Signature Leadership Program

Since 1974, Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka has educated program participants whose contributions through interactive exercises have helped shape community progress and development throughout St. Joseph County, Indiana. Leadership South Bend/Mishawaka is proudly Indiana's oldest community leadership development program!


How Individuals Benefit

  • The community is our classroom! You will be immersed in the South Bend/Mishawaka community and how it operates which will provide you a broader and deeper perspective on the community and your role in it. 
  • You will connect with outstanding leaders from both the public and private sectors who will both support and challenge your views on the community's key issues. 
  • You will build a network of individuals who are passionate about our community.
  • You will learn about and have the opportunity to apply key leadership concepts such as: servant leadership, learning styles, innovation, collaboration, and diversity.  
  • You will be given opportunities to MOVE TO ACTION to make a positive impact.

How Organizations Benefit

  • Participants gain a solid leadership foundation based in skill building, civic education, and service that can be applied at their organization. 
  • Program graduates develop the capacity and committment to recognize, understand, and respond to our community's needs as well as the needs and opportunities of the organizations and teams they serve.
  • Participants meet fellow community leaders, establish connections, and expand their circle of influence.
  • The program provides participants with foundations to build a strong local network, which deepens individual connections to the community and creates more committed leaders. 
  • Throughout the program, participants are immersed in the community--as a representative of their organization, their involvement in Leadership South Bend|Mishawaka demonstrates the organization's committment to the betterment of the community. 


Time Commitment

The Signature Program commences in early September with an orientation. Participants then experience team-building exercises while studying various leadership styles during a MANDATORY two-day retreat in mid-September. The program continues with eight  program days (one per month) October - May leading up to graduation ceremonies in May.


Program Calendar for Class 46 (Sept 2019-May 2020)

September 5, 2019            Orientation 
September 12-13, 2019     Retreat - Mandatory
October 17, 2019
November 21, 2019
December 12, 2019
January 16, 2020
February 20, 2020
March 19, 2020
**April 16, 2020                 Tentative Snow Day Make Up**
April 23, 2020
May 7, 2020
May 21, 2020                      Commencement Luncheon



Tuition for the Signature Leadership Program is $2,500--which includes meals and materials for all program days, lodging for the overnight retreat, program day transportation, and guest speakers. Limited tuition assitance is available based on need. The tuition assistance application is part of the program application. 


Who Should Apply

Candidates must have the full support of the business or organization they represent. Candidates are selected on the basis of demonstrated leadership, commitment to community, civic involvement and leadership capacity. Approximately 40-45 candidates are selected from St. Joseph County representing a diverse cross section of the community, including business, education, nonprofit agencies and community organizations. 


How to Apply 

APPLICATIONS ARE CLOSED FOR THE 2019-2020 PROGRAM YEAR. The application window will be open again from March 1 - June 30, 2020. If you would like to be the first to know when applications are open, please email Adult Program Director Olivia Critchlow. Thank you!

Applications are accepted online. Using the Navigation Panel on the left, select "Apply". 

For more additional information or questions, please contact Olivia Critchlow via email or 574.314.9090.