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, except for two brief on-campus summer residencies (three days each) at the start and end of the program. 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

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

Leadership Certificate Questions?
Please contact:
Michael Gleason, (319) 352-8758

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 community 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 this certificate program, you will have developed and/or demonstrated the following abilities and attributes:

  • A personal leadership identity, where you understand your leadership style and strengths and how they integrate with others.
  • Skills and dispositions for understanding the perspectives of others.
  • Growth as a reflective practitioner of leadership with knowledge, skills, and commitments that foster stewardship of both human and material resources for positive social interaction.
  • Capacity to assess complex environments to understand the context of your leadership actions and how best to make adaptive progress.
  • Enhanced ability for collaborative engagement with partners in the application of your own life to the discipline and discourse of leadership.
  • Explain the role innovation and entrepreneurship play in organizational effectiveness.
  • Receive and give constructive feedback through the guided use of multiple leadership assessment tools, both as part of the curriculum and in an applied setting identified by you, and translate the feedback into actions to maximize your effectiveness.
  • Authentic understanding of the leadership development process through the creation of a portfolio that documents evolving reflections of your leadership journey.
  • Articulate what it means to live a life of purpose and call out the distinctions and similarities between living a life of success and a life of significance.


Course Credit


Time in Calendar

LDR490 Orientation to Online Learning


4 wks


LDR500 Leadership Res. Seminar: Integrating Mind, Body, Spirit


Extended wkend + 6 wks

June residency + 1st summer session

LDR510 Leadership Project Development


4 wks

2nd summer session

LDR520 Leadership History and Theory


6 wks

Fall Term, 1st 7 wks

LDR540 Leading Organizational Change & Innovation


6 wks

Fall Term, 2nd 7 wks

LDR575 Applied Leadership Project


6 wks

Winter Term, 1st 7 wks

LDR600 Leadership Portfolio Summary and Residency Seminar


4 wks + Extended wkend

Winter Term, 2nd 7 weeks and Concurrently with LDR500 June Residency