Organizational Leadership

Online Master’s Degree: Public Administration / Policy Organizational Leadership

Facilitate Collective and Innovative Solutions for a Common, Public Good

The online M.A. in Organizational Leadership program with a Civic Engagement concentration at CLU produces graduates who are prepared to transform communities, neighborhoods, and regions by facilitating collective, innovative solutions. Graduates demonstrate skillful public sector leadership, advance democratic participation strategies, enable public dialogue and deliberation, and empower communities.  This online master’s degree emphasizes public administration and public policy under its civic engagement concentration and is much more than furthering special interests and individual desires or acting only when threatened; this is why we define civic leadership as the means to create mutual understanding of the responsibilities of diverse constituencies in democratic self-governance who act in unison to pursue a common, public good.

This program prepares current and future leaders in communities and community-based organizations/institutions; in local government; and in elected or appointed positions to craft more purposeful, innovative, and engaged civic communities and to cultivate communities’ capacity to address the complex challenges that they face.

Learning Objectives

The M.A. in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Civic Engagement aligns with the mission of Claremont Lincoln University to produce leaders capable of respecting differences and collaborating with those of different viewpoints to resolve problems.

  • Mindfulness: Apply awareness of self and the multi-faceted perspectives of others to lead in local and global contexts to reach common goals.
  • Conflict Resolution: Assess the cause of conflict in organizational settings and apply strategies to resolve and leverage conflict in diverse environments.
  • Engagement: Evaluate the strengths and limitations of government, civic engagement, and public participation and the distinct roles of each in a representative democracy.
  • Ethics: Lead ethically and responsibly in positions of power in a workplace, community, or organization.
  • Strategic Communication: Demonstrate the interpersonal and engagement skills necessary for effective leaders to achieve innovative and collaborative resolution to community and organization issues.
  • Policy: Identify the elements of and develop the capability to, craft sound policy and programs driven by citizen participation.
  • Leadership Strategies: Articulate and apply the major theories and principles of leadership, conduct analysis and recommend appropriate change strategies.
  • Civic Leadership: Analyze the strategies of engagement and apply appropriate strategies to lead people to effectively work together for sustainable results in the civic arena.
  • Action Research: Research, design, develop, and implement a capstone project plan to affect positive change in an organization.

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Faculty Spotlight: 

“My hope is that students gain an integrated appreciation for the interconnected elements of our CLU core – knowing self, engaging in genuine dialogue with others who are different from us, facilitating collaboration among diverse stakeholders interested in making a change in the world, and working together to make transformative change happen.” – Dr. Audrey Jordan, Faculty Chair


The curriculum for the M.A. in Organizational Leadership with a Civic Engagement concentration begins with a professional assessment that guides you towards self-awareness and defining your own values. You then learn about how to apply those values to leadership and decision-making in the context of various ethical, economic, philosophical, cultural, religious, humanistic and contemporary worldviews.

Civic Engagement courses are taken along with courses from The Claremont Core®. These courses teach the engagement skills necessary to implement the theories and ideas from the concentration courses. You’ll also have the opportunity to interact with and learn from students in other programs.

Civic Engagement Courses

Civic Leader Assessment

This course analyzes various aspects of public leadership, including political leadership, administrative leadership, and civic leadership, and helps you build your own distinctive, public, leadership skills. In this course, students will participate in self-assessment exercises and engage in readings and dialogue that will help them identify their current leadership skills and how they can apply their strengths and weaknesses as well as practical skills to identify negative behaviors, determine toxicity in civic, community, and organizational settings, analyze the causes, and devise strategies to overcome them. This first course in the leadership program offers students the grounding and broad skills necessary to be a more effective and civic leader.

Leading in the Public Sector

This course serves as a field course on community engagement and civic involvement. Students will learn the organizing language, content, and theory around communities and how they operate in society. This organization and content is necessary for elected officials, public administrators and managers (principles), non-profit leaders, community activists, and volunteers.

Trends in Governance

This course focuses on themes and trends that interplay in governance, including social issues, social inequality, and social justice issues. This course is key for civic leaders and authentic engagement because these issues are the very problems civic leadership seeks to solve. The value of this course is that it provides students the opportunity to understand the breadth and depth of challenges and opportunities in communities—and how to address one with specificity and depth in their own Capstone Action Projects.

Creating Public Policy

This course provides key theories, practices, and challenges in formulating and implementing policy changes. The course examines the current implementation landscape, conventional perspectives on political processes, governance and management, and policy and program management, and introduces strategic action fields while exploring fields, organizations, and case studies. Students in this course will examine the challenges of implementing public policy, setting up campaigns, lobbying, building coalitions, with emphasis on building consensus, facilitating collaboration, and creating policy measures that sustain communities. Students will learn how to elicit, harness, and focus the intellectual capital and goodwill of community members, institutions, and stakeholders to create positive social change at the local, national, or international levels.

Community Engagement

In this course, students will understand that, across local and global issues, individuals must be mobilized to create the power to promote change within a community.  Students will learn 1) how to bring together diverse interests from within a neighborhood/community, 2) how to bring together the political, economic, and social power structure from both inside and outside the community, and 3) how to bring all of these groups together to collaborate for positive change. By the end of the course, students will gain the necessary skills to be effective agents of change and to improve the quality of life for people within their own communities and within any community from around the world.

The Claremont Core


At Claremont Lincoln, mindfulness is defined as “focused awareness in the present moment and cultivation of compassion in self and others,” skills which are essential for sustained human development and broader engagement. To that end, this course involves you first and foremost in practices that cultivate self-awareness, mindful reflection, concentration, empathy and compassion (for self and others). By the end of the course, you will better understand the varieties of mindfulness practice, gain personal experience with practicing mindfulness, and be able to apply mindfulness principles in your personal and professional contexts. You will also begin to explore what issue or context you will engage in your Capstone Action Project (CAP).


Effective dialogue is mindful communication that allows shared understanding among diverse constituencies. This course provides critical perspectives and creative activities to increase your communication effectiveness.You will be able to articulate contemporary theories and practices of dialogue to reframe conflict for shared understanding. By the end of the course, you will be able to practice interpersonal, intercultural, and interreligious dialogue in private, professional and public contexts. You also will identify potential dialogue partners around the issue you will address in your CAP.


Collaboration is the co-creative dialogue among key stakeholders to develop strategies for positive change. In this course you will learn to develop strategies to engage diverse stakeholders effectively and create conditions for them to synthesize diverse perspectives. This includes the ability to work with people in a collaborative effort, no matter what cultural diversity or social privilege may exist. By the end of the course, you will be able to better manage interpersonal and organizational conflict and lead in a way that leverages intelligence and self-organization. You also will identify and secure commitment from collaborators for your CAP.


This course engages students in change-making, which is effective collaboration that generates positive and sustainable impact in society. In this course, you will integrate capacities from across the Claremont Core (mindfulness, dialogue and collaboration) to effectively design a project that positively affects a social situation. You will learn to evaluate the effectiveness of a project to improve it. You will demonstrate these abilities by designing an action plan for your CAP.

Capstone Action Project

Putting Your Ideas into Action

Your educational experience at Claremont Lincoln University culminates in the Capstone Action Project. This self-directed project draws on your entire educational experience where you research, analyze, and determine appropriate methods and contemporary strategies for designing and implementing initiatives that generate positive social impact.

Program Highlights

Capstone Action Project

By the end of student’s coursework at CLU, they will articulate and apply a change management program that they can use to facilitate positive change in any context.

Weekend Gatherings

Twice a year at the beginning of the Fall and Spring academic terms, CLU brings together students, faculty, community leaders and friends of the university for an intentional time of networking, socializing, and collaborative learning.


We believe the online format gives working professionals a rich and dynamic collaborative learning environment where they can dialogue with classmates more effectively and engage with the learning on their schedule.



Students that are ideal for the M.A. in Organizational Leadership with a concentration in Civic Engagement include the following career and civic sector interests:

  • Public administration professionals
  • Elected officials
  • Civic services such as Police, Fire and Emergency/First Responders
  • Decision-making positions such as consultants, department heads, and chiefs of staff

Faculty Leadership

  • Darrell Ezell, Ph.D. — V.P. of Academic Affairs
    Darrell Ezell, Ph.D. — V.P. of Academic Affairs
  • Public Policy Master's Degree Online
    Joanna Bauer — Dean of Organizational Leadership
  • Online Master's Degree in Public Administration
    Audrey Jordan, Ph.D. — Faculty Chair
  • Stan Ward
    Stan Ward, Ph.D. — Dean of Capstone Studies

Organizational Leadership: Civic Leadership Articles
Organizational Leadership: Civic Leadership Articles

How Leaders Can Give Feedback that Works

The Visionary Leader: What Does Your Sticky Note Say?

Creativity: An Organizational Win-Win

Leaders, Think of Leadership as Placemaking

Here’s How to Develop Your Leadership Lens

Defining the Action Research Model at CLU

5 Things You Should Know About Action Research

3 Useful Buckets for Leadership

Navigating Leadership: 4 Factors to Consider in Your Leadership Journey

3 Essentials for Becoming a More Confident Leader

3 Essentials for Becoming a More Confident Leader (Part Two)

Capstones / Case Studies
Capstones / Case Studies

Engaging Stakeholders

Workplace Morale

Design Thinking

Enhancing Communication

Workforce Alignment

Capstone Project Pitch

Integration of Core Values