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Christian Leadership Certificate Program

The Christian Leadership Certificate Program captures the Wisconsin Lutheran College mission of preparing students for lives of Christian Leadership. Certificates are offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Questions? Contact Jeremy Bock, Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership, at 414.443.8935 or by email.

  • Undergraduate Certificate Program

    We want to celebrate what WLC students are doing with leadership while helping them take the next step with their skills. We celebrate academic excellence with honors, we celebrate athletic excellence with awards, and we want to celebrate leadership excellence with this certificate. The program is an exciting opportunity for students to develop and strengthen their leadership skills. It also provides students with tangible evidence of their leadership experiences to use out in the world.


    1. Build your resume: Not many schools have a similar program, so this will set you apart from other job candidates. Employers like to see that a candidate has strong leadership qualities; it means they have good integrity, can motivate themselves and others, and have initiative to go above and beyond!
    2. Gain REAL life leadership experience and build a personal leadership portfolio: Employers are asking more behavior-based questions to find out candidates' strengths. This program will give you real leadership examples and projects to discuss. Your leadership portfolio will allow you to give tangible evidence of what you have done!
    3. Receive coaching and mentoring in leadership: Students will obtain a mentor from off the WLC campus, which is great for personal development and can be used as a reference!
    4. Getting involved: Studies show that involvement in extracurricular activities has a positive effect on student learning and the overall college experience. Students who are actively engaged are more likely to have success in their college careers.
    5. Great networking opportunity both at WLC and off campus: WLC believes in its students and the impact they have on both the WLC family and the outside community. Through seminars, workshops, and service projects, students will be able to build and strengthen these relationships. It also offers great potential for job opportunities!
    6. Helps students gain insight and self-awareness about their leadership style: What type of leader are you? Students can tailor this program to best fit their strengths while they grow both professionally and spiritually.
    7. Receive a certificate and recognition: Celebrate the leadership experience and skills you have gained!


    The Christian Leadership Certificate Program consists of five activity areas: Academic, Leadership Learning, Commitment to Service, Mentorship, and Independent Leadership Initiatives. Each activity area has its own requirements as detailed below.


    Two courses from WLC's academic catalog are required. For each course, students will submit a one-page reflective essay OR approved creative project demonstrating how their perspective on leadership has been impacted by the course's curriculum and assignments.

    • All students will complete COM 333 Leadership and Communication with a grade of C or better.
    • Student should select one course from within their major that enhanced or informed their view of leadership as it applies to their field of study or intended career. The selected course must be approved by the Certificate Coordinator and taken within the final four semesters of the academic program.


    (10 hours/year minimum; total of 30 hours for certification)

    • Participation in on-campus leadership workshops/seminars and speaker series.
    • Participation in off-campus leadership workshop/seminars requires approval from the student's leadership coach prior to attending.

    * Hours must be logged in the Leadership Portfolio within seven days of the date of completion of the workshop, seminar, etc.


    (20 hours/year minimum; total of 60 hours for certification)

    Jesus was the consummate example of the "Servant Leader." Jesus' words to his disciples give us a clear picture of this teaching: "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." - Mark 10:45

    An integral component of Christian leadership is service to others. In this activity area, students are asked to put those ideals into practice. Students will be required to complete service opportunities both on and off campus.

    Examples of service opportunities students could take part in are available in the Commitment to Service Ideas. Students who participate in other service opportunities need to get approval from the Certificate Coordinator.

    * A maximum of 20 hours of service may take place on campus.

    ** 10 hours of off-campus service must be dedicated to serving a church or Christian organization.

    *** Hours of service are exclusive of activities that fulfill other requirements for certification.


    Mentors are experienced people who provide information, advice, support, and encouragement to less experienced people, often leading and guiding by example.

    Students will select a mentor from outside the Wisconsin Lutheran College community, whom they identify as a leader, and cultivate a relationship with this individual throughout their college career. Students will include a reflective essay on the lessons learned from their mentor, and how they plan to apply these lessons in their lives as Christian leaders. Contact the Certficate Coordinator for a current list of available mentors.


    Students are required to complete two Leadership Initiatives. One initiative should be done individually and the other in a team format of two to three students. To successfully complete each Independent Leadership Initiative, a student must:

    • Identify a problem/need in the community.
    • Promote awareness of this problem/need to others.
    • Organize a group to address the problem/need.
    • Measure the effect of the initiative.

    Each Leadership Initiative requires documentation of the effectiveness of the initiative according to the categories listed above and reflection on the process. The student will use a variety of media (photos, video, website, etc.) to present the results of one of the initiatives to a campus/community group.

    * A minimum of one Leadership Initiative must address an off-campus problem or need.

    As students complete the different activity areas, they will update their Christian Leadership Development Portfolio (CLDP) and continue to build it throughout program.

    Upon completion of the program, students will submit their updated CLDP, write a brief reflective essay, submit three letters of recommendation, and complete a final portfolio presentation.

    Once the final stages of program are completed and approved by the Leadership Committee, students will be recognized for all of their leadership work by being presented with their Certificate in Christian Leadership.


    The application deadline is March 26 of a student's freshman year. Accepted applicants will be granted provisional enrollment that is contingent on the applicant completing 30 credit hours with a minimum GPA of 2.5 and completing one semester of study at Wisconsin Lutheran College. The non-credit certificate program consists of a minimum of five semesters beginning in the fall of the applicant's sophomore year.

    Students must also be held to the highest standard of behavior and exhibit strong Christian character. Final acceptance to the Christian Leadership Certificate Program will be granted by the Executive Director of the Center for Christian Leadership. After acceptance, any violations of the WLC Code of Conduct could result in removal from program.

    • Students must first complete Application/Statement of Intent detailing their leadership skills and goals as well as why they would like to participate in program. Secondly the student must submit the Recommendation Form, completed by a person who can attest to their capacity for leadership growth.

    • Once student has been admitted into program they will meet with the Certificate Coordinator to go over the program and select an advisor who will guide the student throughout program. This advisor will then meet with the student to create their Christian Leadership Development Portfolio (CLDP), which addresses plans and goals for leadership growth.

  • Graduate Certificate Program

    Whether you want to accelerate your career, focus on professional growth, or learn how to bring out the best in those you lead, Wisconsin Lutheran College’s Christian Leadership Certificate program can help you by focusing on the guiding principles of servant leadership, personal leadership development, and situational leadership.

    With curriculum supported by leadership experts like Maxwell, Blanchard, and Grenny, this graduate-level certificate provides current and aspiring leaders with an opportunity to grow their knowledge and skills base.


    The certificate process is streamlined into three, eight-week courses, each worth three graduate credits (nine credits total). Students benefit from a combination of online and classroom instruction that invites interactive discussion and feedback encouraging innovative practices. The entire certificate can be earned in about six months if consecutive courses are taken.


    Course I - Servant Leadership: Integration of Theory and Practice

    This course provides an overview of leadership theory and practice, with an emphasis on the attitude and skills of servant leadership based on the teaching and example of Jesus Christ. Students explore themes of Christian leadership, discuss leadership theory, learn styles of leadership, and apply these theoretical concepts to a personal, servant leadership impact plan.

    Course II - Personal Leadership Development

    This course takes the learner through a personal self-discovery of leadership qualities that help build understanding and application toward service to other individuals and organizations. Emphasis is placed on core value development, vision, theory to action, and other leadership principles, as well as practical application of personal leadership skills. The course culminates with a personal leadership development plan.

    Course III - Situational Leadership

    This course focuses on Situational Leadership® II (SLII), which is recognized as a business language and framework for development that transcends cultural, linguistic, and geographical boundaries. Its foundation lies in teaching leaders to diagnose the needs of an individual or a team, then use the appropriate leadership style to respond to the needs of the person while also developing leadership skills within the individual. Students create a culminating project that defines a situation, develops a plan, and deploys a strategy followed by an in-depth self-reflection.

    Each course is $950 and includes all materials. Corporate discounts are available.

    To enroll, please contact Andrew Zimdars in the College of Adult and Graduate Studies at 414.443.8782.


    Q: How much does the program cost? 

    A: The cost for each course is $950 per person. Groups of eight or more can qualify for a corporate rate of $850 per course per person. 

    Q: What is the format and scheduling of the program?

    A: Courses are taken sequentially (Course 1: Servant Leadership: Integration of Theory and Practice, Course II: Personal Leadership Development, Course III: Situational Leadership). Each course is eight weeks long. The previous course must be completed before taking the next sequential course.

    Courses are offered in a blended format and includes both in-person and online formats with the majority of each course being taught online. Please contact an enrollment advisor for specifics on in-person meeting dates/times for upcoming starts in the program. Program starts are available in January, June, and August. 

    Q: How long does it take to complete the program? 

    A: If each course is taken within the prescribed progression plan of scheduled eight-week modules, all three courses can be completed within six months. Because courses must be taken sequentially, any interruption to enrollment would result in waiting until the next sequentially prescribed course is offered again. However, each course in the sequence is offered three times in a calendar year.

    Q: Is Federal Student Financial Aid available for tuition costs?

    A: Federal Student Financial Aid is not available for the program. However, payment plans are available. Please ask your enrollment advisor for more information on payment plan options. 

    Q: I have a group of individuals from my company/organization I would like to go through this program together. Are there features of the program that can be modified for groups?

    A: Yes - Groups of eight or more from the same company/organization may request going through the program as a private cohort, as well as the option to request other customized features of the program. Please contact your enrollment advisor to discuss this further. Groups with fewer than eight participants may be combined with other individually enrolled students. 

    Q: Is being a Christian or being employed at a Christian workplace a requirement for my enrollment in the program?

    A: No. While the program will be taught from a Christian perspective and focuses on the principles of Christianity as it relates to servant leadership, being a Christian is not a requirement for enrolling in the program. Working in a specifically Christian setting is also not a requirement, as the curriculum is supported by renowned leadership experts like Maxwell, Blanchard, and Greeny, and is rooted in best practices in servant leadership regardless of religion or workplace. 

    Q: Am I required to have a bachelor's degree to enroll in the program?

    A: Yes, prior completion of a bachelor's degree is required because the Christian Leadership Certificate is a graduate-level program and provides graduate-level credits.

    Q: What is included in the admissions process?

    A: All that is needed to complete your admission into the program is the submission of an online application. Upon receipt of your application, an enrollment advisor will follow up with you regarding your enrollment.  

    Q: What is the time commitment I should expect with the program?

    A: Students in the program can expect a total of 15-20 hours per week in each course. 

    Q: What is required to earn the certificate?

    A: Along with successful completion of all course and program requirements, a minimum grade of a B or higher is required to pass each course, and a minimum GPA of 3.0 or higher is required to complete the certificate. 


    • Discover your personal leadership qualities and how to apply them in practical ways in service to others.
    • Develop a servant leadership impact plan to successfully implement change in your leadership setting and positively impact those you serve.
    • Construct a framework for applying various leadership styles to meet the needs of those you lead.