Leadership Development Institute


The Leadership Development Institute (LDI) is a year-long program targeted toward women and men leaders from across CCCU institutions, with 20-25 emerging leaders selected for the year-long program.

The 2021 CCCU Leadership Development Institute will serve the group of applicants who were accepted to participate in June 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic required deferring the LDI until June 10-14, 2021.

The LDI includes the following components:

  • A year-long leadership development program that begins with the Institute at Cedar Springs (rescheduled for 2021, circumstances permitting)
  • An individually-tailored “shadowing” experience of 2-3 days with a senior-level leader on another CCCU campus
  • Professional networking with 20-25 current and emerging leaders
  • An introduction to cutting-edge leadership literature and research
  • A one-on-one meeting with a Resource Team member to outline a year-long Professional Development Plan
  • Opportunities to interact about Leadership Lessons, Case Studies, and Best Practices from within and beyond Christian higher education

An application is required to participate. This event is partially underwritten through the generosity of Azusa Pacific University, long time partners of our leadership programming, and Design Group International and Vanderbloemen.




“The CCCU’s Leadership Development Institutes are opportunities for institutions to identify talent, resource their emerging leaders, and prepare them as torchbearers carrying the mantle of Christian higher education into our shared future. I left the LDI with a bigger vision for Christian higher education, my institution, and God’s calling on my life and leadership. I am stunned at how much time the resource leaders invested with us one on one. It’s an incredible opportunity to lean deeper into your calling.”

“I expected to leave the LDI with ideas and content to better my professional leadership. What I did not expect (and received, as a significant bonus) was the attention given to my heart and soul and their preparation for executive leadership. The combination of the small, cohort model, the Cedar Springs setting, the schedule, and life experiences of resource leaders made for a significant impact on my personal leadership journey.”

“The LDI provided a life-changing professional development experience. I am now better equipped and empowered to lead within my institution and Christian higher education. The team of resource leaders provided an exceptional amount of investment into participant growth and development. I left transformed and eager to serve.”

“Rarely have I encountered a conference that was so affirming, so direct, so spiritually grounded, and in which I felt so individualized and valued. This conference was just that, and so much more. I truly believe that this will have been a pivotal moment in my career development. I am grateful to God for this opportunity.”

“The LDI was critical in framing for me what it means to be a leader. The access to senior leadership across the CCCU, the network of budding scholars and leaders, and the space away at Cedar Springs to reflect on Christian leadership will forever mark my career.”


Applications Deadline: February 28, 2020
Applicant Decisions: March 13, 2020
Registration Fee Due: April 17, 2020


Upon notification of the acceptance of your application for the workshop, you will be required to immediately register to attend the workshop.

Accommodations, materials, and all meals are included in the registration fee.  Due to Covid restrictions, participants will register for single accommodations only.

Single Occupancy $775

Cancellation Policy
You may cancel your full registration or any special event associated with your registration at any time prior to the start of the program.  Please note that a cancellation will not result in a return of funds.  If your register and fail to attend an event, no funds will be returned.  If you have any questions about this policy, please contact us at 202.546-8713.

Application Process for 2020

Preference will be given to applicants who: (1) hold a doctorate or are actively considering/pursuing doctoral studies; (2) are recognized as “up-and- comers” with demonstrated leadership skills and the potential for future senior-level leadership; (3) provide evidence of increasing levels of leadership responsibility within and/or beyond higher education.

Accepted applicants must agree to be actively engaged in the following program components:

  • Completion of their specific institute-related readings
  • Participation in the entire June Institute at Cedar Springs
  • Development and fulfillment of a year-long Professional Development Plan
  • Interaction with a Resource Leader to identify a tailor-made shadowing site and mentor

Submission of a written shadowing report upon completion of the campus visit.

Step 1

Complete the LDI and WLDI Application Online Form before submitting your application (See link below).

Step 2

Please respond briefly to each of the following questions (no more than one page per question):

  • Describe your higher education leadership experience in faculty and/or administrative roles, indicating evidence of increasing areas of responsibility. Also, please describe what you discern to be your gifts and abilities that allow you to be effective in leadership.  In what specific ways have your leadership gifts been affirmed by others?
  • Identify and briefly describe three individuals who have been, or have the potential to be, professional mentors to you in higher education. Explain what characteristics have led you to include each of these three individuals (e.g., attributes and abilities you deem to be important in such a mentor) and note what current relationship, if any, you have with each of these individuals.
  • Describe briefly your professional, personal, and spiritual goals for the next three-to-five years as you consider the possibility of administrative leadership in Christian higher education. Briefly describe those areas that you perceive to need strengthening as you consider future leadership roles.  Please incorporate your preliminary thinking about the components that might be important to you in your shadowing experience and year-long Professional Development Plan.

Each application must be in sent in Word format only, submitted electronically and include the following:

  • The application cover sheet with personal information completed. Please include the following on your cover sheet:
    • Full Name
    • Title
    • Current Institutional Title
    • Institution
    • Years in Higher Education Teaching/Administration
    • Work Telephone with Extension
    • Work Email
    • Cell Number
    • Date of Submission
  • Your responses to the three questions listed above (no more than one page per question)
  • An abbreviated curriculum vitae (no more than three pages)
  • Two letters of reference to be submitted directly by those recommending the applicant. (See below instructions.) Recommendations from participants of previous CCCU Leadership Development Institutes are also encouraged but not necessary.

Registration Deadline – Friday, February 28, 2020

Please email your completed application and C.V. directly to Nita Stemmler at: nstemmler@cccu.org.

Step 3


  • One letter of reference from a senior-level administrator (current or previous) who is familiar with your professional abilities and leadership potential
  • One letter of reference from someone in higher education who knows you well and is qualified to address areas of competence and potential, character, areas of giftedness, and spiritual maturity

Reference letters should be sent directly from the referee and separate from the application. The subject of the email should read either ‘WLDI 2018 Reference: <Applicants name>’ or ‘LDI 2020 Reference: <Applicants name>’.   Please send letters via email only to Nita Stemmler at nstemmler@cccu.org.

We will not be accepting paper copies via mail.

Deadline for receiving references – Friday, February 28, 2020

Special Note:  If you are accepted, a “head shot” digital photograph that could be used in compiling a booklet of 2020 LDI participants will be requested.

Important Forms for LDI Participants


The entire workshop program will take place at the Cedar Springs Retreat Center.The closest airport to the Cedar Springs facility is Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport (SEA). A charter bus will transport participants to and from Sea-Tac airport only. Participants must arrange their own transportation from any other airport. Accommodations, materials, and all meals are included in the registration fee.  Accepted applicants can select from single occupancy accommodations or double occupancy accommodations.



Guy Chmieleski

Vice President of Student Affairs, Dean of Campus Ministries
Friends University
Wichita, KS

Sherilyn Emberton

Huntington University
Huntington, IN

Shirely Hoogstra

Shirley Hoogstra

Council for Christian Colleges & Universities
Washington, DC

Karen Longman

CCCU Senior Fellow;
Professor and Ph.D. Program Director, Doctoral Higher Education
Azusa Pacific University
Azusa, CA

Robert Rhodes

Abilene Christian University
Abilene, TX

Janet Sommers

Provost, Senior Vice President, Academic Affairs
University of Northwestern - St. Paul
Saint Paul, MN

Debby White

Strengths Coach
Former Carter Baldwin search consultant

David and Helen Wright

President and President's Spouse
Indiana Wesleyan University
Marion, IN

Women's Leadership Development Institute

Learn more about the Women’s Leadership Development Institute here.