Graduate School of Leadership

Graduate School of Leadership



About School of Leadership

As a part of Saint Petersburg Christian University (SPbCU), the Graduate School of Leadership (GSL) was established in 2010 for the purpose of cultivating effective and ethical leadership in Russia and beyond.

Our mission: To partner with individuals and organizations in advancing ethical and effective approaches in leadership and management.

Our vision: To become a prominent Christian center of research and education in the sphere of Leadership Studies, contributing to the formation of a more ethical and effective practice of leadership in Russia and Eurasia.  

Our Values:

1)     Promotion of biblical principles and effective approaches in leadership

2)     Advancement of knowledge and research in Leadership Studies

3)     Development of effective organizations and healthy communities

4)     Honoring God through the practice and promotion of effective and ethical leadership in all areas of life.

5)     Service to leaders in Russia and beyond, by equipping them to lead well in churches, businesses, educational and non-profit organizations


Our Story

The creation of the GSL at SPbCU is a response to an urgent need for developing leaders in the Russian context. In 2010, Dr. Alexander Negrov, then Rector of SPbCU, approached the Board of Directors of the university with a proposal for expanding the work of the university by creating a department which would give leaders in the Russian-speaking world the opportunity to critically examine leadership theory and practice from a Christian perspective. The result of these endeavors is the GSL, a pioneering project in Russia, where leaders from various spheres of life (churches, businesses, educational and non-profit institutions) come together to pursue excellence in leadership. Every year, we have seen an increase in the number of students and general interest in our initiatives.

Our Strategy

Leadership is about showing the way. We are convinced that the Christian worldview, with its Scripture and traditions, can make significant contributions to showing the way towards highly effective leadership and followership in any sphere of life.

The GSL functions in a variety of ways to promote effective and ethical leadership. On an academic level, we conduct research, develop courses, write articles and monographs, and teach seminars on leadership theory and practice. All of this is done with special attention to the historical and cultural uniquenesses of the Russian and Eurasian context. Additionally, we view Leadership Studies as inherently an interdisciplinary field of study. Therefore, our team is made up of specialists and practitioners in a variety of fields. Our integration within SPbCU is important in this regard, providing us a base of operations, where we seek to connect other disciplines with the leadership courses. This creates a synergy that contributes to a more robust understanding of leadership and its many facets. The GSL is contributing to the curriculum for both undergraduate and graduate students at SPbCU.


On another level, the GSL and its staff also provide consulting, coaching and training to meet the needs of those practicing leadership in various organizations. This is often done through conducting on-site seminars, organizing roundtable discussions, or hosting conferences. One such initiative is the newly created bi-monthly meeting – “Leadership Questions” – where both specialists and practitioners gather to discuss leadership from different perspectives.

Our Team


Dr. Alexander Negrov (PhD in Biblical Studies; PhD candidate in Leadership). Specialization: Biblical Studies, Leadership Studies.

Dr. Yulia Krasnikova (PhD in History). Specialization: Leadership and Management in Russia, Cross–cultural leadership, Public leadership, Research methods.

Dr. Valerii Alikin (PhD in Biblical Studies). Specialization: Leadership in the Bible and Early Christianity.

Dr. Insur Shamgunov (PhD in Education).  Specialization: Business Consulting. Management.

Dr. Marina Kononenko (PhD in Economy).  Specialization: Economy and Management, Research Methods.

Dr. Tatyana Nikolskaya (PhD in History). Specialization: History of Russian Christianity, Research Methods.

Dr. Viktor Akhterov (PhD in Communication). Specialization: Communication for Leaders and Managers.

Dr. Mikhael Cherenkov (PhD in Philosophy). Specialization: Christian Mission and Contemporary Culture,  Religion and Culture.

Dr. Vladimir Sarapulov (PhD in Education). Specialization: Leadership Development, Psychology of Leadership, Educational Psychology.

Dr. Ivan Makarenko (PhD in Philosophy). Specialization: Pastoral and Church Leadership, Leadership in Non–profit Organizations

Jon Coody (M.Th. Biblical Studies). Specialization: Leadership in the Bible and Theology of Leadership.

Nataliya Vlasikhina (M.Psych.). Specialization: Leadership and Family; Team leadership, Coaching.

Anatolii Tolopilo (MBA, M.Psych.). Specialization: Business Consulting. Management.

Students and Graduates:

We consider our students and graduates as an extension of our team, as they contribute to our learning process, and as they actively and creatively put into practice what they have learned. Below is a general description of this part of our team:

Our students and graduates are…

  • Creating and leading small businesses and providing jobs.
  • Managing rehabilitation centers in several cities in Russia.
  • Leading churches and church-planting movements.
  • Starting and leading new charitable organizations.
  • Teaching leadership and management in a Christian college in the Far East of Russia.