Gonzaga Launches Two New Certificate Programs

The three-month, non-degreed course begins in September and is designed  for men and women who wish to develop skills and practices for advancing women in the workplace.  Photo by rawpixel.

June 20, 2018

Gonzaga News Service 
SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga University’s School of Leadership Studies is launching two new certificate programs in addition to the existing Certificate in Women's Leadership & Certificate in Foundational Leadership. The Certificate in Design Thinking, launching Fall of 2020, is a 3-month course designed to help you develop a new mindset and toolbox for solving organizational and societal challenges. The Certificate in Servant Leadership, launching Spring of 2021, is a 3-month course designed to guide individuals on how to shape organizational cultures and practices in which people thrive. 

The Certificate in Design Thinking:

Description: As leaders, one of the most creative things we can do is gather teams to solve problems. But when our solutions fail to  work as expected, it's often because we have failed to clearly understand the needs and desires of the people who will be using the  solution. That's where design thinking comes in -- a human-centered, problem-solving process that leads to better products,  processes, and services. Unlike most design processes that start with assumptions and move quickly toward a solution, design  thinking engages designers in activities to understand and empathize with the mindset of users. It rests on the concept of "learning  early to succeed sooner" through experiments, tests, and basic prototypes, thus refining potential solutions until the users' needs are  met. With significant experience teaching and implementing design thinking in organizations, Gonzaga University's School of  Leadership Studies has designed the Certificate in Design Thinking to help leaders develop a new mindset and toolbox for solving  organizational and societal challenges. In this 14-week, online/on-campus course, you'll apply design thinking principles to actual,  real-time organizational challenges. Be prepared for a transformative shift in the way you look at everyday problems! 

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand how design thinking addresses gaps and limitations in current brainstorming and problem-solving practice
  • Learn how to shift the mindset of problem-solving from solution-focused to problem-focused, with attention to the user experience.
  • Learn how to gather data and interpret insights about users to focus a challenge at hand
  • Develop the mindset, skills and tools for more productive brainstorming, prototyping and testing that can be applied to real-life challenges.


Cindy Snyder, M.B.A., and Rachelle Strawther, Ed.D., M.A.

The Certificate in Servant Leadership 


Since 1970, when AT&T manager Robert Greenleaf published a book describing the need for a different style of leadership – one in which the leader is compelled first by a desire to serve others –Servant Leadership has become a beacon for ethics-centered leaders. Espoused by companies such as Zappos, Marriott, Starbucks, Whole Foods, REI, and Nordstrom, Servant Leadership is neither a “soft” nor naïve form of leadership; rather, it’s one in which the growth, engagement, and well-being of people are kept at the center of all decisions. 

Known internationally for the study of Servant Leadership, Gonzaga University’s School of Leadership Studies has designed the Certificate in Servant Leadership to guide leaders in shaping organizational cultures in which people thrive. In this 14-week, online/on-campus course, you’ll explore Servant Leadership with a focus on application to real life. In the case that COVID-19 continues to limit travel, the on-campus component will be substituted by a virtual gathering. Through company case-studies, leader interviews, group discussions, and more, you’ll not only shape your leadership identity, but develop a practical toolkit for applying Servant Leadership to your workplace and beyond.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand and articulate Servant Leadership as defined by Robert Greenleaf and modern leadership experts.
  • Recognize one’s individual, unique servant-leader identity and how it surfaces on teams and in the workplace
  • Develop core emotional intelligence and interpersonal communication skills to support the growth of others
  • Gain tools and skills to create organizational cultures of engagement, committed to the development and well-being of employees. 

For more information on the School of Leadership Studies certificate programs, please click here

Media: Please contact Rachelle Strawther, Director of Leadership Training and Development for the School of Leadership Studies, at (509) 313-3579.