Course Syllabus


Welcome to GS 294 Decision-Making and Leadership. As indicated by its title, the purpose of this course is to help each of us develop better decision-making and disciple leadership skills. The goal at BYU-Idaho is to qualify for service in the kingdom of God on earth as described in Jacob 5:61.

"Wherefore, go to, and call servants, that we may labor diligently with our might in the vineyard, that we may prepare the way, that I may bring forth again the natural fruit, which natural fruit is good and the most precious above all other fruit."

Preparing the way for the gathering of Israel is both a spiritual and a temporal work. It requires unusual character and competence. The scriptures show that these qualities can be found in the relatively young and inexperienced. Mormon, for instance, was entrusted to solve difficult spiritual and temporal problems even as a boy (see Mormon 1:2 and 1516 and Mormon 2:12). As BYU-Idaho graduates, you will be recognized by the world for having such an unusual capacity. Knowing that you can be relied on, people will turn to you over others who are older and more experienced. Your service will not always be high-profile, but your ability to perform it well will be a blessing to those who rely on you to prepare the way. This course will help you qualify for that kind of service.



There are no prerequisites to this course.

Required Resources

There is no textbook for the course. Instead of using a textbook, we will work from three types of customized texts which you will access from inside the course.


These are explorations of disciple leadership and decision-making topics. Each essay focuses on one topic and explores it through case studies, gospel teachings, and the findings of secular researchers. Each lecture is about the length of a devotional talk.

Case Studies:

Each case study describes a real situation that called for good decision-making and disciple leadership. Among the cases are stories of failure as well as success. 

The case studies require you to apply the I-PLAN framework. They also challenge you to roleplay your responses to difficult decision-making and disciple leadership situations.


Throughout the course you will be encouraged to utilize scripture study to support your academic as well as your spiritual growth. Scripture study plays an important role in your development as a leader.


Course Outcomes

  1. Students will practice disciple leadership, effective communication, and decision-making strategies.
  2. Students will identify characteristics of Christlike leadership.
  3. Students will apply the I-PLAN framework to analyze challenges, problems, and differing viewpoints in case study situations.

Major Assignments

The table below is meant to help you see the relevance of each major assignment as it pertains to the course outcomes (CO).

Major Assignments
Major Assignment Description CO#
Discussions Teach One Another 1, 2, 3, 5
Case Studies Case Studies 3, 4
DLP Two six-week projects 4, 6, 7

Weekly Patterns

The table below displays typical weekly activities, due dates, and activity descriptions. 

Weekly Patterns
Due Date Learning Model Activity Title Description
Midweek Prepare and Teach One Another Discussion Read the provided content and reflect. Build on other student's posts.
End of the Week Ponder and Prove Case Study Analyze a case study.
End of the Week Ponder and Prove Disciple Leadership Project Work on elements of the project.

NOTE: Set your time zone within user preferences so the dates and times for course activities will display correctly for your time zone.

Course Activities

Grading in this class is weighted and will be based on your performance in the following four categories:

Discussion Board (50%):

Teaching One Another will be done with topics in discussion boards each week.

Case Analysis (25%):

During each week, you will write an analysis outlining your solutions and recommendations for the problems presented in the case studies.

Disciple Leadership Project (DLP) (25%):

At the beginning of the semester, you will design a semester-long project. You will choose an area in your personal life to which you want to apply the decision-making and disciple leadership skills you are learning. The project will be called the Disciple Leadership Project (DLP). You can choose any area of leadership to focus on. You might want to consider some of the following leadership roles:

  • Church leadership roles.
  • Employment leadership roles.
  • Family and friend leadership roles.
  • Peer and school leadership roles.

Throughout the semester, you will practice applying the principles you learn to your chosen leadership role. Each week, you will write a reflection journal entry to report the progress of your project. At the end of the semester, you will submit your completed reflection journal and summarize your experience.

Learning Model

Following a two-week introduction to the course, you will follow a regular weekly schedule. Please see the Calendar and the Modules tab for specific information on due dates.

The Learning Model is an essential characteristic of this course. You will be expected to prepare, teach one another, ponder, and prove each week by completing a variety of activities.


Following the two-week introduction to the course, you will be expected to prepare each week by reading a case study and an essay. These readings are the core of the class. In order to be successful in this course, you will need to spend a significant amount of time each week reading, annotating, and analyzing these documents.

Teach One Another

Teaching one another will be the primary method of learning in this course. By the end of the course, you will be an expert at teaching and learning from your peers. The primary way that you will teach one another will be through weekly discussions. This weekly discussion allows you to ask each other questions and challenge each other's thinking.

Ponder and Prove

In addition to preparing and teaching one another, you will have several opportunities each week to ponder what you have learned and prove your understanding. Each week, you will do the following:

  • You will read and ponder an essay and video, then answer posted questions, and respond to other students continuing the meaningful conversation.
  • You will demonstrate your understanding of I-PLAN by applying it to the case studies and to your Disciple Leadership Project (DLP).
  • You will write a reflection entry about how you are going to change based on the new information and skills you have learned.

Course Topics

In this course, you will work to develop a set of thinking abilities and leadership traits. These are the core topics of the course, and your goal will be to practice and develop in each area. See the topics below.

Thinking Abilities:

  • Thinking intuitively and intentionally.
  • Tracing system effects.
  • Using history and analogies aptly.
  • Interrogating data and statistics.
  • Negotiating mutual wins.
  • Knowing how to nurture.
Leadership Traits:
  • Harnessed impulses.
  • Divine love.
  • Eternal perspective.
  • Unalloyed motives.
  • Humble diligence.

We will spend an entire week on each of the eleven topics as follows:

  • Week 01: Introduction.
  • Week 02: Jesus, the Perfect Leader.
  • Week 03: Thinking Intuitively and Intentionally.
  • Week 04: Harnessed Impulses.
  • Week 05: Tracing System Effects.
  • Week 06: Divine Love.
  • Week 07: Using History and Analogies Aptly.
  • Week 08: Interrogating Data and Statistics.
  • Week 09: Eternal Perspective.
  • Week 10: Negotiating Mutual Wins.
  • Week 11: Unalloyed Motives.
  • Week 12: Knowing How to Nurture.
  • Week 13: Humble Diligence.
  • Week 14: Conclusion.


As you work through the course topics and learn from the case studies, you will use a planning process called I-PLAN to help develop solutions for the problems presented. I-PLAN is a way to help you slow down and think through a problem in an intentional and systematic way. The goal is that, by the end of the semester, each of you will be able to effectively apply I-PLAN to any decision-making or leadership situation that you might face. I-PLAN stands for the following:

  • Identify Key Objectives and Issues.
  • Procure the Essential Information.
  • Lay Out the Analysis,
  • Adopt a Provisional Course of Action.
  • Narrate the Planned Story.

 Late Work

No late work in this course will be accepted. All assignments are due on the day and time listed in the course Calendar. You will be responsible for keeping track of when your assignments are due. Assignments submitted after the posted due date will be given a zero. Please contact your instructor if you have an emergency or extenuating circumstance that you feel deserves consideration. These situations will be handled on a case-by-case basis as determined by your instructor. Remember, it never hurts to turn in your assignments early.

Grading Scale

Your grade in the course will be based on your performance in the activities listed above. Below are the grading policies for this course.

In this course, we will be using the standard BYU-Idaho grading scale outlined below.

Grading Scale
Letter Grade Percentage Range
A 100%–93%
A- 92%–90%
B+ 89%–87%
B 86%–83%
B- 82%–80%
C+ 79%–77%
C 76%–73%
C- 72%–70%
D+ 69%–67%
D 66%–63%
D- 62%–60%
F 59%–00%

University Policies

Students with Disabilities

Brigham Young University-Idaho is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere that accommodates qualified persons with disabilities. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please contact the Disability Services Office (Links to an external site.) at (208) 496-9210 or visit their website and follow the Steps for Receiving Accommodations (Links to an external site.). Reasonable academic accommodations are reviewed for all students who have qualified documented disabilities. Services are coordinated with students and instructors by the Disability Services Office.

This course may require synchronous meetings. If you are currently registered with the Disability Services Office and need an interpreter or transcriber for these meetings, please contact the deaf and hard of hearing coordinator at (208) 496-9219.

Other University Policies

Student Honor and Other Policies

Please read through the document called University Policies (Links to an external site.). It gives important information about the following topics:

  • Student Honor
    • Academic Honesty
    • Student Conduct
      • Sexual Harassment
  • Student with Disabilities
  • Complaints and Grievances
  • Copyright Notice

Go to the Student Resources module to review further resources and information.


The instructor reserves the right to change any part of this syllabus at any time during the semester in order to adapt to changing course needs. You will be notified prior to any changes that may take place.

Course Summary:

Date Details Due