Gretchen Oltman, PhD

Gretchen Oltman

Assistant Professor and Program Director

Interdisciplinary Studies

Dr. Gretchen Oltman is an assistant professor in the department of Interdisciplinary Studies at Creighton University. She specializes in leadership studies and organizational leadership. The classes she teaches include Leadership Theory, Application and Reflection and Leadership Capstone. Dr. Oltman’s teaching philosophy supports personal accountability and one’s drive for new knowledge. She seeks to understand how a student’s personal and professional path can be enhanced or strengthened through graduate education.

She says, “What I love most about teaching at Creighton is how much I learn from the students in my classes. I sometimes feel that I’m gaining more from them, than they are from me. It is always both challenging and thought-provoking for me as a teacher.”

The online format of Dr. Oltman’s classes presents a unique opportunity for her to “meet” people she might not otherwise meet in real life. “In my online teaching career, I’ve taught professional athletes, military leaders, non-profit advocates, and stay-at-home parents.”

Dr. Oltman’s ongoing research interests include the study of the intersections of leadership, law, and education, which reflects her own career path. She is a former public school teacher, an attorney and an author. She studies how the legal system influences education at all levels, and how case law applies to everyday life. Oltman is the sole of coauthor of five books focusing on areas in education law and graduate education related issues.

After earning a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from the University of Louisville, Oltman taught middle school English for one year before returning to graduate school to earn her law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Oltman’s background in teaching and education spurred her interest in studying the field of education law, so while teaching high school English, she also earned her PhD in Educational Studies focusing on how aspects of the First Amendment impact public schools. Her dissertation earned a national dissertation award and sparked her career in higher education. Oltman has served in a teaching and administrative capacity at the university level, including as an assistant professor and program director at Creighton University.

View a full listing of Dr. Oltman’s publications and honors.