On February 3, 2021, Pillar College Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rupert A. Hayles, Jr. successfully defended his dissertation, The Relationship Between Emotional Intelligence and Christian Virtues in Organizational Leadership, to receive his Ph.D. from Regent University.  

“The focus of my Ph.D. was in the realm of organizational leadership, or organization behavior. My specific dissertation addressed the linkage between Emotional Intelligence (EI) and Christian virtues (Fruit of the Spirit) as it relates to leaders in all realm of organization,” said Dr. Hayles. “Based on the results of this study, there was a statistically significant relationship between EI and virtue. Relationship with God, which consists of love, joy, and peace, was the strongest predictor of EI (self-perception, self-expression, interpersonal, and stress management), with the exception of one (decision-making). This study serves as a foundation with significant implications for further research in identifying other relational factors that could espouse causality and that are descriptive, predictive, or explanatory in relation to leaders’ growth.”

Hayles began his tenure at Pillar College two years ago. In this position he is responsible for accurately administering the organizational, operational, strategic, and financial concerns of Pillar College for assuring organizational effectiveness, budget compliance, and financial stability. “All of us who work with Rupert Hayles are so pleased that he has received his doctorate. None of us are surprised,” expressed Dr. David E. Schroeder, President of Pillar College. With more than twenty years experience in leadership and management capacity, Hayles has worked for Cytec Industries, Prudential Financial and Merck Pharmaceutical. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Information Systems from Seton Hall University and a MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“Over 14 years ago, God put something on my heart to investigate and I have been on a journey since,” said Dr. Hayles.  “The culmination of this journey is the completion of study and the delivery of this quantitative study.  The study can help all organizational leaders impart virtue development as part of leadership growth through EI.   In the non-profit realm the knowledge can be used to advance new avenues in the discipleship process.”

In addition to his roles in corporate America, Hayles was previously Executive Pastor at The Life Christian Church in West Orange, NJ, a 3,500-member church where he was responsible for functional, ministerial and operational effectiveness through conscious strategic planning and financial controls. Prior to that he was the COO at Christ Church, a 8,000-member organization in both Montclair and Rockaway, New Jersey.

Hayles is also the Chairman of Organization and People Dynamics, a holding company for two key organizations, The Center for Emotional Development and The Center for Emotional and Spiritual Development (consultancies dedicated to serving for-profit and non-profit industries). He is the author of The Church and Emotional Intelligence and Practical Strategy: Aligning Business and Information Technology. 

Hayles previously served as a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force where he trained as a pilot in T-37 aircraft in the area of flight physiology, meteorology and aircraft systems. He continues to hold a FAA Private Pilot License and has done so since 1987.