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 new Diploma in Applied Leadership. Crafted by leadership professionals, this two-year program 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
    • Leading Self
    • Administration
    • Leadership & Culture
    • Personal Sustainability
    • Team-Building
    • Conflict Management


Leadership Practicum

Leadership Practicum

Applied Leadership students engage in two service practicums, and one leadership practicum. You'll join the team at a local organization where you'll develop confidence, experience, and hands-on skills. 

COSTA RICA OPTION: Craving cross-cultural experience and a more immersive leadership experience? You have the option to do an extended leadership practicum in Costa Rica the spring of your second year.


Why Alanna Chose LEAD


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

On-Ramps to Applied Leadership


New Student - Enter Year 1

New Student? 
Enter the Diploma in Year 1.

Already know you want to focus on growing as a leader? Enroll in the Diploma 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 
Enter the Diploma in Year 2.

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



QUEST Grads - Enter Year 2

QUEST Grads 
Enter the Diploma 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. 

Emergency Rescue Technician Grads - Enter Year 2

Emergency Rescue Tech Grads 
Enter the Diploma 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.