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Leadership Center at University of Northwestern

The Leadership Center at University of Northwestern seeks to enhance the leadership culture on campus by coordinating opportunities for students to develop their leadership qualities and abilities in order to influence the world for Jesus Christ.

Meeting today's need for leaders

Employers consistently list leadership as a major need in today's workplace. Equipping students to meet this growing need is just one of the reasons that University of Northwestern, in 2007, established both a Leadership Minor and a Leadership Development Program.

The Leadership Minor and Leadership Development Program support Northwestern's mission to equip students to grow intellectually and spiritually, to serve effectively in their professions and to give God-honoring leadership in the home, church, community, and world.

About the Leadership Center

The University of Northwestern Leadership Center holds up the servant-leader as its guiding model for leadership. The programs for students, faculty, and staff are guided by Jesus' definition of God-honoring leadership found in the Gospels. In Matthew 20:24–28 Jesus contrasts the worldly leader with the role for His disciples:

"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (New International Version)

History of the Leadership Center

University of Northwestern received grants in 2006 and 2008 from the C. Charles Jackson Foundation to fund the development of leadership efforts on campus.

During this time, a team of Northwestern faculty and staff explored three phases of planning and research to determine specifically how to use the grant. The steps they followed were: looking externally, looking internally and developing a leadership model.

This process resulted in the college accomplishing the following key leadership initiatives that have helped develop the Leadership Center:

  • In September 2007, a beyond-the-classroom Leadership Development Program began, resulting in a Leadership Certificate for participating students.
  • In December 2007, the Academic Policy and Curriculum Committee (APCC) approved the addition of a leadership minor.
  • Establishment of a leadership advisory committee. This committee meets regularly for information sharing and program coordination.
  • In the spring of 2008, the President's Cabinet approved the concept of the Leadership Center.

Leadership development program

For more information about the Leadership Development Program, please contact the Leadership Center.

Marquise Dixon, Director Leadership Program

Leadership minor

For more information about the Leadership Minor, please contact the Registrar's Office at 651-631-5119.

High School Leadership Conference

Northwestern is hosting a High School Leadership Conference!

Leadership Opportunities

Leadership Advance Conference

To assist Northwestern’s mission to equip students to give God-honoring leadership in all areas of life, the Office of Student Development hosts the Leadership Advance Conference each semester. What began in 1990 with 30 students, has now reached more than 200 students participating each semester.

Conference goals include:

  • Casting a vision for biblical/servant leadership
  • Challenging students' understanding of leadership
  • Helping assess individual leadership abilities
  • Providing students with tools for effective leadership

On-Campus Leadership Opportunities

Leadership opportunities at Northwestern abound! There are more than 30 clubs, student organizations and extracurricular activities in which to get involved. There is something for everyone, whether athletics, media communications, performing arts, spiritual growth and ministry, student government or other activities. We believe being involved in leadership complements academics and enhances a student's college experience.

To assist students in connecting with a leadership opportunity, each year, the Office of Student Development distributes the Passport to Leadership. This passport is designed to enable students to consider the various places to invest their gifts, abilities and strengths within the Northwestern community.

Leadership Lounge

The Leadership Lounge Series provides an opportunity for students to interact with established, well-known leaders from a variety of organizations on the topic of leadership. Past speakers have included John Fischer, senior writer at and Brenda Bertrand, speaker and mentor. These free events are open to all students.





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Get in touch with our admissions team for more information or to plan a campus visit.

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