Leadership Styles and Leadership Programs at GCU

Grand Canyon University (GCU) serves as a transformative institution anchored by values of leadership, from advanced leadership programs to diverse and empowering leadership styles in the classroom. Leadership is a top cornerstone in supporting our mission to graduate students as global contributors, innovative thinkers, effective communicators and transformative leaders.

At GCU, we commit to creating diverse experiences for you to build leadership skills and learn different leadership styles so you can pursue a career you may find purposeful. We partner with industry leaders to create our programs and curriculum. We also offer a variety of opportunities for you to embrace your talent and reach your potential toward future leadership.

Leadership is the catalyst for new-age ideas and forward-thinking initiatives. Leaders inspire and motivate others, serve as employee advocates and push individuals toward excellence. We teach a variety of leadership styles at GCU; however, in keeping with our mission to empower and prepare future leaders, we focus on the impact and importance of servant leadership.

Servant Leadership

Our GCU community is dedicated to instilling servant leadership within our programs, curriculum and online learning, as well as throughout campus and student experiences. We aim to educate and produce effective, innovative servant leaders for the workforce and community, locally and globally. Our Christian values support the development of moral authority and ethical practice that cultivate strong leadership skills needed by organizations and industries.

What is Servant Leadership?

Servant leadership is understanding what God's intention is about, emphasizing power, authority, rule, headship, service and humility (as defined by DelHousaye & Brewer, 2004).

"Key traits that result in servant leadership are service, care, love, humility and stewardship," said provost, Randy Gibb, PhD. "A leader must be a role model of a company's core values, and those values need to be embedded into all activities and decisions."

Colangelo College of Business

In the Colangelo College of Business, our programs expose you to diverse leadership styles, including trait, behavioral, situational and contingency approaches to leadership. You will learn about fellowship, transformational and transactional leadership, among other types. Leadership topics cover gender, generational and cultural issues. Our college strongly emphasizes the development of servant leaders, as servant leadership is a pivotal part of the curriculum.

Online MBA Degree

Our online MBA programs can prepare future executives and business leaders with advanced skills in organizational growth, operations management, entrepreneurism and concept innovation within the global marketplace. Examine components that drive business success, and learn how to create a productive company culture. Develop the self-confidence to lead business endeavors and examine managerial concepts and execution strategies to position yourself for career advancement.

Master's Degree in Leadership

The Master of Science in Leadership can build your self-confidence and servant leadership skills to create a collaborative and productive organizational work culture. Explore business leadership models and theories as well as discuss organizational politics, succession planning and management approaches. Develop effective communication skills and influential decision-making through critical thinking and problem-solving.

DBA in Business Management

The DBA in Management degree within our College of Doctoral Studies, provides the foundation for developing strategic management and driving organizational change. This management in business program teaches the skills to meet competitive industry needs and transform business practices. We integrate the dissertation process into your first course and the curriculum. Prepare for scholarly research, evidence-based writing and in-person residencies.

Jerry Colangelo

Jerry Colangelo

We partner with valued leaders who impart decades of experience and industry expertise within our colleges. Jerry Colangelo is a nationally renowned sports executive, influential businessman, community icon and academic dignitary at GCU. In 2014, we named our Colangelo College of Business after this sports and business legend. More than just a name, Colangelo's integrity and outstanding character command an ever greater presence at GCU. 

Advisory Board

Jerry Colangelo speaking to Advisory Board

Leaders from businesses and organizations across Arizona volunteer as members of the Colangelo College of Business advisory board and host internship programs for GCU students. Board members from businesses such as Northwestern Mutual, National Bank of Arizona, Wells Fargo, Seed Spot, Salt River Project, Hilton Resorts, JP Morgan Bank, Position Sports and more help build awareness and advocate on behalf of GCU's business college and GCU.

College of Nursing and Health Care Professions

In the College of Nursing and Health Care Professions, each of our leadership programs focuses on traditional and contemporary leadership styles with dedicated courses related specifically to servant leadership. This foundational leadership style is taught through the lens of the Bible. Many scriptures provide the framework for servant leadership, especially Matthew 23:11, "The greatest among you must be a servant. For those who exalt themselves must be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

MBA & MSN Dual Degree

The MBA and MSN: Nursing Leadership in Health Care Systems program can prepare experienced nurses who have earned a BSN to develop cross-functional business management and leadership skills in nursing, with an emphasis on advanced healthcare theories.

MSN in Leadership

The MSN with an Emphasis in Leadership in Health Care Systems is designed for BSN-prepared nurses who want to advance into a management role. Analyze industry research and enhance your knowledge, values and skills to position yourself for advanced leadership roles within the changing healthcare system.

Doctor of Nursing Practice

The DNP provides MSN-prepared nurses with didactic learning, application-based activities and practice immersion experiences essential for achieving the highest level of the profession. Develop leadership skills while examining theoretical and scientific foundations of healthcare practice. Students are taught to implement evidence-based strategies to improve healthcare delivery and patient outcomes.

College of Engineering and Technology

GCU CET students working in lab

GCU President and CEO Brian Mueller and leaders in engineering and technology collaborate to align our programs with current trends and evolving market needs. These professionals help GCU academicians define the STEM curriculum by addressing best practices, industry standards, projected growth, innovations and entrepreneurial vision required by engineering and technology fields. Our goal is to prepare graduates with the workforce readiness and STEM skills to enter a career in these fields. 

College of Natural Sciences

GCU CNS student in laboratory

The leadership goal of GCU’s College of Natural Sciences is to guide each student as they develop their own model of integrating faith and science. Our faculty are adept at teaching scientific foundation while also providing examples of integration that allow students to be comfortable as both scientists and Christians. When thoroughly examining God’s creations, students may find that their faith can be strengthened by both the material and the examples set by our knowledgeable faculty.

College of Theology


Two students reading the Bible while in front of cross design stained glass

As part of its mission, the College of Theology supports GCU's Christian worldview and commitment to educating students from a distinctly Christian perspective. Our college can help aspiring Christian leaders gain a focused theological education with a foundation grounded in biblical truth. If you are seeking a leadership role within your Christian organization, consider the Master of Arts in Christian Leadership.