Applied Leadership

Program Overview



There's a leader inside everyone.


True or false? Great leaders are born, not made.

We say ‘False.’ We believe you have incredible potential for leadership. It doesn’t matter if you’re the take-charge type or more of a behind-the-scenes person. What matters is that you can learn to make the most of your capacity to impact the world around you. Good thing, too, because in today’s marketplace, leadership skills are a must-have. Organizations are on the lookout for solid team-players, men and women of integrity and confidence who know how to take ideas and turn them into reality.

This is why Columbia has launched the Applied Leadership diploma and degree programs. Crafted by leadership professionals, Applied Leadership will equip you to become the leader God designed you to be. You’ll be developed from the inside out as you study Scripture and get to know Jesus, the ultimate Servant Leader. You’ll engage in a unique blend of classroom learning, reflective assignments, experiential exercises, and hands-on training that will help you make discoveries about yourself and how to be a great leader. With small class sizes, caring mentors, and a rich, Christ-centered community, you’ll receive plenty of constructive feedback that will spur you on. Wherever God calls you, you’ll be prepared to make an impact.



Authentic, Transformational, Servant

Authentic, Transformational, 
Servant Leadership

This is the heart of our Applied Leadership program. We believe great leaders are authentic - they lead out of who they are and what they value most. 

We believe great leaders are transformational - making an impact on the world around them.

We believe great leaders are servants - valuing those they lead above themselves.


Concepts & Skills Developed

Concepts & Skills Developed

Curious about the specifics that will be covered? Here are principles and skills you'll learn:

    • Theology of Leadership
    • Administration
    • Leadership & Culture
    • Personal Sustainability
    • Team-Building, Empowering Leadership
    • Conflict Management
    • Organizational Behaviour


Leadership Practicum

Leadership Practicum

Applied Leadership students engage in two practicum placements, one with a focus on leadership. You'll join the team at a local organization where you'll develop confidence, experience, and hands-on skills. Degree students will also complete a leadership internship in their third or fourth year of study, one that will provide challenge and growth in the areas learned in the classroom. 

COSTA RICA OPTION: Craving cross-cultural experience and a more immersive leadership experience? You have the option to do an extended leadership practicum Esperanza Ministry  in the spring of your second year, or an internship placement in the spring of your third year.


Why Alanna Chose LEAD

Meet Alanna

One person who completed the Applied Leadership curriculum is Alanna. She's a registered nurse, with a passionate commitment to her chosen field and a rewarding position on a busy surgical ward. Why would she put her nursing career on hold to enroll at Columbia?  And what makes her say every minute has been worth it?



Read Alanna's Story
The Lepps

Meet Rob & Char Lepp

Local Business Owners
Lepp Farm Market, Abbotsford

"A business can spend a lifetime looking for people who exemplify servant leadership, and Lepp Farm Market is privileged to have not one, but two outstanding Columbia graduates as leaders in our company. Both men consistently live out the leadership standards Jesus calls us to, both in how they treat their team as well as how they represent our business to customers and suppliers. Their positive outlook on life makes them the kind of leaders that their teams respectfully and eagerly follow and benefits our entire company."


Meet Adonis

Dip. in Applied Leadership, Class of 2019
Home Country: Zimbabwe, Africa

“What I really wanted was to learn leadership from a Christian point of view,” says Adonis. “The Diploma in Applied Leadership has been amazing. It’s exactly what I wanted to learn for what I want to do. It’s more than just classwork. I have a monthly meeting with my program directors, where they ask me how I’m doing. It’s been so refreshing. They’re interested in who I am, what I want to achieve, and whether I’m getting there.”

Read Adonis' Story

On-Ramps to Applied Leadership


New Student - Enter Year 1

New Student? 
Enter Applied Leadership in Year 1.

Already know you want to focus on growing as a leader? Enroll in the diploma/degree in Applied Leadership from your first day at Columbia, and start tackling this fascinating subject right away.

Columbia One - Enter Year 2

Columbia One Grads 
EnterApplied Leadership in Year 2.

It's a seamless transfer. Complete your Columbia One certificate then enroll in the diploma/degree in Applied Leadership in your second year.



QUEST Grads - Enter Year 2

QUEST Grads 
Enter Applied Leadership in Year 2.

In QUEST, you've spent a year rubbing shoulders with amazing leaders on outdoor adventures. Get started on the path to great leadership by finishing a second year at Columbia and earning your Diploma in Applied Leadership, or enrolling in the BA in Practical Theology (Applied Leadership).

Emergency Rescue Technician Grads - Enter Year 2

Emergency Rescue Tech Grads 
Enter Applied Leadership in Year 2.

The brand-new ERT certificate program will train you - mind, character, and hard skills - to respond with confidence and know-how in tough situations. Take your leadership to the next level by adding in soft skills like team-building, administration, and cultural adaptability.

Applied Leadership Academic Info

Diploma in Applied Leadership

Students in the Applied Leadership Diploma will complete 62.0 academic credits over two years. In addition to Columbia's core requirements, which include biblical studies, theology, spiritual formation, history and philosophy courses designed to provide a solid foundation in the Christian faith, students will complete six leadership courses and a leadership practicum.

Bachelor of Arts in Practical Theology, Major in Applied Leadership

The B.A. in Practical Theology (Applied Leadership) builds upon the foundational elements of leading oneself and teams well, learned in the diploma. Degree students will not only go deeper in their theological knowledge, but will also explore leadership at the organizational level. They will discover how organizations behave, how to empower staff and team members, and develop further business management awareness. Students will graduate having learned to balance leadership and management effectively, and be prepared for a wide range of roles within ministry, non-profit, and business settings.

Applied Leadership Minors

Each degree student at Columbia has the option to select a minor in a variety of fields. Typically, minors are chosen in a student's third year of study and will inform they type of internship placement they choose. Learn more about available minors.


Biblical Studies
Counselling & Human Services
Social Entrepreneurship
Church Ministry
Intercultural Studies
Ministry to Children
Practical Ministry
Worship Arts
Youth Work