Why is BGU Offering a Ph.D.?

Those of you who follow BGU through may have been asking yourself this question when you heard that a BGU Ph.D. has been approved. Pursuing a Ph.D. is usually considered to be a high-brow, very theoretical, university-focused, imminently unpractical research endeavor. That is the opposite of what BGU stands for: transformation of society focusing on urban settings, its challenges, and joys. Our vision continues unchanged: to offer quality leadership development to Kingdom leaders in urban settings around the globe.

Just to calm your fears – BGU is not “going theoretical”. The reality is that many strong academic, degree-granting programs already serve the global community. BGU has something unique to offer people who lead in their churches, NGOs, and mission-centered organizations – a Ph.D. program with a strong emphasis on innovation that produces transformation in society while being based on disciplined research and high academic standards. It is a delicate balance to maintain, but a strategically important equilibrium for Kingdom leaders who desire to further prepare themselves for wider and more impactful service in their countries. 

Obviously, we have designed our Ph.D. to be an extension of our masters and professional doctoral programs – with the added emphasis on a more rigorous standard of research that will form a foundation for the innovative solutions needed to address urban problems.

How will we maintain this balance?

It is the leadership of BGU’s Ph.D. program which will guarantee that the complementary focus of research-based practice permeates the teaching, mentoring, and research-driven by the Ph.D. program. 

  • Dr. Martine Audéoud came to BGU several years ago with the desire to develop a Ph.D. program. Her years of missionary service include Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Niger, and Haiti. Born in France, she has embedded herself in African society, becoming a global educational leader dedicated to the development of global leadership across the world.

  • Dr. Lester Hirst, the academic coordinator for our Ph.D. program, has championed leadership development in Latin America and Asia as a missionary as well as serving Compassion International on their Global Leadership Development team.

  • Dr. Claire Henry led the design team for the Ph.D. program, culminating in the approval of the new offering by the TRACS accreditation agency in November of 2019. Dr. Henry grew up in Guyana and is passionate about providing high-quality research-focused education at the Masters and Doctoral levels.

  • Dr. Paulette Jordan is a retired Air Force Logistics Officer who has been teaching at local universities in the U.S. and various countries overseas. Dr. Jordan has successfully owned and operated several small businesses and served on management teams with major corporations while being an educator at heart. She teaches several courses in the Ph.D. program and is the Director of the BGU Doctor of Transformational Leadership (DTL) program.

BGU is presently accepting applications for the Ph.D. program. DTL and DMin graduates can apply now in order to begin conversations about entering with advanced standing – each applicant will be evaluated on their own merit. Others with life experience and/or Ph.D. level studies will receive individualized consideration in their application.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Martine Audéoud or Dr. Les Hirst. There is still time to apply and start in July!