What is Virtuous Leadership?

At the University of Mary, leadership is about much more than theories, charts, and balance sheets. It’s about the values and the character that define you as a business leader.

Committed to the principle that all persons are created for greatness, the University of Mary offers both graduate business degrees and a one-day Immersion immersion program in Virtuous Leadership.

These programs are designed to deepen your understanding and application of the importance of character, virtue, and happiness in managing for long-term business success. Our robust, experiential learning programs prepare participants to critically assess, analyze and direct the role and place of personal virtue and magnanimous leadership in achieving organizational success.

The virtues of prudence (practical wisdom), courage, self-control and justice, which are mainly virtues of the mind and the will, constitute the foundations of leadership.”

Alexandre Havard, Virtuous Leadership: An Agenda for Personal Excellence

Virtuous Leadership Concentration

While virtuous leadership is a core element of all the University of Mary’s degree programs, our Virtuous Leadership Concentration gives business leaders and entrepreneurs the opportunity to explore the nature and role of “business as a force for good” at a deeper and broader level.

Rejecting the notion that free-markets and virtue are mutually exclusive, Mary’s Virtuous Leadership Concentration draws upon the wisdom and insight of some of the greatest minds and practitioners from antiquity to the present day to explore the sacred nature of the human person and the dignity of work.

Drawing in a particular upon the scholarship and insight of Alexander Havard and the Havard Virtuous Leadership Institute, Mary’s Virtuous Leadership concentration studies core business elements such as consumer supply and demand, profit maximization, return-on-investment and enterprise management in light of the universal call to holiness. Combining sound theory and best practices, including personal examination and reflection, Mary’s Virtuous Leadership concentration provides a path for achieving human greatness by bringing out greatness in others.

Coursework for the Virtuous Leadership concentration includes:


  • Search for Happiness
    • A critical investigation of the human quest for happiness throughout history and its application to today's world and workplace
  • The Virtuous Leadership Model
    • An exploration of the principles of Virtuous Leadership, with particularly emphasis on the pioneering work of Alexadre Havard, founder of the Havard Virtuous Leadership Institute and author of Virtuous Leadership: An Agenda for Personal Excellence and Created for Greatness: the Power of Magnanimity.

Elective (choose one)

  • Business and Catholic Social Teaching
    • An analysis and application of Catholic social teaching in cultivating happy and successful organizations, including addressing challenges such as diversity and discrimination, working conditions, privacy, wages and corporate responsibility.
  • Leadership
    • An exploration of the various principles and approaches to organizational leadership, as well as the influence of relationships among leaders and followers.

Magnanimity is the habit of striving for great things…It means pulling rather than pushing, teaching rather than ordering about, inspiring rather than berating. Thus, leadership is less about displays of power than the empowerment of others.”

Alexandre Havard, Created for Greatness: The Power of Magnanimity

Virtuous Leadership Immersion Seminar

Modern culture encourages business leaders to pursue a divided life, separating their professional career from their faith. In contrast, the University of Mary stands with the Church in declaring that faith must be brought into the workplace to order and direct our professional endeavors just as it does with every other aspect of lives.

Drawing upon some the greatest minds and practitioners in human history, including the more recent work of Alexander Havard and the Havard Virtuous Leadership Institute, the University of Mary offers a unique one-day Virtuous Leadership Immersion Seminar.

Taught by University of Mary faculty, participants explore the classical and contemporary foundations of virtuous leadership in an intensive hands-on seminar designed for working professionals.