For the past number of years, JOLE has hosted “special issues” where all articles focus on a single relevant and significant topic, each edited in collaboration with a chosen guest editor. While JOLE will continue to publish special issues within the field of leadership education, it has adopted a new system and format for future volumes.

JOLE will no longer establish specific dates and editors for special issue publications, as it now operates on a rolling submissions process. Once a particular special issue has achieved enough accepted submissions to publish, JOLE will do so. The JOLE Editorial Board has identified the topics below for future special issue volumes. More information concerning each special issue is below.

Authors are encouraged to submit manuscripts for any of these special issue topics effective immediately. Authors should submit manuscripts through the Scholastica portal ONLY and include a note on the required title page indicating that the submission is for a particular JOLE special issue. JOLE no longer takes guest editor applications, as these manuscripts will undergo the standard JOLE review process.

When a full complement of accepted manuscripts on a particular special topic is achieved, they will be published collectively as a special issue. In the event that a sufficient number of manuscripts is not attained within 6 months, to compile as a special issue, accepted manuscripts will then be published in a regular JOLE issue. JOLE readers may suggest topics for future special issues. These, and any questions other questions about this process, should be directed to the JOLE Editor at jole.editor@gmail.com.


Leadership Teaching & Learning with Technology

Online leadership education programs offer degrees, minors, certificates, and badges. We seek rigorous and relevant manuscripts specifically focused on teaching and learning leadership online addressing the following questions:

  • How do contexts such as synchronous, asynchronous, and/or blended delivery methods support best practices?
  • How do academic courses, MOOCs, and/or webinars contribute to the field of Leadership Education?
  • What theories of leadership education tie into the benefits of online education (accessibility, just-in-time learning, personalized learning)?
  • To what extent are leadership learning online methods socially accepted and/or perceived as effective mechanisms for learning?

All JOLE manuscript types will be considered for this special issue

Social Networks in Leadership Education

As we continue to understand the value of community, this special issue poses the overarching question, “What value do social networks (i.e., formal and informal, PBL, communities of practice, digital or virtual) add to leadership education for leadership educators and/or learners?” We seek manuscripts that examine the role that networks play in helping individuals become better leaders and addresses questions including:

  • How does integration of social research methodologies deepen our understanding of the role of networks in leadership development?
  • How are social networks leveraged as incubations for social movements?
  • How do you create and use networks in contemporary society in the leadership education process?
  • What types of networks are most effective in particular leadership education contexts, and what types of pedagogy are best suited for particular networks?

All JOLE manuscript types will be considered for this special issue

Coaching and Mentoring

Coaching and mentoring are specialized relationships that can greatly accelerate one’s leadership development. We seek manuscripts that consider the overarching focus of how leadership education occurs through leadership coaching and/or mentoring. Questions to address include but are not limited to:

  • How are rigorous coaching and mentoring programs constructed?
  • What leadership theoretical lenses are leveraged or integrated to inform/shape coaching and/or mentoring?
  • How are coaching and/or mentoring programs evaluated?
  • How do coaching and mentoring relationships begin and evolve?
  • How can coaching and/or mentoring programs advance individuals and/or organizations?
  • How do coaches and mentors continue to grow as leaders through their role?

All JOLE manuscript types will be considered for this special issue

Intersectional Social Justice in Leadership Education

In conjunction with JOLE’s stated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership education, this special issue poses the overarching question, “leadership for what and for whom”? We seek manuscripts that, through an intersectional lens, address these questions:

  • How does intersectional social justice inform leadership teaching and practice?
  • What theoretical and critical lenses can be leveraged to make leadership education more just and equitable?
  • What measures can be applied to justice and equity work in leadership that go beyond conventional ways of knowing and evaluation to honor advocacy and activism, particularly at the grassroots level?
  • How can leadership education be decolonized and recognize more indigenous ways of knowing?
  • How can (and should) leadership educators become learners themselves, troubling their own processes to become more just and equitable?

Manuscripts that consider these questions will also have a permanent category in “regular” JOLE issues moving forward, starting in April 2021. Manuscripts should have a strong connection to both pedagogical and justice/equity literature, and could be either research or practice in nature.

Global Leadership Education

This special issue poses the overarching question, how does leadership education transcend boundaries to acknowledge the interconnectedness of the global community while embracing unique cultural contexts and related considerations?” We seek manuscripts that, through an interdisciplinary and intersectional lens, address one or more of the following:

  • What are the competencies necessary for global leaders in a technological and data driven society/economy?
  • How do socio- and geopolitical dynamics impact the value and effectiveness of leadership education?
  • What theoretical leadership lenses are leveraged and integrated to inform global leadership practices?
  • How is global leadership and multicultural competence evaluated in ways that honor and celebrate cultural differences?
  • How do leadership educators continue to grow in their own multicultural and global competence?
  • What pedagogical changes are required to facilitate learning in a global community?
  • How can leadership educators positively impact the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts?

All JOLE manuscript types will be considered for this special issue

Student Spotlight

This special issue highlights the work solely authored by a student or teams of students at the undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral levels and provides them with a unique developmental opportunity to receive robust feedback on their scholarly endeavors in addition to gaining valuable experience in learning to navigate the publishing process. We seek manuscripts that address any aspect of leadership education, theory, application, and/or practice. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary works and forward thinking strategies in terms of how current circumstances, i.e., the intersection of race and justice on socioeconomic and political dynamics, will positively inform the next generation of leadership educators and practitioners. By submitting in this category, authors attest to being, at minimum, a part-time, degree seeking, student.

All JOLE manuscript types will be considered for this special issue


The Journal of Leadership Education (JOLE) is proud to offer a new publication venue known as “Origins.” Peer-reviewed, published articles will outline rich, first-hand accounts of experiences, people, situations, and lessons learned while in the presence of a transformative leader. Designed to capture the stories embedded in the acts of mentors from our past, Origins captures tales of leaders who have shaped or molded us into who we are today. While it is expected that much of these articles will be personal accounts, authors should include references when referring to related leadership theories or research.

Length: Between 1500 and 2500 words.