At the University of St. Thomas, we believe that leadership can be learned and developed by anyone. It is the application of knowledge, qualities, and skills applied in any situation that is not tied just to those who hold titles or formal positions. It is our mission to educate students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good.

In this program, student will learn to:

  • Critically Think about the meaning of leadership, their personal leadership style, and gain a better understanding of their behaviors, identities, and strengths to engage more authentically and effectively with others.
  • Act Wisely in the process of planning and decision-making so they can make a positive impact on individuals or communities.
  • Work Skillfully by advancing their knowledge and skills that are essential to leadership through their time at St. Thomas and beyond.

Developing leadership skills is a life-long journey and, through Leading Edge, we want to help you kick start that journey by introducing you to 6 important components to leadership. Furthermore, the program is broken down to three different levels of learning that focus on personal growth, working with other others, and putting skills into action. These levels can be completed one at a time or you can try completing them all at the same time. You have control over how involved you want to be in the program as it can be done within a semester or throughout your time here. After completing all 3 levels of the program, students will gain a good foundation to continued their develop and growth beyond their time at St. Thomas.


Level 1: The Leader in You

Foundations of Leadership

  • Learn historical and contemporary perspectives, theories, concepts, philosophies, and contexts of leaders and leadership.
  • Learn a variety of leadership styles and when to apply them for positional and non-positional settings.


  • Gain a deeper understanding of one’s values, identities, strengths, and skills
  • Explore and manage how personal biases and privileges effect decisions
  • Identify personal strategies for well-being


Level 2: Learning to Lead Other


  • Demonstrate the ability to listen and engage others with empathy.
  • Develop an understanding of cultural differences in verbal and nonverbal communication.
  • Demonstrate effective strategies to de-escalate conflict.


  • Understanding group dynamics including group standards, group accountability, shared leadership, collaboration, and organizational culture, values, and principles.
  • Learn to examine and leverage a group's strengths for delegation to complete goals or tasks.
  • Build awareness, acceptance, and valuing of cultural differences


Level 3: Leadership in Action

Social Responsibility

  • Recognizing the impact that you can have on the welfare of society and the individuals within communities
  • Learn to leverage your influence to address systems of oppression and inequity
  • Engage in experiences that contribute positively in communities

Strategic Planning & Problem Solving

  • Understanding the value in creating visions, missions, and goals to aid in planning
  • Learn strategies for making informed decisions