BU Offers Online Course on Ethical Leadership


From Boston University School of Theology

The Center for Character and Social Responsibility (CCSR) is proud to announce the first BUx Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from Boston University School of Education (SED) and Boston University School of Theology (STH): Ethical Leadership: Character, Civility and Community. The course is taught by Walter E. Fluker, Martin Luther King, Jr. professor of ethical leadership at STH.


Walter E. Fluker

Walter E. Fluker


This course will provide theoretical and practical approaches to the development of character, civility and community for leaders and emerging leaders in education, business, nonprofit, academic, religious, and other professions. The course examines the personal, public and spiritual dimensions of leadership within the context that Fluker calls “the intersection of lifeworlds and systems,” and it outlines principles and practices of ethical leadership from a diverse field of leadership theories.

Fluker’s work grounds leadership in story, the appropriation of one’s personal narrative within social and historical contexts, as a basis for personal and social transformation.

Faculty, deans, and administrators from throughout Boston University will present their vision for ethical leadership and the role of higher education. These include:

  • President Robert Brown
  • Provost Jean Morrison
  • Deans Hardin Coleman (SED), Mary Elizabeth Moore (STH), Ann Cudd (College of Arts and Sciences), Kenn Elmore (Dean of Students), Kenneth Freeman (Questrom School of Business), Sandro Galea (School of Public Health) and Adil Najam (Pardee School of Global Studies).

The MOOC will also present video interviews from leadership theorists as well as prominent leaders in the areas of education, business, government and global citizenship such as:

  • Congressman John Lewis
  • Ambassador Andrew Young
  • Jochen Fried (Salzburg Global Seminar)
  • Walter Massey (President, School of the Art Institute of Chicago)
  • Chandra Taylor-Smith (Vice President, Community Conservation and Education, National Audubon Society)
  • Caren Yanis, (President, Crown Family Philanthropies)
  • Biographer Evan Thomas (Being Nixon: A Man Divided)
  • Harvard University Business, Kennedy and Education School Professors Max Bazerman, Howard Gardner, Bill George, David Gergen, Ronald Heifetz and Barbara Kellerman.

Professor Fluker is also the editor of the Howard Thurman Papers Project and Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative for the Development of Ethical Leadership (MLK-IDEAL). This MOOC is co-sponsored with STH.

The course is being funded by and developed with BU’s Digital Learning InitiativeThe course will be offered through BUx and launches on May 24, 2016. The Ethical Leadership MOOC is now available for registration at EdX.org.