Minor in Ethical Leadership to be Offered

by William Edwards ’15 | May 13, 2015

DeSales University Biology Class Fall 2013 

DeSales University will offer a minor in ethical leadership starting in fall 2015, an interdisciplinary program designed to equip students with the capacity to make ethical decisions while working in their specific field of choice.

The minor will be housed under the philosophy and theology departments but is open to students of any major, as its required course options are being drawn from 16 academic disciplines. It will be offered in the traditional day program as well as the adult evening program (ACCESS).

Six classes will be required for fulfillment of the minor: two of three core courses, which include “Introduction to the Devout Life,” “Ethics of Character: The DeSales Experience,” and “Leadership Self Development: The DeSales Experience,” as well as two courses selected from an ethics category and two courses from a leadership category. Both of these classifications will include courses from numerous academic arenas to allow the minor’s customization to a student’s respective area of study.

Dr. Stephen Loughlin, department chair of philosophy and theology, spearheaded the program’s development and proposal and said the new minor was another way DeSales differentiates itself.

“People who graduate from universities take up many and varied positions within the world, but one of the things that makes a DeSales education distinctive is the fact that we have a Catholic, Salesian character, which importantly molds our mission statement, which then acts as a guide for all of our different programs, the material we teach, the way we present ourselves, and so forth,” Loughlin said.

“So with this minor as an extension of that, we hope to have some kind of influence on the development of character, especially as we bring that character to the world--that we manifest a certain leadership capacity in whatever area of life we end up in.”

The Minor was created based on the Student Life department’s freshman “Character U” program and its four-year continuation, the DeSales Experience, which started in 2006 and 2013, respectively, and aim to develop well-rounded students with an inclination toward service and extraordinary leadership. The minor will provide these programs with heavier academic and intellectual value. 

Chad Serfass, director of the “DeSales Experience,” along with University Chaplain Fr. Tim McIntire and Dean of Students Linda Zerbe assisted Loughlin with the minor’s formation.

“We are now backing what we do with character and leadership with an actual minor that students can achieve, no matter their major,” Serfass said. “This will also help tie student life with academics and possibly form more relationships in the future.”

Like Serfass, Loughlin is hopeful that the partnership will be the seed for future interconnected programs and said he anticipates the minor in ethical leadership to see success.

“We have high hopes for this,” Loughlin said. “It’s yet another way that this University is able to show the world that we have something that is unique, that is distinctive, and something that will allow students to take that much more from this very good place and to be able to apply it practically in whatever area of life they end up becoming leaders in.” 

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