Leadership Development Program

Employers consistently list leadership as a major need in the workplace.

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.

Program Requirements

Throughout the program, students will be encouraged to serve in leadership positions on- and off-campus

To participate in the Leadership Program, students must:

  • Either submit an application or be a recipient of the Leadership Scholarship
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5
  • Remain in good standing academically and behaviorally with University of Northwestern
  • Complete all four phases of the program

Program Results

Completion of the Leadership Program will provide:

  • A deeper understanding of biblical leadership
  • An understanding of who you are as a leader (i.e. personality type, spiritual gifts, and leadership style)
  • An opportunity to develop and apply leadership skills
  • An opportunity to reflect on God-honoring leadership beyond college

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I participate in both the Leadership Development Program and the Leadership Minor?

Yes! Students will find that both experiences build upon and enhance each other. The Leadership Development Program is designed to be completed within four semesters and can seamlessly be added to a student's academic schedule. The Leadership Minor was strategically designed to be incorporated into many of the majors at Northwestern.

Can anyone participate in the Leadership Development Program? Do I need to apply to the program?

Yes! The Leadership Development Program is open to all University of Northwestern students enrolled in the traditional undergraduate program. Applications for the Leadership Development Program can be submitted each fall.

Do I have to be in a student-leadership role on campus to be in the Leadership Development Program?

No. Being a student leader on campus is not a prerequisite to being in the program. This out-of-classroom curriculum is designed for any student interested in learning more about leadership and/or growing as a leader.

Why should I minor in leadership? How will it help me in my major?

The leadership minor is a great complement to any major and offers students an opportunity to explore leadership through a biblical worldview. These classes will help you realize your own personal style of interacting with people as well as introduce to you new ways of thinking about social situations and leadership. What you learn through the leadership minor will enhance the way you lead in your chosen field of interest.

Leadership minor

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

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.

Katie Friesen Smith, Director Leadership Program
651-631-5222
kjsmith@unwsp.edu