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Graduate Certificate Programs

Whitworth's graduate certificate programs help develop your professional skills so your résumé will stand out in a pool of qualified applicants.

Elevate: Leadership Certificate for Women

Certificate in Executive Leadership

Led by top business leaders in Spokane, the certificate in executive leadership at Whitworth is offered in an immersive-learning format using engaging practicums, a three-day outdoor excursion, in-class sessions and some hybrid-online content. You'll have the opportunity to participate in a multifaceted study of leadership theory and practice, and develop your leadership skills through experiences with:

  • One-on-one executive coaching
  • Community-engagement projects
  • Endless networking opportunities

This format provides a platform for you to engage and network with business professionals, executive leaders and local organizations in person.

Program Snapshot
Credits 12* continuing education (CE) credits
Completion Time 5 months*
Class Format Online and in-person classes with a weekend excursion and immersive practicums
Cost Per Credit $500** per credit (certificate only)
$925** per credit (degree-seeking students)
$200 course equipment fee
Application Deadline Rolling admission; registration accepted until program capacity has been reached

* Whitworth MBA alumni will only have 9 credits remaining to complete the certificate, which will take approximately 3 1/2 months to complete.

** 2022 cost per credit


"There's a crucial difference between teaching leadership and developing leaders. Whitworth's is a program that develops leaders."

Kevin Parker Owner, Dutch Bros. Coffee Whitworth MBA Leadership Instructor

Course Schedule & Requirements (Summer 2021)

The certificate in executive leadership can be completed on its own in just one summer, or it can be completed as a concentration in executive leadership during Whitworth's MBA program. The five-course series (four courses for Whitworth MBA alumni) begins each Summer Term.

Certificate Requirements - 12 Credits
MB 550 Executive Leadership
Tuesdays & Thursdays*: May 24, 26, June 2, 9
Practicum Weekend: June 11-13
3 credits
MB 551 Transferable Team Performance
Online: June 7-July 17
Pre-Trip Sessions: June 7, July 6, 8
Practicum Weekend: July 9-11
2 credits
MB 552 Design Thinking
Practicum Weekend: May 8-9
1 credit
MB 553 Leadership in Society
Wednesdays & Thursdays*: May 27-Aug. 5
3 credits
MB 501 Organizational Behavior and Leadership
(not required for MBA alumni)
Tuesdays & Thursdays*: Aug. 16-Sept. 24
3 credits

* Regular class sessions are in the evenings

Professional Outcomes

  • Expand your network of colleagues among other motivated business professionals in intentional, interactive classroom settings;
  • Gain valuable insight into emergent local business trends and needs;
  • Promote your unique brand as a leader with the help of experienced executive coaches;
  • Enhance your understanding of and ability to communicate the mission and impact of your business organization;
  • Identify best practices and approaches to utilizing your business' human capital;
  • Expand your sphere of influence and impact within the Spokane community.

Program Leadership

Instructors and leaders in this program contribute knowledge and expertise in business leadership accumulated from extensive backgrounds in business and higher education. You will benefit from the combined experience of executive business leaders with academic training from Harvard University, Stanford University and WestPoint Academy.

  • Sinead Voorhees
    Whitworth MBA Director
  • Kevin Parker
    Whitworth Instructor
    Owner, Dutch Bros. Coffee
    Former Washington State Representative, 6th Legislative District
  • Daniel Mahoney
    Whitworth Instructor
    Former CEO, Hitachi
  • Kevin Hopper
    Whitworth Instructor
    Former Director of Learning and Wellness, Dutch Bros. Coffee
    Former Associate Director of Health and Human Performance in Leadership Studies, Stanford University 

Experiential Learning Objectives

Participants will be introduced to the emerging field of design thinking, an innovative problem-solving methodology for maximizing a leader's efficacy in the workplace, and will apply the method to their own real-world projects. This program focuses on the following areas of professional leadership development:

Leadership & Self

Explore diverse approaches to principled leadership through the lens and ethos of servant leadership philosophy. You will engage and learn your own distinctive strengths as a leader while developing organizational strategy, building successful teams and learning new methods for facilitating difficult conversations in the workplace.

Leadership & Teams

Using the great outdoors as an unfamiliar platform, groups will explore concepts of organizational performance, team dysfunction and small group development. You'll learn to manage team leadership theory and its translatable effect in a unique environment, translating the experience into mission success strategies for individual organizations.

Leadership & Organizations

This program facilitates experiential learning within the business market, surveying trends in organizational behavior and applying leadership principles to real market scenarios. You will engage with prominent business, political and non-profit leaders, and share the realities, successes and challenges of managing an organization.

Leadership & Community

The culmination of your work toward certification will be your active leadership in a community impact project, embracing the design-thinking model for solution development. In partnership with a local organization, you will identify opportunities to advance the mission of an organization, imagining, prototyping and enacting a wide range of potential solutions to complex problems. This capstone project underscores the fact that leadership is not about oneself but rather the impact one can have on others.