G.D. in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality

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  • General information
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  • Program requirements
  • Courses
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The Providence School of Transformative Leadership and Spirituality of the Faculty of Human Sciences at Saint Paul University offers a Graduate Diploma in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality. This diploma is conferred jointly by the Senates of Saint Paul University and the University of Ottawa under the terms of the federation agreement between them.

Taught through a hybrid model, the Graduate Diploma provides professional development for established and emerging leaders who are seeking to enhance their practice and skills in leadership and social transformation.

On completion of the Graduate Diploma, qualified students meeting admission requirements may apply for admission to the Master of Arts in Transformative Leadership and Spirituality program and, on admission, complete the requirements of this program with credit granted for relevant courses already completed.

Admission Details

Registration: Full-time and part-time
Program length: Full-time over 3 terms; part-time over 5 terms.
Program delivery: This program is offered in hybrid mode, using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous online classes.


Candidates must meet the following conditions:

  • Hold an honours bachelor degree (4 years) in Humanities or Social Sciences (minimum admission average of 70% or B) and have a minimum of two years of work experience in a leadership role or equivalent volunteer capacity; or hold an honours bachelor degree (4 years) in another discipline (minimum admission average of 70% or B) and have a minimum of five years of work experience in a leadership role or equivalent volunteer capacity.
  • Have attained 6 units in a curriculum that includes reflection on the spiritual dimensions of human experience grounded in either the Humanities, Spirituality or Religious Studies. Prior learning assessment (professional experience, self-teaching, non-credit courses, workplace training, volunteer work, etc.) may be considered.
  • Provide two letters of reference: one professional (providing evidence of personal and professional maturity) and one academic (providing evidence of ability to succeed in a graduate program of study).
  • Provide a CV and a Statement of Purpose.
  • Pass an interview with the program coordinators to verify the candidate’s objectives and abilities for the program.


Compulsory Courses (9 units)

HUM5101 Leadership Theory, Practices and Approaches (3u)
HUM5121 Transformative Leadership and Spirituality (3u)
HUM5301 Practicing Leadership and Professional Ethics: Practicum I (3u)

Optional Courses (6 units)

6 units from:
HUM5103 Justice, Peace and Ecology (3u)
HUM5104 Indigenous Spiritualities and Transformative Leadership (3u)
HUM5114 Women’s Spiritualities and Transformative Leadership (3u)
HUM5115 Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (3u)
HUM5123 Transformative Leadership and Learning Communities (3u)
HUM5124 Transformative Leadership and Psychology (3u)
HUM5125 Worldview, Religion and Culture (3u)

HUM 5101 - Leadership Theory, Practices and Approaches

Overview of current literature on the theories, practices and approaches to leadership. Exploration of definitions and the dynamics of transformative learning and their implications for the development of effective leadership.

HUM 5103 - Justice, Peace and Ecology

Study of the interrelationship of justice, peace, and the ecology in the context of what it means to be human. Focus on the challenges that this poses for ethical action in the contemporary global context. Explores current issues in dialogue with social justice frameworks and other relevant sources.

HUM 5104 - Indigenous Spiritualities and Transformative Leadership

Study of Indigenous spiritualities and approaches for inclusive and connected practices of leadership. Examination of the spirituality-based knowledge of Indigenous peoples, including their philosophies, worldviews, sacred ways of knowing and modes of relationship to the natural world.

HUM 5114 - Women’s Spiritualities and Transformative Leadership

Study of the creative connections between women, spirituality and transformative leadership. Biographies of women as transformative leaders. Shifts to new framings about how we think about human society and our collective beliefs, practices and policies. Exploration of how new framings can be put into action for positive social change.

HUM 5115 - Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

Overview of the main diversity markers (ex. culture, race, religion, age, social class, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, capacity) and power relations that define people bearing them as “others.” Exploration of strategies to challenge discrimination and foster diversity and inclusion in a transformative way

HUM 5121 - Transformative Leadership and Spirituality

Study of approaches and methods of spirituality as a fundamental experience of lived faith and values for individuals and communities. Learning to lead from an articulated understanding of spirituality consistent with the student’s personally-defined values and the values of the organization in which the student works. The impact of spirituality on the student leader’s’ identity and practice.

HUM 5123 - Transformative Leadership and Learning Communities

Theoretical frameworks of learning communities that underline systemic and social change. Emphasis on use of language, feedback, vision, inspiration, influence, and creativity as tools for positive change.

HUM 5124 - Transformative Leadership and Psychology

The implications for leadership practice of psychological theories for individual and community dynamics. Impact on competencies, cognitive processes, emotions, behaviours, spirituality, and values. Psychological perspectives on the leader’s practice, role and identity.

HUM 5125 - Worldview, Religion and Culture

Explores secular and religious worldviews considering their formative nature on the development of leadership and communities. Analysis of social milieu, cultural perspectives, social and cultural change and the impact of global issues with reference to, social justice frameworks and socio-historical structures.

HUM 5301 - Practicing Leadership and Professional Ethics: Practicum I

Practice of leadership in a local organization with regular input from an onsite mentor. Introduction to the methods and skills of reflective practice; creation of a learning agreement; professional ethics; structured individual and group reflection and mentoring relationships. Cognitive, behavioural, motivational, ethical, emotional and spiritual elements that are embedded in students’ leadership practices. Graded S/NS.

Prerequisite : HUM 5101 Leadership Theory, Practices and Approaches.

Contact Us

Office of the Associate Vice-Rector, Strategic Enrolment Management
Room 148
Saint Paul University
223 Main Street
Ottawa, ON
K1S 1C4

Notice to gmail address holders, be sure to check your junk mailbox regularly, as due to your server's firewalls our email response to your application may end up there.

Telephone: 613-236-1393
Fax: 613-782-3014

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please leave your documents in the mailbox in front of room 148 when our offices are closed.

Information for future students

Saint Paul University

223 Main Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
K1S 1C4


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