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Master of Arts in Educational Leadership (MAEL): Social Emotional Learning, Character, and Ethics

Servant Leadership Institute | School of Education

Educational Leadership with a Specialization in Social Emotional Learning, Character, and Ethics

Today’s leaders in education understand how to awaken a passion for learning in their students. They build bridges between policy, student needs, and teaching strategies to provide holistic instruction that supports students’ growth and development to help them thrive in the modern world.

Concordia’s MA in Educational Leadership equips educators with a contemporary understanding of complex social, cultural, and policy issues and best practices to build school programs that engage with the real world. This fully online master’s degree embodies the principles of servant leadership and the practices of social emotional learning to train leaders who can meet students’ mental, social, emotional, and educational needs.

Our new Master of Arts in Educational Leadership with specialization in Social Emotional Learning, Character, and Ethics is a result of the combined efforts of Concordia’s renowned School of Education and our Servant Leadership Institute. The desire to train and empower more leaders in education inspired Concordia to create a cutting-edge program to make a real difference for both teachers and students. Designed to meet the needs of today, this new graduate program delivers relevant curriculum based on the latest research and best practices for modern education.

8 Week Classes

8-Week Classes

Concentrated, 8-week classes allow for deep learning across a wide range of educational leadership courses.

Asynchronous Online Learning

Asynchronous Online Learning

Learn according to your needs and schedule. All of our educational leadership courses are online and asynchronous.

Six Starts per Year

Six Starts per Year

Enroll and begin your studies at the start of any of the six terms: Fall I & II, Spring I & II, or Summer I & II.

Finish in 12 months

Finish in 12 Months

Complete your MA degree or graduate certificate in a single year by taking two classes per 8-week term or in two years by taking one class at a time.

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Educators having a conversation

Servant Leadership

Servant leadership lies at the heart of this graduate program. We’re building up cohorts of committed servant leaders who embody humility, compassion, patience, honesty, and courage to build relationships, create a vision, communicate, and motivate excellence in their schools and communities.

The Servant Leadership Institute is a key partner in the design and delivery of this transformational Educational Leadership program.

Teacher speaking with students

Social Emotional Learning, Character, and Ethics Specialization

Social emotional learning skills (SEL) are critical to students’ educational development. In fact, 99% of principals see SEL as important and teachable [Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL)]. Developing self-awareness, self-control, and interpersonal skills are vital for success in school and beyond. At Concordia, we bring a unique approach to SEL that blends leading practices with a special focus on character and ethics.

Educators having a conversation

Two Paths: Master of Arts or Graduate Certificate

Educators embrace the merits of lifelong learning. To support that continuous pursuit of knowledge, we have two different levels of our Educational Leadership program.

Educators can either earn their Master of Arts in Educational Leadership degree with an emphasis in Social Emotional Learning, Character, and Ethics (30 units) or they can complete only the emphasis and receive a Graduate Certificate in Social Emotional Learning, Character, and Ethics (15 units). Both paths offer the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to promote long-term change and build positive school environments with support systems to reach the whole child.


Concordia University has a strong faculty of experienced Christian educators who are faithful to the university’s mission to “empower students. . . for lives of learning, service, and leadership.” Our students benefit from educators who embrace the tenets of servant leadership and treat students with respect while pushing them to reach their full potential.

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier

Professor & Servant Leadership Institute Director

Dr. Kent Schlichtemeier started his teaching career in 1978 and transitioned from secondary to collegiate education in 1988. Dr. Schlichtemeier served as a professor in the School of Education at Concordia University Irvine from 1988-2003 where he mentored future teachers while also completing his doctorate in Educational Leadership at UCLA in 1996. Dr. Schlichtemeier served as a teacher and Assistant Principal at Orange Lutheran High School from 2003-2007 before returning to teach at Concordia, serving as Dean of the School of Education, and founding the Servant Leadership Institute.

Lori Doyle

Prof. Lori Doyle

Assistant Professor and Program Director

Professor Lori Doyle’s career in education began at the high school level teaching English and Theology and coaching basketball. She has served as a professor in multiple online degree programs, and now works as a professor of education and is the director of the Educational Leadership and MAED Curriculum and Instruction programs at Concordia. She also serves as the Subject Matter Expert for the following MAED courses: Curriculum Design and Assessment (EDU/EDUT 520), Coping with Stress and Violence in Today's Classrooms (EDU 524), and Educational Discourse: Change and Reform (EDU 550). Prof. Doyle is currently working on a PhD in Psychology with an emphasis in Cognition and Instruction from Grand Canyon University.

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Admission Requirements

Start Term Start Date
Fall I August 22, 2022
Fall II October 17, 2022
Spring I January 9, 2023
Spring II March 6, 2023

Applicants must satisfy the following criteria and complete all submission requirements to be considered for acceptance into the MA in Educational Leadership Program:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher from a regionally accredited institution
  • Online application
  • $50 non-refundable application fee
  • Official copies of highest degree-granting institution transcripts
  • Cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher
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Related Programs

Concordia’s Graduate School of Education offers four graduate certificates, five distinctive Master of Arts in Education (MAEd) graduate degrees, and a Doctorate of Education (EdD) in Leadership. Classes are small and focused on the development of critical, independent thinking, and are taught by experienced Christian faculty members. Concordia’s School of Education enjoys an excellent reputation in the academic community as thousands of graduates lead in schools throughout the region. Students gain targeted knowledge and proficient skills to connect, care, collaborate, and create in their unique role in education. Our goal is to equip students to pursue opportunities and advance their careers.

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