This March, Northwestern announced its brand new leadership studies minor. The new minor is the first interdisciplinary minor offered by NW which will not be housed in a department, but rather in the new Center for Innovation and Leadership which opened in August of 2020.
Dr. Jenny Song, who helped facilitate the creation of the minor, said, “This program will allow students to deepen their understanding of leadership theory informed by biblical principles and servant-leadership as a way of living and its application to their field of study and career goals.”
The minor requires a minimum of twenty credits which breaks down to three core courses, one practicum course and three elective courses from a list of ten. Many of these courses fall under the disciplines of leadership, management, sociology, psychology, Christian studies and public relations.
Students can declare their leadership minor this semester and begin taking classes toward the minor this coming fall. For example, Servant-Leadership (BUS/CEY 310), one of the new courses developed for the minor, will be offered fall of 2021 for two credits.
The idea for the leadership minor originally came to be when the business department began working on potential new program ideas. At first, the program was meant to work under the Northwestern Bridge Scholars and Franken Leadership Scholars programs, but eventually, it developed into a minor under the collaboration between Erica Vonk, the director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership, and professors Dr. Jason Lief and Dr. Jenny Song.
Vonk is responsible for marketing the new minor and
monitoring enrollment and course offerings. Dr. Lief and Dr. Song both worked together to draft the proposal for the minor.
Many students are excited about this minor as well.
Bryant Agre, a freshman finance major who is adding the leadership minor, said, “The leadership minor excites me because Jenny Song is one of the core leaders and it seems like an opportunity that most colleges don’t offer. God calls us to be servant leaders and this minor will help individuals like me to expand on this calling.”
After completing the minor, students should expect to utilize leadership theory and language, come to an understanding of leadership founded on biblical principles, apply knowledge and leadership skills to their future careers and more.
Erica Vonk has high hopes for this new program.She said, “This minor allows undergraduate students to set themselves apart in the interview stage,” she said. “And they will feel more prepared and confident in their abilities in the workplace and communities in which they live. For the college, it sets a good example of calling and skillsets that cross boundaries of majors which breaks down silos and encourages us all to work together ‘On Purpose, For His Purpose.’”
Students interested in this new program can contact Erica Vonk, Dr. Jason Lief or Dr. Jenny Song.