The ever-changing global economy seems to brim with opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs and driven professionals. Many would-be managers, directors and executives are choosing to pursue graduate degrees to advance their careers and unlock their leadership potential. Lewis University’s online Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership (MAOL) is a degree for the 21st century. The program focuses on practical leadership skills necessary to effect organizational change and progressive management.

Human skills such as conflict resolution, critical thinking, communication and team building are as important today in business as rigorous analytics were 30 years ago, experts say.

Unlike an MBA1 program, which typically teaches students a traditional analytical approach to management, an online organizational leadership master’s program focuses on the human side of leadership in the workplace.

According to U.S. News & World Report, leadership professionals can learn how to work with people effectively, foster their emotional intelligence and help them reach their full potential. An MAOL can be an alternative for those who want to develop leadership expertise, but who may not want to commit to a traditional MBA curriculum.

Those with organizational leadership graduate degrees are finding managerial jobs in higher education, healthcare, human resources, training and development, consulting, non-profit organizations, sales and more.

Lewis University’s program focuses on five unique concentrations with direct relevance to the managerial job market:

  • Higher Education-Student Services: This concentration prepares graduates for managerial careers in post-secondary education. The higher education courses focus on managing student services, serving a culturally diverse student body and addressing leadership and governance issues. The concentration offers training in real-world skills to manage student services at the college and university level.
  • Nonprofit Management*: This concentration gives graduates people-focused skills to help them work effectively with nonprofit organizations like charities, boards and associations. Those who complete this concentration will explore such topics as fundraising strategies, corporate and foundation support, grant and proposal writing and development of volunteer organizations.
  • Organizational Management: This concentration prepares graduates to devise strategies that help organizations reach their goals. Graduates of this concentration will be ready to develop organizational teams, understand organizational cultures, and plan for and manage employees in a range of settings across industries and company sizes.
  • Professional and Executive Coaching*: This concentration equips graduates with advanced coaching tools and strategies to motivate and transform others into effective leaders. Graduates will be prepared to build successful coaching practices of their own and stay attuned to the latest coaching research. The International Coach Federation (IFC) accredited program helps participants to prepare for the ICF’s credentialing exam.
  • Training and Development: This concentration focuses on one of the keys to organizational success. Without employees or volunteers who are working to their full potential, an organization withers. Those who graduate from this concentration are skilled in improving organizational communication at all levels, employing the most effective theories on adult learning and creating successful training programs.

By choosing from this rich array of concentrations in Lewis’ MAOL program, students are able to customize their graduate education to match their professional goals while becoming effective leaders.

Lewis also offers preparation for three graduate certificates: Higher Education Leadership, Organizational Leadership, and Professional and Executive Coaching*.


1 U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved July 6, 2016, from

*Formerly known as the Not-for-Profit Management Concentration
*Formerly known as the Organizational and Leadership Coaching Concentration
*Formerly known as the Graduate Certiticate in Organizational and Leadership Coaching