CIIS Transformative Inquiry Department

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Transformative Leadership MA and Transformative Studies Ph.D.

Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership

A Passion for Creative Transformation

The Transformative Leadership MA is a uniquely innovative distance-learning program that integrates extensive practical skills with deep self-reflection and an emphasis on creative action in the world. The program prepares students to embody leadership and mobilize their creativity in many different ways, whether in organizations, social movements, or a range of activities requiring personal initiative and dedication to making a difference.

Transformative Leadership offers a creative incubator for new forms of leadership in a rapidly changing world. New forms of leadership are needed in all dimensions of life, not just in boardrooms and governments. Transformative Leadership explores leadership along four dimensions: new ways of being, relating, knowing, and doing, all requiring new perspectives, skills, and personal practices. Transformative leadership holds that as we change the world we also change ourselves, and as we change ourselves we also change the world.

The transdisciplinary curriculum develops students' abilities to reflect on their mission in life, apply leading edge research, develop new sets of skills, and creatively act in the world. Faculty and students create a rich and supportive online learning community that provides a context where students can create their own approach to leadership, based on their personal values, capacities, and mission in life.

This innovative program culminates in a Capstone Action Project that demonstrates leadership in the world and allows students to apply their learning and test their theories and assumptions about leadership in real time. The lessons learned from this project are often stepping stones for new initiatives and life paths for our graduates.

The program also offers a unique set of electives, including a set of courses specifically designed to address issues related to LGBTQ leadership and policy.

PhD in Transformative Studies

Scholarship, Creativity, Self-Inquiry
The primary focus of the doctoral program in Transformative Studies is to develop thought-leaders who are committed to exploring leading-edge issues in innovative ways that combine scholarship, creativity, and self-inquiry.

The program places great value on developing the ability to participate in the scholarly discourse through publication, and on the importance of viewing academic inquiry as an opportunity for personal and social transformation, while grounding transformative processes in academic depth, rigor, and imagination.

The program focuses on the development of the following capacities:

Making an original transdisciplinary research contribution in a chosen area of inquiry.
Engaging in inquiry as a creative and collaborative process in the context of a community of learners.
Engaging inquiry as an integral, spiritual, and transformative process of personal and social transformation.Applying one’s research to real-world problems, articulating and embodying one’s values, and skillfully putting theory into practice.

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