Leadership Programs

Developing Ethical Leaders
Throughout our history, Alvernia University has aimed not only to develop students’ intellectual promise, but also to foster leadership potential with a particular emphasis on ethical and moral perspectives. To support that focus we offer a breadth of programs and initiatives, at the graduate and undergraduate levels, that cultivate leadership development in our students. When coupled with our strength in real-world, hands-on learning, an Alvernia education well prepares students with the skills and competencies that organizations are looking for in their future employees.


Academic Leadership Programs

As the leading provider of undergraduate, master's and doctorate leadership programs for students in the region, Alvernia ensures that all students have access to experiences that help them develop the broad knowledge and intellectual skills needed for successful careers and civic responsibility.


  • Leadership in PhD Program
    In 2006, Alvernia received approval from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to offer a PhD in Leadership. The goal of the program in Leadership leading to a Doctor of Philosophy is to provide an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary focus that requires a critical examination of contemporary theories of leadership, within a value based framework. The program demands academic rigor that engages students in the systematic analysis of research and current theories of leadership; it will also prepare individuals to contribute to the knowledge of leadership and function as agents of change in a contemporary and diverse society. The Leadership program seeks to develop a cadre of talented leaders who aspire to or currently hold positions with leadership responsibilities in educational, community or corporate organizations.
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Leadership
    The Masters of Arts in Leadership program graduates possess the confidence to make tough decisions of real consequence in an uncertain world. To support the program's mission, our leadership program focuses on four principle areas: communication, leadership skills and character, leadership theory, and ethics. In addition to the Leadership Core, you would elect a concentration that fits your career and personal development needs.

  • Leadership Berks
    Leadership Berks is a program dedicated to developing, supporting and connecting leaders in the Berks County community. Participants in a year-long training program develop their talents for leadership through both educational and experiential programming. Graduates go on to assume leadership roles in non-profit community organizations and use their newly developed talents to foster their careers.


O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service

The O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service is a nucleus for dialogue on contemporary ethical and leadership issues, with a focus on promoting interdisciplinary discourse around social justice and Franciscan values. The institute provides undergraduate and graduate students with a broad range of programs, lectures and learning opportunities that link to its mission to foster and promote ethical leadership and public service.


Progressive Leadership Models
Complementing the opportunities linked to classroom and academic programs, students are exposed to experiences that will cultivate their leadership skills through involvement in activities, clubs and athletics.


The Office of University Life provides select students with the opportunity to participate in the Ignite Student Leadership program. Led by the student activities team, with sessions conducted by residence life and coordinated with the O’Pake Institute, this program progressively develops the skills of student leaders, allowing them to help train succeeding generations of student leaders, while forming the leadership talents that will support them in their future careers.

In addition, through a recently established Athletics Progressive Leadership model, student-athlete leaders are trained to assume increased responsibility in leadership roles not only on their respective teams but also within Alvernia’s athletics program and beyond.