Christian Doctor of Business Administration

1. Introduction 

Thank you for your interest in the Western Orthodox University Christian Doctor of Business Administration programme. The programme is designed for the serious student who is interested in approaching the nexus between traditional Christian principles and the business world, with particular emphasis on ethics and Biblical standards. The Mentors for this programme include established business leaders who are also ordained ministers of the Gospel.

The program is outlined below, but individual details may be varied on the initiative of the Mentor and/or student, always subject to ratification by the University. In principle, the aim is to provide a fully bespoke, individualized learning experience that takes into account the particular strengths, interests and previous learning of the student, and thus offers a flexible but rigorous route to the degree.

2. Entry requirements 

Candidates must have completed either:

  • an M.B.A. degree, or an equivalent qualification
    or
  • have ten years of full-time (or part-time equivalent) experience in managerial positions in a business context

Candidates will normally have attained the age of twenty-eight years. All candidates will be expected to show a proficiency in the English language.

Candidates will usually be practising Christians who seek to fulfil their religious vocation through a high-level engagement in business. The organizational background of candidates is likely to be very wide, and will include those who hold management positions within substantial churches, nonprofit organizations, charities, social enterprises as well as Christians within the wider business world.

It is a key principle of the University that each application should be considered on its own merits, and admission to the course and all interpretations as to the eligibility for such admission remain at the discretion of the University.

3. How the programme works 

The student will be assigned a Mentor by the University.

There are three Parts to the programme, each of which counts for twenty semester credit hours, making sixty credits in total.

Part 1 – Portfolio of existing professional practice
The student will be required to prepare a portfolio of existing professional practice comprising a detailed survey of experience in management and issues arising from it. The portfolio should be fully annotated to focus on skills developed and learning experiences encountered, with an emphasis on professional development as a manager within the organization. It will be expected that clients and fellow employees will also contribute to the portfolio through supporting affidavits. The portfolio should function as a reflective element of the programme in which the student’s history as a manager is encapsulated. The portfolio is assessed by the University.

Part 2 – Professional project
The student will undertake a professional project that is concerned with the application of Christian ethics and principles to a business context. This context may be within an organization with a specifically Christian mission (such as a church or nonprofit organization) or it may be within a wider context (such as an exercise concerned with Corporate Social Responsibility, policy and ethics in a Christian setting, or work within Christian strategic management.)

The project is assessed by the Mentor and ratified by the University.

Part 3 – A Dissertation
If Parts 1 and 2 have been passed successfully, the student may proceed to the preparation of a dissertation of not more than 30,000 words on a subject relevant to Christian business administration agreed with the University. They will work with their University Mentor and possibly other external experts to produce a cogent examination of a specific topic or issue, which may be related to their practical experience or to an aspect of ethics, theory or policy.

4. Aims and objectives 
The programme is aimed at the serving Christian manager from a variety of professional backgrounds who desires to undertake a programme of direct relevance to their working life and that reflects on their vocation and its practical fulfilment.

The programme is designed to produce graduates with significant insight into the way in which they may integrate the practical challenges of business with God’s plan for their lives in a strong, Biblically-founded ethical framework. It is likely that a number of graduates will seek to occupy management positions in large Christian organizations, including mega-churches and charities, where they will need both a faith-based understanding and advanced skills in management and finance.

The programme also seeks to produce business leaders who are Biblically-based change agents, ready to transform the culture of their organizations by example into one that is attuned to the values of Jesus Christ. To that end, a strong focus in strategic management is possible, with associated skills gained through the study of theory, process, implementation and evaluation. Further specialisms may include strategic human resource management.

The programme fulfils a need for the recognition of achievement that is often ignored by the mainstream or not recorded as formal learning. The successful graduate will be equipped with an awareness of their own management practice that should enable clear thought and planning as to how they can go on to best serve God and their organization in the future.