Institute for Transformational Leadership

Transformational Leadership

Applications for the Fall 2016 cohort of the Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership are now being accepted. The application deadline is August 1

Program Description

Leading in today's dynamic, global, and multi-generational world provides new challenges and requires innovative new approaches to leadership. At a time of increasing complexity, leaders across sectors and geographies recognize that the work of a leader involves far more than driving results and delivering numbers. The 20th century “command-and-control” approach no longer works effectively in many settings. To affect change, today's leaders must be able to articulate clear purpose and organizational values, create a shared vision, and build organizations that rely upon the skills of communication, collaboration and teamwork, in addition to effective decision-making. More than anything else, leaders today must be able to enlist the engagement of those whom they lead.

Leaders today face common concerns, such as how to manage globally, deliver successful performance in the face of rapid change, integrate new and groundbreaking technologies and develop the next generation of leaders, yet accomplishing these important goals requires not only the acquisition of skills, but also a significant increase in self-awareness and the capacity to lead. 21st century leaders must be able to:

  • Grow and expand as human beings even as they lead extraordinary outcomes for their communities and organizations;
  • Convene important conversations that include many diverse stakeholders in order to solve complex problems;
  • Bring authentic presence, integrity, vision, compassion, expertise and commitment to a higher purpose that awakens others to new possibilities and outcomes;
  • Call for, develop, and inspire the best work from others;
  • Build and sustain a dynamic network of those whose interests are related and affected by common concerns and aspirations;
  • Cope with and thrive in the rapid pace of change;
  • Bring both mindfulness and action to matters that require attention and decision;
  • Move people from a finite and limited view or identity into a larger understanding of who they are as individuals, groups and organizations;
  • Provide forward-looking direction and context through storytelling and visioning that enables others to see the future that lies ahead, and;
  • Take a stand for their beliefs and vision that creates clarity and calls for commitment from others and hold this stance even in the face of adversity, challenge, and risk.

Designed for current or emerging senior leaders, the Georgetown University Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership is a highly experiential program that offers hands-on practice in transformational leadership. The program focuses on the inner work of leadership in addition to expanding participants’ understanding of how to lead in the midst of change and complexity. Specifically, the program emphasizes leadership development on three levels:

  1. Learning about self as a leader and instrument of change;
  2. Creating productive and fulfilling relationships in a leadership role and;
  3. Understanding leadership within complex systems.

Over six months and seven courses, program participants complete a robust, interdisciplinary, and highly applied curriculum that includes:

  • Learning from cutting edge leadership development research, top faculty, and training on proven leadership practices
  • One-on-one and small group learning experiences
  • Instruction from experts, including personal one-on-one coaching with Georgetown-trained leadership coaches
  • Opportunities for substantive self-assessment, reflection and feedback
  • Application of learning in the form of a leadership practicum
  • Engaged learning community of peers

Program Directors Sheryl Phillips and Randy Chittum discuss the program's unique experience for leaders.

Program Objectives

Upon completion of the program, leaders will gain:

  • Significantly expanded capacity and skill as a leader;
  • Understanding of essential distinctions about leadership, teams, change, communication, vision and strategy that can lead to powerful new outcomes within own organization;
  • A personal leadership vision to guide continued development and success;
  • Deepened self-awareness and access to choices available through leadership role;
  • Personal experience of transformational learning and awareness of how to enact change in one’s own organization; and
  • Learning community and network of colleagues across sectors.

Designed For

Senior leaders from across sectors seeking to achieve greater effectiveness and mastery as an organizational leader. Applicants typically will hold a title of director, vice president or above and should have a minimum of 8 years of professional experience at these levels.

Program Format

Participants complete six modules in sequence over a six-month period:

Overall, the program includes 151 hours of instruction. Courses meet from 8:30am to 4:30pm on three consecutive days, Wednesday through Friday, once a month. Each three-day session includes 2.5 days of instruction as an entire cohort followed by a half day of small group activities in a Leadership Circle. Additionally, individual meeting times with a Leadership Coach are arranged to fit the schedule of each participant. 

Supplementing the eighteen (19) days of in-person classes, participants will complete outside reading, written, and practical assignments throughout the program, including:

  1. Pre-class and post-class reading, writing, reflection, and practice assignments
  2. Assessments, such as the Maturity Assessment Profile (MAP) and The Leadership Circle 360
  3. One individual coaching session/month with a Leadership Coach
  4. Consultation and Reflective Action Learning with a peer group
  5. Leadership Practicum/Project
  6. Final Paper (20-25 pages)

Estimated time commitment outside the classroom is ten hours per week throughout the six-month program; however, the student’s leadership role will provide the primary place of practice and study. The program culminates with a leadership practicum and a final written reflective paper of 20-25 pages in length. In addition to the amount of study of leadership content outlined above, participants are required to engage in significant reflection and self-examination to better prepare themselves for the deep, personal work needed to become more effective leaders.

The certificate is a cohort program and participants are required to attend and complete all courses in sequence and in person to earn the Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership from Georgetown University. Courses cannot be taken independently of the certificate program.

Certificate Requirements

To receive the Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership from Georgetown University, students must successfully complete all seven (7) required courses for a total of 15.10 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), or 151.0 contact hours. The program must be completed in sequence as a cohort over the six-month duration of the program.

Program Faculty

The faculty at the Institute for Transformational Leadership are multifaceted and diverse with respect to educational background, experience, expertise, and research interests. The instructors in the Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership program are a blend of practicing leaders and leadership development professionals. In addition to formal academic credentials and deep industry experience, many faculty have obtained the PCC or MCC designation from the International Coach Federation.

Program Materials

Most course materials are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed in digital format and accessible through Blackboard, Georgetown's learning management system. Students must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.

Program Tuition

Program tuition for the Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership program is $11,995.00. Tuition is due at time of registration. A payment plan that allows participants to pay in installments over the duration of the program is available from the Office of Student Accounts. Withdrawals and refunds are subject to the Withdrawal and Refund policy.

The program may also qualify for Veterans Affairs Benefits for eligible students.

Tuition Payment Considerations

While non-credit professional certificate programs do not qualify for federal financial aid, prospective students should consider the following for tuition payment:

  • Seek employer funding or reimbursement
  • Enroll in our interest-free payment plan
  • Apply for a private education loan

Admissions Prerequisites

Applicants must have the following prerequisites to ensure the appropriate knowledge, experience, and mindset to succeed in the program:
  • A bachelors degree
  • At least eight years of leadership experience in government, private sector, or a non-profit organization
  • Openness to feedback; capacity for self-examination; willingness to challenge one's own beliefs

Admissions Philosophy

The applications review committee is tasked with choosing applicants that can create a learning community that includes students who bring diversity, a desire to learn, and the time and commitment at this point in their lives for their own transformational learning. The interaction and contribution of our students is an important part of the learning in the cohort. With that in mind, we carefully choose qualified applicants who share our focus on being attuned to the systems within which they lead.

We believe that transformational leaders must engage in self-reflection and self-mastery as on-going practices - for development is a lifelong process. We believe that each human being has a wellspring of innate intelligence from which deep qualities like presence, wisdom, common sense, resiliency, and peace of mind can emerge. From that belief, we help leaders to see and respect the same wholeness in those whose lives they impact.

Admissions Process

The Transformational Leadership executive certificate program has a highly competitive and selective admissions process. Each cohort consists of 20-25 leaders. For each cohort, an application review committee offers admission to a diverse group of students to enrich the classroom experience.

Applications must be submitted online through the application portal. During the application process, students are responsible for tracking the status of reference letters and required application materials. Students will be notified of their admission decision via e-mail within 6 to 8 weeks after the application priority deadline. Please ensure that your e-mail provider is configured to accept e-mail from the domain.

Application Materials & Deadlines

Applications for the Fall 2016 cohort of the Executive Certificate in Transformational Leadership are now being accepted. The application deadline is August 1

Before applying, applicants should download the program schedule, application checklist, and program FAQs posted below.

International Students

A TOEFL examination for non-native speakers of English is not required but students are expected to read, write and comprehend English at the graduate level to fully participate in and gain from the program. Non-credit professional certificate programs are classified as part-time education programs. As a result, Georgetown University cannot sponsor international students for student visas (F-1) to enroll in certificate programs. However, prospective international students who enter the U.S. on a valid visa are eligible to enroll in courses. For more about travel visas, please see the section on international students under Frequently Asked Questions.

More Information

For more information or to speak with a program advisor, please send an email to or call 202.687.7000. Interested students are also encouraged to RSVP for an upcoming information session.


Integration Seminar: Leading the Future
Leader and Development: Leading through Complexity and Challenge
Leader and Organization: Self and Others
Leader and Others: Inter-personal Leadership
Leader as Self: Intra-personal Leadership
Leader in Action: Leadership Presence and the Capacity to Lead Transformational Change
Practicum and Program Capstone

Course Schedule

Course Name Semester and Section
Required  Fall 2016
Practicum and Program Capstone Not currently scheduled
Required Fall 2016
Leader as Self: Intra-personal Leadership Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Sep 07, 2016 to Sep 09, 2016
640 Mass Ave.

Required Fall 2016
Leader and Others: Inter-personal Leadership Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Oct 19, 2016 to Oct 21, 2016
640 Mass Ave.

Required Fall 2016
Leader and Organization: Self and Others Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Nov 30, 2016 to Dec 02, 2016
640 Mass Ave.

Required Fall 2016
Leader in Action: Leadership Presence and the Capacity to Lead Transformational Change Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Jan 11, 2017 to Jan 13, 2017
640 Mass Ave.

Required Fall 2016
Leader and Development: Leading through Complexity and Challenge Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Feb 15, 2017 to Feb 17, 2017
640 Mass Ave.

Required Fall 2016
Integration Seminar: Leading the Future Not currently scheduled
Section 01
Wed/Thu/Fri, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Mar 22, 2017 to Mar 24, 2017
640 Mass Ave.

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