Examine in depth the core aspects of Servant Leadership, guided by skilled servant leaders. This new, 5-module certificate program is open to aspiring servant-leaders in public sector, nonprofit, human services, business, health care, religious, and other organizations. Five 1-day modules include: Servant Leadership Foundations, Artful Leadership through Self-Knowledge, Building Community and Developing Others, Stewardship of Organizational Resources, and Servant Leadership Project: Recognition and Reflection. Module 1 is a prerequisite for other modules.

Note: The spring 2014 cohort of the Servant Leadership Certificate is full, and we can no longer accept registrations. We are currently planning the next cohort. Please contact Robert Toomey at rtoomey@dcs.wisc.edu for details.

At a glance





Registration closed

Why this program?

The new Certificate in Servant Leadership draws on UW-Madison’s unparalleled experience and expertise in helping working professionals expand their knowledge and enhance their careers. Through our unique combination of experience, expertise, innovation, and credibility, we can help you be your best for your organization and stand out in an increasingly competitive environment.

Our goal is to help you succeed by delivering first-hand experience, proven approaches, and best practices. Whether you’re new to the field or bring years of experience, you’ll gain proven principles and practical knowledge you can put to use immediately to serve those counting on you for effective leadership.

Who is this program for?

This new program is open to anyone interested in learning more about servant leadership and how to apply it. Typical participants include leaders, program staff, supervisors, managers, and aspiring leaders in public-sector, nonprofit, business, health care, human services, religious, and other organizations.

Learners should come with an open mind; a desire to serve first, then lead; and a willingness to be part of a learning environment by listening and learning from others and thoughtfully and actively contributing to the learning experience.

Program overview

Offered for the first time in Spring 2014, this noncredit certificate program will teach participants the philosophy and practice of servant leadership, which is a particular leadership approach that begins with the desire to serve. While it is not new, servant leadership is of great interest in various sectors and organizations. The phrase was coined around 1970 by Robert Greenleaf.

This 30-hour classroom, site-based program will be offered on 5 Fridays over about 4 months. The series is intended to provide an in-depth examination of the core aspects of servant leadership in a supportive, quality learning environment led by skilled, experienced servant leaders. Various topics will cover foundational texts and concepts, and examples of successful servant leadership practices by individuals and organizations. The certificate series will close with a reflective project.

(The program will offer CEUs, CPM credit hours, and optional portfolio credits for students enrolled in Viterbo University’s MA program in Servant Leadership.)

What you’ll learn

  • Identify the foundations of servant leadership
  • Describe the philosophy of servant leadership
  • Develop self-awareness of individual personality preferences and styles
  • Explore models of individual servant-leaders
  • Learn a variety of practices for building community and practicing stewardship
  • Recognize and reflect on servant leadership practice and projects
  • Complete the certificate series with a reflective project and presentation

Program modules

Module 1 is required for all others; Modules 1-4 required before attending Module 5. Must take all 5 modules to receive certificate; can take individual courses without receiving certificate.

Module 1: Servant Leadership Fundamentals (Mar 7)
Basis: Greenleaf’s text. Introductory module with concepts; some advance pre-reading. Servant leader models, discussion, case studies, examples where it works (success stories).

Module 2: Artful Leadership Through Self-Knowledge (Apr 4)
Basis: Self-assessment. Required Pre-work: Assessment, then report with results and discussion of application. Other readings: Margaret Wheatley, Colleen Barrett, Max DePree. Reflection, awareness, contemplation, mindfulness.

Module 3: Building Community & Developing Others (Apr 25)
Basis: James Autry. Planning partnerships, community-building, building a culture of trust, team-building, and dealing with thorny team issues. Hospitality, individual/people development, recognition, inclusivity, and valuing diversity.

Module 4: Stewardship of Organizational Resources (May 16)
Basis: Peter Block. Learn about stewardship practices (e.g. Holy Wisdom Monastery site) as well as good management practices such as wise use of financial, human, and other organizational resources.

Module 5: Servant Leadership Project: Recognition & Reflection (June 27)
Putting it together, seeing the whole. Reflecting on a service project chosen by the participant. Recognizing servant leadership in others. Interview/profile a servant-leader. Concluding celebration/ritual.

Questions? Contact Robert Toomey, rtoomey@dcs.wisc.edu, 608-262-2576