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Student Programs

Leadership Development Opportunities


Leadership development has been the focus of higher education since the inception of colleges and universities. The mission of many of the world’s first institutions is to prepare political, social, ministry and professional leaders is evidence of this historical and contemporary focus. While the commitment to leadership development has remained strong, there are multiple models, theories, and definitions concerning leadership and leadership development. One of the questions facing many colleges and universities is how students develop as leaders.


Leadership development efforts occur in many contexts at Messiah College. We reject the notion of leading by the elite and aim to create and sustain an environment characterized by leadership by all. These efforts include learning about historical and contemporary leaders and leadership theories and ideas. They also include character formation and personal growth opportunities because we believe that leadership development, character, and spiritual formation cannot be separated. In addition, we provide opportunities for students to improve on the skills and abilities that are often associated with effective leaders. Examples include communication skills, decision-making, and conflict resolution skills. Finally, we recognize outstanding leaders and leadership. Publicly affirming individuals encourages further work on the part of the recipients, and inspires others to follow the recipient’s example.


Leadership Development Strategies


Common Learning & Identity as Leaders


Personalized Mentoring Strategy


  1. A challenging, but doable, setting for students to practice leadership where they…
  2. Receive 360 degree feedback from which they develop…
  3. A growth plan with 2-3 goals targeting leadership development which is supported by…
  4. Regular mentoring / accountability from their advisor who also helps them to…
  5. Transfer the growth and learning in leadership to other settings and areas of their life


Common Celebration of Growth & Learning

  • End of Year Dessert Reception


The following areas are some of the intentional ways that the College is developing Christ-like leaders.


  • The Leadership Minor and Leadership Courses found in several majors
  • Leadership Recognition and Awards
  • Meaningful involvement in Student Government and/or Student Organizations
  • Participating in an Intercollegiate NCAA team
  • Membership in a student performing group
  • Community Service, Service Learning, or Cross-Cultural Missions at the Agape Center
  • Students serving as Resident Assistants within Residence Life
  • Students serving as chaplains, small group leaders, and worship leaders through College Ministries
  • Student Facilitators at the Loft and within Adventure Programs
  • Internships, Externships, and Practicum
  • Mentoring, Discipleship and Intentional Formational Relationships
  • Journaling and Purposeful Reflection
  • Cross-cultural experiences, study abroad and discussions about socio-cultural issues







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