Leadership Certificate Program


The Leadership Certificate Program is a three-year program open to all Sweet Briar students interested in exploring and developing their leadership skills. Students learn to lead with integrity through a program that combines academic and experiential learning and prepares them to become engaged and influential members of the world community.


Stan Pearson IIThe Leadership Certificate Program

  • Encourages an understanding of the theory and foundations of leadership;

  • Fosters personal development by emphasizing personal values, leadership styles, improved communication skills and ethical decision-making;

  • Provides the organizational and interpersonal skills necessary to work well with diverse populations and empower groups toward a common goal.


  • The first phase of the program begins with an exploration of what leadership is, including the qualities and characteristics of effective leaders, as well as basic theories and models of leadership. Students gain awareness and clarification of their personal styles, strengths and challenges as a leader and begin to develop their own definition of leadership. This includes acquiring concrete skills, such as time management and public speaking.
  • During the second year of the program, the focus shifts beyond the individual to being part of a team, organization or community, and learning to recognize and strengthen the dynamics within various settings. Community service projects and individual or small group presentations are a large part of the second-year experience.
  • The third year elevates students’ awareness of global and contemporary issues in leadership, as well as ethical dilemmas and decision-making frameworks. Gender issues in leadership are also further explored. Students in the third phase of the program also often present to, and mentor, students in the earlier phases.

During each phase, students

Homecoming Advisory Council dinner 2009

  • Begin the year with a fun half-day retreat;
  • Attend lunchtime meetings every other week;
  • Host and attend the annual Leadership Conference;
  • Have the option to attend off-campus events, including lectures, workshops or performances;
  • Identify and reflect upon classes they are taking relevant to their study of leadership;
  • Engage in interactive and experiential activities;
  • Write a reflective essay;
  • Celebrate the end of the year with a special event for all leadership students.


You gain knowledge and insight on leadership theories and style, strengths and weaknesses. You have the opportunity to develop your own style through interactive projects, and at graduation you receive the Sweet Briar Leadership Certificate! Together, these experiences provide you with a strong foundation for all your endeavors, both as a student and in your life beyond college.



Visit the online registration form to sign up for the program. If you have questions, contact Joan Lucy, director, Leadership Certificate Program at [email protected]


“The Leadership Program has given me the courage and the tools to step into the real world beyond Sweet Briar.”

— Kellner Pruett ’12

“The Leadership Certificate Program has been an integral part of my experiences at Sweet Briar, and without it I would not be the person I am today.”

— Katie Bird ’09

“With the tremendous diversity of the students participating in LCP, I have been exposed to different leadership styles and leadership dynamics in a cross-disciplinary group.”                        

  — Anne Lojek ’08