Why study Ethical Leadership?

● The minor in Ethical Leadership offers a practical, multidisciplinary approach to the primary theoretical and empirical facets of ethical leadership: conscience, influence, character, power, courage, justice, and the common good.
● The minor will make available, in streamlined and easily navigable fashion, a 2,500-year history of sustained thinking about ethical reasoning, decision science, and leadership theory.
● The minor presents, in concentrated form, the best of what Elms College has to offer:
multidisciplinary personal, professional, moral, and spiritual development in the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph.

What are the objectives of the minor?

The minor in Ethical Leadership aims to deliver on three objectives:

  1. Provide students with a substantive background in the cognitive science of moral reasoning, with particular focus on the concepts most relevant to effective ethical leadership: conscience, influence, character, power, courage, justice, and the common good.
  2. Develop students’ moral decision making abilities through the application of ethical theory to a broad base of contemporary problems in personal, professional, and social life.
  3. Offer rigorous, multicultural training in the construction and critiques of historical and contemporary models of ethical leadership.

What gap would the minor fill?

  • The minor would be the only of its kind in Massachusetts, and one of two comparable programs in New England.
  • There are only three minors in “Ethical Leadership” in the U.S.: North Central College (IL), Guilford College (NC), and DeSales University (PA).
  • There are only a handful of similar minors in the U.S.: Fairfield University (Leadership Ethics), Missouri State University (Ethical Leadership in Communication), Northern Illinois University (Social Change Leadership), Mercer University (Ethics, Leadership, and Service), Mississippi College (Servant Leadership), and St. Joseph’s University (Leadership, Ethics, and Organizational Sustainability).
  • Various minors exist in Leadership, Leadership Studies, Organizational Leadership, etc. across the U.S., but without an emphasis on moral development.

What students would be interested in the program?

  • Current or prospective undergraduate students planning for or already engaged in careers in business, education, science, healthcare, law, social science, CIT, biotechnology, and humanities. In brief, all undergraduate majors can integrate and benefit from this minor.

Where will the program be housed?

  • In the Division of Humanities and Fine Arts.

How long is the program?

  • Approximately 1 year (of concentrated study).

How does this program fit at Elms College?

  • Elms College prides itself on an unwavering commitment to the Catholic intellectual tradition and its indispensable contribution to higher education. This tradition, whose gifts shine most brightly in the humanities, is now paired with yet another distinctive gift for which Elms College is becoming nationally known: training the ethical leaders of the
  • future in a way that challenges them to embrace change without compromising principle, respond creatively to the demands of their chosen careers, and advocate for people in greatest need.
  • The Ethical Leadership minor sustains and develops the tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph, ensuring that its graduates are rooted in faith, educated in mind, compassionate in heart, and responsive to civic and social obligations.
  • On top of the clear net benefit for students, Elms College is quickly becoming a national leader for ethics education, thereby serving as a model by which best practices for other programs will be determined in the future.
  • Ethical Leadership is a pillar of our 5E strategic plan and a hallmark feature of the “Elms+,” which will further distinguish the College regionally and nationally.

Quick Info

For more information about the Ethical Leadership Program at Elms College, please contact Dr. Peter DePergola at depergolap@elms.edu.


Click to view course requirements for the Ethical Leadership minor.

Required Courses (6 credits)

Course #FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
ETH 3305Moral Responsibility (offered every Fall semester)3
ETH 3306Ethical Leadership (offered every Spring semester)3

Elective courses (including, but not limited to): 12 Credits

Course #FormerlyCourse Name# of Credit Hours
BMH 3007Bioethics3
BMH 3009Global Health Ethics3
BMH 3010Clinical Research Ethics3
BMH 3200Comparative Religious Bioethics3
BMH 4500Advanced Research in Bioethics and Medical Humanities3
CIT 1006Cyber Ethics3
PED 2004Ethics in Sports3
PHI 2104Ethics versus Oppression3
PHI 2402Ethics3
PHI 2406Business Ethics3
PHI 2408Healthcare Ethics3
PHI 2600Contemporary Moral Issues3
REL 2004Contemporary Christian Ethics3
REL 3504Life and Death Decisions in Catholic Thought3
SSD 2108Human Oppression3