Elevation Life Transformation University was founded on the principle that: maximizing personal, professional, and spiritual potential and renewal, we become motivated, inspired, and empowered to be our best – transformed in every area of life. Equipped with God’s brilliant ideas, wisdom, love, and sharing what we learn, we make the world a better place through Professional and Christ-Centered Coaching, Leadership, and Change. As a professional coach, consultant, and strategist in the corporate business marketplace for more than 30 years, our founder, Dr. Merle Ray, MSL, SPHR, IPMA-SCP, CMP, has not strayed from that vision.
Her expansive career across public and private sector spawned growth in individuals and leaders across both industry and ministry starting in 1985. Dr. Ray has served nearly five years as an executive Chief Human Capital Officer in local government, another five years as a senior Director in one of Fortune’s Most Admired Companies in Corporate America; thirteen years in HR healthcare administration in the Texas Medical Center, and over eighteen years as CEO of independent consulting firm, The Noble Groups.
Dr. Ray’s calling and passion is to help the believers and the local church expand beyond the walls of brick and mortar to raise equipped social leaders that are anointed to perform in a global church environment to include but not be limited to social media, web, and Internet through the ministry of coaching, leadership, and change management. Dr. Ray knows how to navigate people, industries, and ministries from the inside out. Having a passion for navigating individuals to and through personal, professional, and spiritual transformation, Dr. Ray co-partners with churches, clients, business leaders and adult learners in reaching their full potential.
In 2017, she began building ELEVATION LIFE TRANSFORMATION as The University of Christ-Centered Coaching, Leadership, & Change™ while completing her doctorate degree serving the needs of executives and professionals. Dr. Ray considers development and training of leaders, working professionals, and students to be the highest priority of our current and future generation. Thus, ELTU opened for operation in 2022.
Dr. Merle Ray - Bio
Dr. Merle Ray is a certified senior professional in both Human Capital Management (HCM) and Organizational Change Management (OCM). Dr. Ray specializes in the full range of leadership and transformation for large complex forprofit organizations, small businesses, and community-based nonprofits. Turning dreams and visions into reality for others through personal, professional, & spiritual transformation, Dr. Ray creates value for hundreds of businesses, ministries, and leaders.
ELTU exists for the personal, professional, and spiritual potential and enrichment of leaders.
Our mission is birthing biblical leaders who are motivated, inspired, and empowered through the Word of God to become their best – transformed, renewed, fulfilled, and sustained in every area of life.
- By offering educational programs, degrees, and seminars which help students, working professionals, and leaders develop the skills and competencies that form and enhance their callings and careers, ELTU is Delivering Destiny.
- Equipped with God’s brilliant ideas, love, wisdom, and sharing what we learn through Professional and Christ-Centered Coaching, Leadership, and Change, we make the world a better place.
A very important goal and vision of the ELTU organizational mission statement is to be a provider of coach education, pastoral and spiritual care education that can be relied upon and trusted by both coaches, spiritual care practitioners, and their consumers. As such, one of our goals over the first 48 months of operation is to establish a baseline for quality that satisfies the perspectives of coaching students at ELTU and the clients they serve.
- At ELTU, we chose to design our organization, its programs and certificates offered with the best in the industry because of our empowering belief in the power of Professional Christ-Centered Coaching, Leadership, and Change. We envision ELTU as an organization that:
• assures quality and promotes excellence in Clinical Pastoral Education and Spiritual Care coaching programs;
• promotes the involvement of faculty and staff in self-assessment of the organization and engagement in continuous quality improvement processes;
• assures students of consistency in educational programs;
• promotes fairness in conduct and evaluation of educational programs;
• integrates unique clinical/educational learning resources based on clearly identified learning objectives;
• ensures that the students gain the knowledge and skills necessary to fulfill the roles of spiritual care as clergy and lay leaders as well as develop professional skills for coaching and chaplaincy.
Our teaching philosophy is centric to and cultivated from what our students, clients, and consumers describe as a desire to pursue and maximize potential in their God-given calling, character, and careers. At ELTU, we believe we see DESTINY DELIVERED focused on the students and those they serve.
ELTU: DESTINY DELIVERED!
APPROVED AFFORDABLE ACCELERATED
FAITH-BASED DEGREE PROGRAMS
2 Professional Coach Series
Degree Programs & Seminar Certificates
Elevation Life Transformation is a private post-secondary educational institution offering both Degree Programs and Seminars.
- We offer (5) Faith-based Degree programs that lead to an academic ministry, professional ministry, or vocational degree in ministry and faith-based coaching, mentoring, training and best practices across leadership in the 21st century.
- We offer (2) Corporate Sector Professional live seminar series that focus on professional coaching and coach-specific occupations.
- We also offer (3) Faith-Based Seminars that lead to a certificate designed to enhance the student’s career and life rather than prepare for work in a particular occupation.
Our seminars comprise multiple courses bundled together. Therefore, we refer to them as Seminar Series, rather than single seminars. Some ELTU Seminar Series include both synchronous and asynchronous instruction. Unlike our degree programs which target faith-based interests, our seminars series serve both secular and non-secular interests across industry as well as ministry.
We offer educational degree programs for our students who share an interest in serving God through both a calling and career. These degree programs fully incorporate faith-based instruction and have been exempt by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB). Our degree programs are not designed to target any particular secular occupation, discipline, or interest outside of instruction in the faith-based marketplace. Our degree programs are:
- Bachelor of Science Degree in Christ-Centered Leadership, Coaching, and Change
- Master of Science Degree in Christ-Centered Leadership, Coaching, and Change
- Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Christ-Centered Leadership, Coaching, and Change
- Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Human Capital Leadership and Change
- Graduate Degree in Executive Leadership, Pastoral Care, & Change
These degree programs are designed to serve the needs of those interested and called to ministry related occupations such as:
- Executive Coaches to Pastors and Faith-based Leaders;
- Executives and Human Capital Leaders who are Faith-based;
- Faith-based teachers of Philosophy and Religious Instruction – Post-secondary;
- Faith-based Coaches in private industry practice;
- Faith-based entrepreneurs, or
- Faith-based counselors not elsewhere specified.
Although some general education content may be included in these degree programs, any general education content or courses included are used to supplement faith-based training. Skills provided in these programs include but are not limited to:
- Faith-based best practices in coaching and mentorship, human capital leadership, training and discipleship;
- Leadership development, emotional maturity, moral integrity, and skills for public witness, personal development and spiritual formation.
- Education for careful self-reflection on the role of Christian values as a good citizen, parent, leader, guide, neighbor, and servant of God.
- Coach-specific training and skills as a way of life in general, and of the Christian faith (e.g., expressions of justice, leadership development, the devotional life, personal ethics and character, morals, development, and evangelistic witness).
The Professional Coaching Series serves private corporate sector internal coaching and independent coach practitioners’ business interests. These are Coach-Specific trainings offered in ELTU Professional Coaching seminars that are: designed to teach professional coaching skills, demonstrate how to apply technical skills in a coach-like manner, and teach coaching skills in accordance with professional standards as advocated by ELTU and other professional coaching organizations.
It should be noted that the Professional Coaching industry is not regulated by federal, state, or local laws currently in the United States. This means the program and seminar content is not designed for any state licensure and there are no governmental requirements for any coaching certification. At last count, there were more than 600 for-profit coaching organizations in the United States and more than 60 accreditation systems with the largest being the International Coach Federation (ICF) considered the gold standard for coaching around the world. Though the ELTU coach education program is Non-ICF Accredited, ELTU School Founder and President, Dr. Merle Ray is an accredited ICF Professional Credentialed Coach. Her coach education seminars are being used to raise up successful credentialed coaches through these ELTU Coach Certificate Seminar Series.
ELTU provides a lineup of advanced coach-specific courses that provide a deep dive into ELTU’s definition of coaching, along with research-supported Core Competencies and Code of Ethics. Our seminars comprise multiple courses bundled together. Therefore, we refer to them as Seminar Series, rather than single seminars. The (2) Seminar Series we offer pertaining to Professional Coaching are:
- The Graduate Certificate in Professional Coaching
- The Master’s Seminar Certificate in Professional Coaching
Intended audiences for the above are individuals wanting to become professional coaches or leaders in private or public corporations, businesses, and industries that equip people with the ability to use coaching skills in how they interact with others. The goal of ELTU in offering the Professional Coaching Series is to educate and equip coaches professionally, personally, and organizationally to maximize their personal and professional potential, and to support the advancement of professional coaching, holding coaching and coaches to the highest industry standards. Graduates of these programs are interested in either setting up their own coaching practice, becoming a coach in an organization, or blending coaching with their existing areas of work expertise. Our graduates of these (2) Professional Coaching seminar certificates may be persons from any occupation, market, or business profession that wish to become firmly rooted and grounded in coach-specific education or training that is considered by ELTU definition professional coaching, supported by research on the Core Competencies for Coaching and the Code of Ethics that support the integrity of the coaching profession.
In addition to the above, ELTU offers (3) Coach-Specific Training Seminar Series that incorporate faith-based instruction. These are:
- Christ-Centered MBA Certificate (Inner-healing of the Soul)
- Personal Ministry Coach Certificate
- Spiritual Intimacy & Birthing Coach Certificate
These coach-specific training offerings are designed to enhance a student’s career and life rather than prepare for work in a particular occupation. Together, these powerful programs integrate coaching, leadership, human capital management, change management principles and core skills needed in today’s leading industries and ministries.
APPROVED AND REGULATED BY TEXAS WORKFORCE COMMISSION
ELTU is regulated and fully approved to operate all its degrees and courses through the Texas Workforce Commission Careers & Colleges Division. ELTU is offered to enhance and maximize a student’s interests in their personal, professional, or spiritual journey, and is not regulated or accredited by the United States Department of Education. Accreditation is not required by the U.S. Department of Education. ELTU’s degree programs are entirely religious in nature and fall within the exception for legal authorization in 19 Texas Administrative Code § 7.9 of Texas State Code. ELTU is recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) as a bona fide religious postsecondary educational institution exempt under the Code, and is permitted to offer religious degrees under this exemption. ELTU program and seminar content is not designed for state licensure certification or any other professional occupational requirements. .
For full details on our organizational history, policies, and programs offered, please feel free to review our University Catalog.
Key Staff and Faculty
ELTU educators are experienced professionals, all having a corporate sector background in leadership, education and training, or human capital, or they are ministers having taught religious instruction for at least (5) years. Founder/CEO and School Director, Dr. Merle Ray has more than 20 years of experience as a Human Capital Management executive and internal coach for Corporate America. Dr. Ray held certification as a professional certified coach (PCC) by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) – the world’s largest coaching organization and several other professional organizations shown below. In addition, Dr. Ray is an instructor and professional consultant, publisher, and trainer with both industry and ministry credentials as follows:
Degrees Held & Specialized Instruction
- Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) by the Human Resources Credentialing Institute (2001-2003/2016-2022) Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: leadership, human capital management, human resources, coaching, training, performance management, metrics, and instruction.
- Change Management Professional (CMP) and PROSCI credentialed practitioner since 2017; Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: personal change management and organizational change management.
- Senior Professional in the International Public Management Association (IPMA-SCP) (2016-2022) Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: public sector governmental management.
- Bachelor of Science degree specializing in Christian Leadership from College of Biblical Studies in Houston, Texas (2003). Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: Christian leadership, human capital management, human resources, coaching, training, performance management, metrics, and instruction.
- Master of Science degree specializing in Leadership from Grand Canyon University (2012). Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: leadership, human capital management, human resources, coaching, training, performance management, metrics, and instruction.
- Doctor of Philosophy specializing in Coaching & Christian Counseling (2019) from Newburgh Seminary and College of the Bible; Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: Christian Coaching and Faith-based Counseling.
- Ordained Christian Minister since 2007; Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: religious instruction, coaching, training, discipleship, personal and spiritual formation.
- Professional Certified Coach (PCC) (2019-2022) International Coach Federation. Areas of instruction include but are not limited to: leadership, human capital management, human resources, coaching, training, performance management, metrics, and instruction.
Dr. Merle Ray
Founder, Dr. Merle Ray, MSL, SPHR, IPMA-SCP, CMP