Skip to Content
You are here:
Home /
/ Servant leadership emphasized in Olivet’s new interdisciplinary minor

Servant leadership emphasized in Olivet’s new interdisciplinary minor

Posted: Mar 13, 2013

Dr. Jay Martinson is passionate about leadership — so much so, in fact, that he spent two years leading the development of a course of study for a new interdisciplinary minor at Olivet. Now, the University will offer a minor in leadership for the first time in the 2013-2014 academic year.

Using his own leadership skills, Dr. Martinson formed a team to develop this minor. Working together with Olivet’s Office of Student Development, Center for Law and Culture, and Center for Student Success, he structured the program to include three new courses plus courses already offered by the University. All agreed that the program would focus on transformational, servant leadership.

“We’re helping those who have a natural bent for leadership to develop into the kind of leaders our country needs so much today,” said Dr. Martinson, a professor and chair of Olivet’s Department of Communication. “Being good at what you do is not all it takes to be a good leader in your field. Good leadership requires training plus development of core skills and character”

Designed to prepare students for leadership roles on campus, in their major courses of study and in their future careers, this minor includes existing leadership-oriented courses as well as new courses in the areas of leadership studies and teambuilding.

As they do the work for this minor, students will complete three core courses plus four elective courses and a leadership capstone project. They will also have opportunities to learn by experience through leadership activities. Their resulting achievements will be ideal to include on transcripts and résumés.

“We are desperately in need of virtuous leaders in public life — men and women of integrity who are called to serve others and thereby glorify God,” said Dr. Charles J. Emmerich, professor of legal studies, legal scholar in residence, and director of the Center for Law and Culture at Olivet. “The new leadership minor addresses this critical need with innovation and excellence. It fosters a biblical approach to leadership by inspiring students to lead publicly in ways that advance Christ and His Kingdom.”

For more information about this minor in leadership and other areas of academic study at Olivet, contact the Office of Admissions at 815-939-5203 or

“True leadership is not about outcomes,” Dr. Martinson said. “It’s about lives changed in the process. We want to prepare leaders who are open to change and have a strong desire to learn from the people they work with.”

The School that would later be known as "Olivet Nazarene University" was founded with 36 students in a one-room schoolhouse near Georgetown, Ill.