Master of Science in Organizational Leadership Overview
The Master of Science in Organizational Leadership (MSL) degree includes two programs of study or concentrations: Criminal Justice and Management. This graduate program is designed to provide leaders with the essential administrative and management skills, competencies and strategies to perform as innovative leaders in organizations. A core benefit of this program is the diversity of professional students that stimulates exchanges and integrations of learning. All courses are administered on-line and in 8-week formats for working professionals who are choosing this program as professional development in their current or future administrative roles.
The MSL degree program outcomes are to prepare students to:
- Analyze and evaluate ideas, data, policy, and practice to improve decision-making within organizations.
- Identify and examine the financial, human, data and other organizational resources using the latest evidence.
- Apply ethical, cultural, regulatory and legal factors to enhance value-based systems.
- Design, implement and evaluate a personal leadership plan that incorporates key program concepts.
Graduate coursework for the MSL degree is designed for leaders in a wide variety of professions and across organizations. The courses are taught by highly qualified faculty that represent diverse organizational experiences and insights including law enforcement, healthcare, human services, government agencies, and associations and professional groups. To maximize access to and completion of the programs, coursework is presented via distance learning. The two MSL concentrations (criminal justice and management) share a common core curriculum.
Gail Belfert, J.D.
Dr. Gail Belfert came to Big Sky country in 2010 after practicing law for over two decades in New Jersey. She taught at Rutgers University and Montclair State University and was a consultant in Juvenile Probation and Corrections. At the University of Providence, Dr. Belfert coordinates the Master’s Degree Program in Criminal Justice, and chairs the Faculty Education and Tenure Committee. She is a member of the Social Justice Committee as well as the Institutional Review Board. Her community service work includes service on the Board of Directors for Opportunities, Inc., and Alliance for Youth (past president). Her strong community partnerships with several state, local, nonprofit and federal institutions help her to provide mentorship and internship opportunities for her students.
Dr. Belfert serves on task forces in juvenile justice, domestic violence, and drug courts, as well as Montana Bar Association committees. She has provided numerous trainings for local and state organizations on sexual harassment, human trafficking, and juvenile alternative dispositions. At the Montana Corrections Association annual meeting, she presented with a group panel on re-entry programs. Her colleagues in New Jersey and Montana invited her to provide presentations for continuing education purposes (CLE): “School to Prison Pipeline,” “Paralegal training,” and “Compassion Fatigue.”
Outside the classroom, she enjoys sporting events, playing golf, and traveling.
BA, Rutgers College
JD, Antioch School of Law
“A woman is like a tea bag—you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady 1933-1945
James Lautenschlager, MBA
James Lautenschlager is a native to North-Central Montana and is passionate about everything Montana has to offer. Prior to joining the University of Providence faculty in 2019, James worked in the financial services industry for nearly two decades. As a loan officer, a registered financial advisor, and then as a branch manager, James has extensive practical experience in business administration, including management, human resources, marketing, accounting, finance, economics, and much more.
James is also active in the community working as Treasurer for his local church, refereeing high school basketball in the area, serving on the Board of Directors for the local official’s association and caring for his family, including his wife and three children.
AAS, Great Falls College MSU
BS, Capella University
MBA, Capella University
DBA, California Southern University (in progress)
Katrina Stark, D.M.
Dr. Katrina Stark has served a number of leadership roles in her decade at the university, including chair of the faculty. She is an advocate for both faculty and students. She serves as coordinator of the MS in Organizational Leadership – Management program. She teaches courses in management and business administration, extending learning beyond the classroom through mentorship of student-run businesses.
Her students currently operate a food bank, an Argo spirit-wear shop, a professional clothing closet, and an annual Kids Night Out event with Whittier Elementary School, a school in an economically challenged neighborhood. The project-based approach has yielded rich dividends academically, and has even resulted in a course on entrepreneurship.
Before her academic career, Stark operated a calligraphy studio and served as a Girl Scout professional—director of membership and training—across the state. Dr. Stark volunteers for the AWANA program at her church. She grew up on the water in Florida, was a college athlete (fencing), and now plays and referees ice hockey.
BA, Scripps College
MS, Troy University
DM, University of Phoenix
“It seems to me a little thing to give money, even for a great purpose. But to give of ourselves—the work of our hands, the coinage of our brains, the sympathy of our hearts, the riches of our experiences in joy and sorrow, the beauty of our lives, in all good fellowship—ah, this is grand!”
-Ellen Browning Scripps, 1914, founder of Scripps College