Leadership Ethics

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Program Overview

The minor in Leadership Ethics offers a philosophical grounding to student study and practice of the essential concepts related to effective ethical leadership: character, influence, power, justice, and the common good. Its goal is to make available, in a streamlined and easily navigable way, an over 2,500-year history of sustained thinking about ethics, reasoning, and the relation between the two to students interested in leadership positions both within and outside of the university. As such, the Leadership Ethics minor presents in concentrated form what the Philosophy Department can offer – College and University-wide professional and leadership development initiatives within the context of the Jesuit educational tradition.

The Leadership Ethics minor aims to deliver on three objectives:

  • Provide students with a background in the history of ethics, with particular focus on the concepts most relevant to effective ethical leadership: character, power, influence, justice, and the common good
  • Develop student facility by applying ethical theory to a broad base of contemporary questions and problems
  • Offer rigorous training in the construction and critique of arguments


For a 15-credit minor in Leadership Ethics, students must complete the following required courses:

  • PH 101: Introduction to Philosophy
  • PH 224: Critical Thinking
  • PH 297: Leadership Ethics Seminar

Students must also complete two additional ethics-designated courses of their choosing, one of which may be from an ethics-designated course in another department or program (e.g. applied ethics, Honors Program, etc.) Ethics designation is granted by the Philosophy Department and confirms that:

  • A majority of course content concentrates on at least one of the following: the history of ethics, logic and critical thinking, ethical theory and/or its contemporary applications
  • The course places emphasis on at least two of the essential concepts of ethical leadership: character, influence, power, justice, and the common good.

Sample of Ethics-Designated Courses

The department has over 20 existing ethics-designated courses, including, but not limited to:

PH 250: Ethical Theory
PH 252: Philosophy as a Way of Life
PH 222: Evil
PH 260: Social and Political Philosophy
PH 263: The Concept of Human Rights
PH 264: Philosophy of Law
PH 269: Philosophy of the Self and Subjectivity
PH 281: Philosophies of Love and Sex
PH 282: Violence and the Sacred
PH 240: Critical Theory
PH 360: Critical Race Theory


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