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The graduate leadership certificate is designed for working professionals and provides a deep foundation of problem-based learning about leadership from many different perspectives. The program is entirely online. Participants can expect to finish the program in approximately one year. Credits may be applied to additional graduate work. 

The certificate program can be applied to any field and is designed to help individuals explore how they are called to lead and can enhance their own ability to navigate personal leadership challenges. All participants will be mentored and will receive a high level of faculty support as they progress through the program.

Program Benefits

Advance your career

Earn a credential

Create a summative portfolio of work

Earn credits toward a master's degree

Grow leadership abilities

Sharpen professional skills

Collaborate with a faculty mentor

Complete the program in 12 months

Application Deadline: May 1

Wartburg College defines leadership as “taking responsibility for our communities and making them better through public action.”  Community, in this context, can be broadly defined to include employment community, a spiritual community, and a geographic community, etc. Understanding the relationship of your role in various communities is critical for personal satisfaction and effective leadership. 

  • Apply online through our free graduate application.
  • Submit an undergraduate transcript from a regionally accredited college/university.
  • Submit an online essay.
  • Submit letters of recommendation.


  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college/university.
  • Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.00* from degree-granting college/university.
  • A personal statement (1-3) pages which addresses the following topics:
            – Your education and professional experience and how this has prepared you for graduate study in leadership.
            – Your personal reflection on what makes you a good candidate for an advanced degree in leadership.
            – A basic overview of a change you’d like to see in your workplace or organization of interest and how this program might assist you in implementing that change.
  • Curriculum vitae or resume including any relevant educational and professional experience.
  • Two letters of recommendation from professional references that must be received directly from references.  One letter should address the student’s leadership capabilities and ability to create positive change.  One letter should address the student’s ability to manage multiple priorities and be successful in academic pursuits.

*Students may be admitted on provisional status with a lower GPA.  Students on provisional status must obtain at least a 3.00 GPA after their first fall or winter term.

Upon completion of the graduate certificate, the learner will have demonstrated the following abilities and attributes:

  • Express a personal leadership identity, maximizing on personal effectiveness. 
  • Analyze complex environments and the need for change. 
  • Evaluate the role innovation and entrepreneurship play in organizational effectiveness within economic, social and political environments.
  • Develop knowledge, skills and commitments that foster stewardship of human and material resources. 
  • Translate the leadership development process through the creation of a portfolio reflective of the leadership journey. 
  • Articulate reflective analyses on what it means to live a life of purpose, distinguishing a life of success and a life of significance.


Course Credit


Time in Calendar

LDR490 Orientation to Leadership and Online Learning


4 wks


LDR500 Leadership Intensive Seminar: Integrating Mind, Body, Spirit


6 wks

Online intensive   + 1st summer session

LDR510 Leadership Project Development


4 wks

2nd summer session

LDR520 Leadership History and Theory


7 wks

Fall Term, 1st 7 wks

LDR540 Leading Organizational Change & Innovation


7 wks

Fall Term, 2nd 7 wks

LDR575 Applied Leadership Project


7 wks

Winter Term, 1st 7 wks

LDR600 Portfolio Summary and Leadership Instensive


4 wks + Online instensive

Winter Term, 2nd 7 weeks and online intensive

Graduate School Questions:  Doug Koschmeder
Assistant Dean of the Faculty | (319) 352-8761 

Leadership Certificate Questions: Michael Gleason 
Director of the Institute for Leadership Education | (319) 352-8758