Courses Begin for the First-ever University of Sioux Falls Doctorate Cohort 

June 2, 2021,

Twenty-nine students will gather on June 3rd and begin courses as the first-ever University of Sioux Falls Doctorate in Leadership cohort. 

“We are beyond excited about getting this first cohort started,” said Dr. Bruce Blumer, Doctoral Program Director. “USF’s Doctorate in Leadership has been a long time in the making, and it has generated a great amount of interest from the community. This year’s cohort comes from a variety of fields such as K-12 education, higher education, business and healthcare. We are also seeing interest from people in ministry and the military. The interdisciplinary nature is going to create a unique learning experience for each of our students.”

The University of Sioux Falls’ addition of a new Doctorate in Leadership program serves as a continuation of the university’s long-term commitment to producing leaders in industry, non-profits, schools, churches and communities.

“We believe the Doctorate in Leadership program will deliver a significant and positive impact to our region and provide the foundation for USF students to truly transform the leadership roles in their respective fields,” said Dr. Brett Bradfield, President of the University of Sioux Falls.

This is the first-ever Doctorate in Leadership from a Sioux Falls university for the Sioux Falls community and beyond. 

University of Sioux Falls garnered direct input from area businesses and organizations in developing the program to meet the needs of area employers and the region, and its graduates will help position our state for future success in a variety of industries including business, education, health care, ministry, non-profits and more.  

“Our goal has always been to provide truly transformative education,” said Julie McAreavey, Associate Vice President for Continuing & Professional Studies, and who led development of the new program. “The new interdisciplinary doctorate program continues this mission and is designed to offer a collaborative experience for those seeking a Christian focused approach to leadership in today’s world.”

And while other doctorate programs have been available in Sioux Falls through partnerships and consortiums, this one will be fully taught by USF professors with on-campus, online and hybrid courses, which allow for both flexibility and a valuable cohort experience where students will regularly meet face-to-face in either the on-ground or virtual environment.

The program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and will take approximately 39 months to complete.  

What’s unique about this program is the applied dissertation in practice that begins early in the program to provide students a more manageable writing process, thus improving the likelihood of graduation compared to other doctoral programs. Professionals can continue working full-time throughout the entire degree, and will take on an important issue within their own professional context, be that in their workplace, in their field, or an approved special topic that’s in line with the aims of the degree program. 

“We’re hoping that organizations will see the benefit and consider full or partial financial assistance to their employees,” said Dr. Blumer. “When these graduates bring research back into their workplace and share ideas and processes for improvement, we believe organizations will be interested in supporting future students.”

The new Doctorate in Leadership program adds to the University of Sioux Falls’ comprehensive workforce development approach and continuing education opportunities by joining existing programs including degree completion, certificates, associate degrees, bachelor degrees as well as MBA and graduate education offerings.

Learn more about this new program at

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