Academics, Campus wide

A significant life of service can be yours

By CSU Media | May 15, 2020

Beginning this fall you can enroll in an innovative 15-hour interdisciplinary minor in leadership at Charleston Southern University. The minor, offered jointly by the colleges of Business and Christian Studies, contains classes from the two and aims to provide a solid foundation for student leaders. Dr. Darin Gerdes, professor of management and designer of the new minor, said, “At CSU, we follow a distinctive approach to leadership by emphasizing character as the key to performance. In addition, we encourage aspiring leaders to focus on the growth of their followers. Service and stewardship are the marks of Christian leaders.”

You will have additional leadership development opportunities this fall in selected alternate chapels and the Freshman Seminar. President Dondi Costin will take an active role in some sessions. He said, “Leadership can be learned. Not every graduate will hold a formal position of leadership such as a CEO or president, but God wants everyone to exercise responsible stewardship of the people and resources under their care. Students who want others to flourish can use their influence as leaders at any level to make a difference in the world. The leadership development program we have designed will build the character and competence required for any student to become a servant leader committed to a life of significance, whatever their vocation.”

In addition to the minor in leadership studies, CSU offers a Bachelor of Business Administration in global marketplace engagement to provide students with a background in business complemented with studies in evangelism for business as mission. Dean of the College of Business Dr. David Palmer said, “The BBA and new leadership minor are examples of CSU’s commitment to develop leaders who are ready to impact the marketplace for Christ.”

Other leadership programs include the WCCL’s Christian Leadership Institute, individual classes related to leadership, the Honors Program, the Master of Arts in organizational leadership and the Doctor of Education in leadership.

Developing servant leaders is a special passion of Costin’s. He said, “Leadership may be defined many ways. One of my favorite definitions is ‘influencing a team to accomplish a mission for the glory of God and good of others.’ CSU exists to unleash servant leaders equipped as critical thinkers, data-savvy problem solvers, skillful communicators, and effective collaborators ready to impact their community for Christ.” CSU’s commitment to preparing servant leaders follows a long tradition of Christian academic institutions dedicated to preparing leaders who serve society’s diverse institutions. For more information about the leadership minor, contact Dr. David Palmer in the College of Business ( or Dr. Ben Phillips in Christian Studies (  

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