The MBU Institute for Leadership, in its second year on campus, offers students an opportunity to build leadership skills and interpersonal skills.


 Photo by: Bryce Chapman

MBU Institute for Leadership members, Abby Wickham, Spencer Randolph and Jed Flemming present their service project ideas to Dr. Alton Lacey. 


As MBU enters into its 50th year, new programs are developing to enhance the student experience, with MBU’s Institute for Leadership being among the latest additions.

In its second year, the Institute for Leadership is giving students the opportunity to build their leadership and interpersonal communication skills.

The program was started by Student Activities as a way for top students to get more involved on the campus and a way for students with potential to be top students to develop skills to become better students and better leaders.

“We want students to feel that they are being poured into and developed so that they persist to graduation. So the goal is to make them the best leaders we can before they leave here, so they can be great alumni and very successful in their life,” explained Lara Hines, director of student activities.

The program begins at the start of Christmas break with an overnight retreat where students get to spend time getting to know each other by playing team-building games and enjoying free time together.

After the retreat, the program lasts for two semesters, one focusing on becoming involved on campus internally and one focusing on networking outside of the campus.

During the spring semester, the group meets for class once a week. During this class time, students are given the opportunity to take personality and strengths tests, allowing them to learn about themselves and how their personality and strengths work with the others around them.

During this semester students are also put into teams and are given the opportunity to create a plan for a service event on campus.

At the end of the semester, each group presents their detailed plan to Dr. Alton Lacey, university president, and he selects one of the ideas.

MBU Institute for Leadership would then host the chosen service event on campus.

Throughout the full year, students are asked to achieve a total of 100 hours of volunteer work.

“I hope to find a service project that I will have a passion for when doing my service hours, something that will help me grow as a person,” said Brittni Brandwein, junior from Warrenton, Mo.

The fall semester does not include an actual class time, but instead, a monthly meeting.

Each student during this semester is also given a mentor for the student to meet with, allowing them a close connection within the school and an outlet for connections outside of the campus in that mentor’s field of work.

“One (goal) is to tie students back to MoBap so that they feel there is a purpose for being here and that they can make a difference. I think a lot of students think that they don’t necessarily have a voice on campus,” said Julie Hammack, assistant director of student activities.

As the program continues, students are given many opportunities to build connections with other faculty and staff, including with the president and the president’s board.

“The MBU Institute of Leadership has been a great guide to building leadership skills while at the same time having fun and meeting other aspiring leaders. Moving forward I plan to use the knowledge and skills I have learned about my leadership style to be successful in all I do,” said Dan Mollet, sophomore from Minnesota.

By Rebekah Rutledge

Rebekah Rutledge, Social Media Editor of MBU Timeline, is a senior seeking a major in journalism, as well as a minor in public relations. In the past two years, Rebekah has founded and lead MBU’s Circle K International, a global service organization. Rebekah loves all things social media, as well as photography, writing and editing. After graduation, she plans to pursue a career in public relations and account management.