil, M.Ed.

Kevin Sewell

Robert Thomason, Ed.D.

Chaili Trentham

Crystel Vargas, M.A.