An Interview with Professor Dr. Scholastica Wilson-Olagunju

Interviewer: What is your background?

Scholastica: I hold degrees in Transformational Leadership, Economics, Business Administration and Statistics. In the past twenty-two years, I have assisted various organizations, including for-profits, non-profits, and governmental agencies in Africa, United States, and Europe to meet their set-up and strategy needs. I have served in a number of organizations, including United Nations Development Program, Mayor’s Office, Washington DC (as an entrepreneurship mentor and coach). In the course of my career, I have founded a few organizations, including Center for Leadership Development (CLD) and the GiveCare Project. CLD offers advisory services to small businesses and nonprofits, while GiveCare uses entrepreneurship as a vehicle for leadership development through micro finance. My goal is to create healthier and more productive communities through specialized funds management, effective leadership and organizational development.

Interviewer: What course do you teach?

Scholastica: I teach the doctoral course – Organizational Assessment. Organizational Assessment is a continuous, iterative process of understanding, engaging, and evaluating organizations as they evolve and change in response to various internal and external stimuli. Transformative organizations must be in a continual process of self-assessment as they meet challenges of an ever-changing world. This course helps students design an organizational assessment process specifically designed for their institutions, which might be a church, an NGO, other non-profit groups, for-profit endeavors, or governmental agencies. Students will learn applied theory as scholar-practitioners. They will develop tools, techniques, and tactics for the purpose of transforming organizations to better achieve their redemptive purposes.

Interviewer: What is your teaching style?

Scholastica: As a scholar-practitioner, I leverage my experience in the field and my research to bring innovative solutions to real world problems in the classroom. Additionally, I invite industry experts and successful business leaders to share their wisdom and proven business practices in live class sessions to enrich my students’ online global learning experience. I combine faculty-led in-class lectures, case studies, student research presentations, directed group discussions and projects, book reviews and assignments to help my students develop skills that are immediately transferable to personal and organizational life. As BGU’s president, Brad Smith puts it, “BGU faculty have the highest academic credentials, but they share their teaching load with street practitioners and front-line innovators. Assignments are rigorous, but they have immediate application to real life and ministry”.

Interviewer: What motivates you to teach?

Scholastica: I believe that organizations, including businesses, nonprofits, governments and community initiatives play vital roles in community development and nation building. Teaching the Organizational Assessment course affords me the opportunity to equip organizational leaders with the skills they require to assess their organizations, so that they function optimally as engines of growth and stakeholders in developing their economies. In this way, leaders can utilize their organizations as vehicles to create shalom communities.

Interviewer: What is unique in the way you teach?

Scholastica: Over the past twenty-two years, I have developed a unique combination of skills working across for profit, nonprofit, and governmental organizations. My training in Christian ministry has also afforded me the privilege to serve in various Christian leadership capacities. My wide range of experience across four continents, coupled with my multi-disciplinary academic background, enables me to provide relevant knowledge to students who come from a wide range of disciplines, organizational backgrounds, and cultures. As a scholar-practitioner, I utilize my professional experience and research to deliver solutions to real world problems in the classroom. I also work to ensure that my students discover themselves and the heart of their organizations as they learn the skills needed to position their organizations for higher performance.

Interviewer: What brings joy to your heart?

Scholastica: I am gladdened when organizational leaders live purposefully and commit to building purposeful organizations. Purpose driven organizations measure success using the quadruple bottom-line (4Ps) - purpose, people, planet and profit, which provide a robust benchmark for organizational success. I am exceptionally joyful when students reclaim their spirituality and calling on their learning journey to position their organizations for higher performance.

Dr. Scholastica Wilson-Olagunju is member of BGU Adjunct Faculty.