Online Certificate in Servant Leadership

Pioneer Your Leadership Journey: Enroll in Viterbo's Exclusive Servant Leadership Certificate Program


In 2001, Viterbo University was the first university in the world to offer a master’s degree in servant leadership (MASL), and we are still the only MASL program in the nation.

More than 325 graduates continue to serve their organizations and communities in the fields of health care, education, military, religious institutions, large and small businesses, and non-profits.

Based on our succesful MASL program, we have created the servant leadership certificate program. This seven-week, non-credit online certificate features the flexibility to learn at your own pace and on your own schedule

At an affordable price of $799 for the entire online certificate, our servant leadership course allows you to learn from world-class instructors and reflect on on your experiences as a leader. Develop skills in communication, storytelling, and ethical decision-making to help build your community and create a servant-led culture within your institution.


What is Servant Leadership Theory?

Servant Leadership Meaning

Servant leadership theory is a unique philosophy that values the needs of others above personal interests. This model of leadership is centered around the well-being and development of team members.

Our servant leadership certificate program provides a comprehensive understanding of this approach to leadership, empowering individuals to become effective servant leaders in their chosen fields.

Benefits of Servant Leadership Theory

Adopting servant leadership principles can have numerous positive impacts on an organization. Operating from a servant leadership theory framework, you will foster a work culture that values positivity, encourages employee engagement and satisfaction, and enhances teamwork and collaboration.

By prioritizing the needs of others, servant leaders inspire trust, foster strong relationships, and empower their team members to reach their maximum potential.

Student Leadership Theory: Application Across Various Industries

Servant leadership is not confined to a specific industry or sector. It is adaptable and can be utilized in diverse fields such as business, health care, education, and non-profit organizations. Servant leadership theory can be tailored to address the unique needs and challenges of different sectors.

Whether you are a business professional aiming to enhance your leadership skills or an educator aspiring to foster a positive learning environment, our Servant Leadership Certificate program can provide you with the necessary tools and strategies for success.

Viterbo’s Online Certificate Structure

Our servant leadership certificate program offers a comprehensive and structured curriculum designed to equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in servant leadership roles.

We balance theoretical concepts and practical applications, providing a holistic learning experience. Our servant leadership course covers various aspects of servant leadership.

Throughout the online certificate program, you will develop a range of valuable skills and competencies. Learning outcomes focus on enhancing leadership abilities, fostering a servant mindset, and promoting ethical decision-making.

By the end of the program, you will be well-equipped with the tools necessary to lead with compassion, empathy, and a commitment to serving others.

Who Should Enroll in the Servant Leadership Certificate Program?

The Servant Leadership Certificate program is designed for a wide range of professionals seeking servant leadership development. Whether you are a seasoned executive or a talent development professional, our online certificate offers valuable insights and practical skills to enhance your leadership abilities.

Individuals who may benefit from our servant leadership course include:

Professionals seeking leadership development: If you want to take your career to the next level by honing your leadership skills, our program is an excellent choice. Whether you are in a managerial role or aspiring to become a leader in your organization, our servant leadership certificate will provide you with the necessary tools to lead with integrity, empathy, and a focus on serving others.

Managers and executives: If you want to enhance your leadership effectiveness, you will find our online certificate program extremely beneficial. It provides a comprehensive understanding of servant leadership principles and practices, offering valuable insights into fostering a positive work culture, empowering your team, and driving organizational success.

HR and talent development professionals: If you play a critical role in shaping organizational culture and developing leaders, our servant leadership certificate program offers a unique opportunity to apply servant leadership to your role. You will learn how to attract, develop, and retain servant leaders within your organization, creating a positive impact on employee engagement and overall performance.

Meet Our Student Leadership Certificate Students

“I loved the program. I found it validating. It also challenged me to express myself without fear of judgment. I felt kinship with the other students; and I found them to be people I would like to know and work with. They are thoughtful, well-intentioned, and wise. Their comments were stimulating and educational. I wish I could have said much of what they shared! As a result, I feel encouraged and empowered to act on my version of truth and leadership.”

Online Certificate Schedule

October 8 – November 26, 2024

Session 1 Posted Online October 8th
(learn at your own pace)
Welcome and Introductions—Meet the instructors and fellow cohort members
Session 2 Posted Online October 15th
(learn at your own pace)
“Servant Leadership Theory and Practice”
Optional Zoom: 7-8:00 pm CST on October 15th
Session 3 Posted Online October 22nd
(learn at your own pace)
“Listening and Self-awareness”
Session 4 Posted Online October 29th
(learn at your own pace)
“Leading Change and Transitions”
Optional Zoom: 7-8:00 pm CST on October 29th
Session 5 Posted Online November 5th
(learn at your own pace)
“Mission, Purpose, and Vocation”
Session 6  Posted Online November 12th (learn at your own pace) “Building Community”
Session 7 Posted Online November 19th
(learn at your own pace)            
“Building a Servant-Led Culture”
Optional Zoom: 7-8:00 pm CST on November 26th


Meet the Team


Thomas Thibodeau - Distinguished Professor of Servant Leadership

Thomas Thibodeau is the Distinguished Professor of Servant Leadership at Viterbo University where he has been teaching for 39 years. Tom is the founder of the master's degree in Servant leadership at Viterbo, the first and only master's degree of its kind in the nation. He is a husband, father, grandfather, teacher, active community member and part owner of a country tavern. Thibodeau speaks and consults regionally and nationally on the Positive Power of Servant Leadership.


Robert Toomey, Ed.DLearning & Talent Development Consultant

Robert Toomey, Ed.D., is a learning and talent development consultant. He has previously served in training and professional development for several public agencies. While serving as program director for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Division of Continuing Studies, Robert was founding director of the Servant Leadership Certificate program. Prior to receiving a doctorate in educational leadership from Edgewood College, Robert earned a M.A. in Servant Leadership from Viterbo University.

Nicole Van Ert

 Nicole Van Ert, MBA - Director of the Center for the Professional Learning

Van Ert has taught undergraduate and graduate courses within the College of Business, Leadership, and Ethics. She is a Ph.D. candidate at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, WI. Her dissertation research concerns ethical leadership and social capital. Van Ert is certified in the Predictive Index, The Leadership Circle Profile™ 360°, and Compression Planning®. She is passionate about historic home preservation and owns three vacation rentals with her friend and business partner. Van Ert enjoys serving the greater La Crosse community as an active board member of the Coulee Region Authentic Learning Council (CRALC) and La Crosse SOUP. 

Alycia Larson

Alycia Larson, MBA - Coordinator of the Center for Professional Learning

Alycia has taught undergraduate courses within the College of Business, Leadership, and Ethics at Viterbo University. She received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Viterbo. Alycia is certified in Compression Planning®, the Predictive Index, and is an Everything DiSC® Certified Practitioner. Larson serves on the Executive Committee for Viterbo’s Employee Assembly and is the recipient of the 2022 Servant Leader Award. She is an active member of the Board of Directors at Bethel Home and Services in Viroqua, WI.


Contact the Certificate Coordinator

Alycia Larson
Coordinator, Center for Professional Learning