Saint Martin's University launches its first doctorate program in leadership studies

Saint Martin’s University launches its first doctorate program in leadership studies

LACEY, Wash. – Saint Martin’s University is excited to announce its first doctorate program in its 125-year history: the Ph.D. program in leadership studies will launch this summer.

“As a Catholic, Benedictine university, we believe in a holistic, multi-disciplinary approach to leadership studies,” shares Kathleen Boyle, Ph.D., provost and vice president of academic affairs at Saint Martin’s. “In this program, we will examine leadership through political, economic and social lenses, while comparing different leadership theories and applied practices. Faculty will incorporate perspectives from several academic disciplines to prepare leaders who learn across a diverse field of study and synthesize this learning in order to lead others through complex problems and opportunities. Graduates will be leaders for life who can adapt and thrive in an ever-changing world.”  

Before coming to Saint Martin’s, Boyle was at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where she was chair of the department of leadership, policy and administration, taught in the leadership doctoral program and directed its Master of Arts in Leadership in Student Affairs Program. At the heart of both the doctoral and master's programs was an interdisciplinary, liberal arts foundation that prepares graduates who contribute to society in multiple settings (businesses, educational institutions at all levels, government and NGOs) while leading others. Boyle earned her doctorate in higher education administration within educational leadership and policy studies from Indiana University – Bloomington. 

“Saint Martin’s new Ph.D. program will build upon our existing and strong values-based master’s programs in education, counseling, business and engineering,” says Chantelle Marker, director of graduate admissions. “With this program, we hope to develop leaders who will be able to work towards social justice from all disciplinary approaches.” For its first cohort, the University is looking for individuals who come from diverse professional backgrounds, such as business, education, government, healthcare, military and nonprofit organizations. Says Marker, “We are looking for students who have a desire to lead, but who also want to develop a deeper understanding of leadership.”

Applications for the Ph.D. program in leadership studies will open in March. For more information about the program, including admissions requirements and program curriculum, please contact Chantelle Marker at


Saint Martin’s University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin’s University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors and 11 graduate programs and five certificate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin’s welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.


For additional information:

Office of Graduate Admissions

The Office of Graduate Admissions can assist you as you consider taking that next step in your educational journey. Saint Martin's University offers master's programs in accounting, business, computer science, counseling, education, and several engineering fields as well as a doctorate program in leadership. We also offer post-baccalaureate certificate programs to advance your career. Our counselors will guide you through the application process, find the resources and information you need, and make sure you feel at home on campus.