Columbia Expands Applied Leadership Program to Include Four-Year BA Option

Categories: News

Leadership students taking on the high-ropes course, an exercise within the Leadership & Team-Building course

For immediate release ~ Abbotsford, BC ~ In response to a need for transformational leaders within ministry and marketplace contexts, Columbia Bible College is expanding its program offerings to include a four-year degree in Applied Leadership. The program will combine Columbia’s signature Christian faith formation curriculum with courses designed to equip graduates with the concepts, skills, habits, and character they need to serve as effective leaders within a variety of settings.

The Bachelor of Arts in Practical Theology (Applied Leadership) builds on Columbia’s recently-launched two-year Diploma in Applied Leadership, which begins with a focus on self-awareness: self-management and understanding one’s unique gifts, dark sides, and capacity for influence. Second-year courses help students learn skills for engaging small teams and cultural dynamics. Students moving on to third- and fourth-year BA level courses will grow their skillset further, developing leadership theory and practice around organizational behaviour, leadership sustainability, management, and communication.

“What excites me is the progression students will move through in their understanding of leadership,” comments Kathleen Doll, Columbia’s Associate Dean of Students. Along with Athletic Director Matt Kaminski, Kathleen Doll is Co-Program Director for Applied Leadership. She goes on to highlight the Christ-centered perspective unifying the curriculum: “Through it all,” Kathleen explains, “students are studying Scripture and theology, grounding their identities as leaders within their relationships with Jesus.”

Co-Program Director for Applied Leadership Kathleen Doll, meeting with a student leader.


Plans for Columbia’s unique Applied Leadership program began over five years ago, when faculty-member Mike Richardson first expressed a vision for in-depth leadership training at Columbia. It was Mike Richardson who created and launched LEAD, a one-year intensive leadership certificate. When Mike and his colleagues became aware of a rich appetite for leadership development among Columbia’s students, they built on initial efforts to develop the Diploma and then the BA degree.

Students and alumni of Columbia Bible College are greeting the diploma and degree programs with enthusiasm. Fred Sutherland, Columbia Intercultural Studies alumnus and director of MB Mission’s TREK program is one example. “The new degree in Applied Leadership excites me greatly!” comments Fred. “The world needs godly, humble, well-trained leaders who will steward well the call of Jesus to represent him as kingdom ambassadors. I have confidence Columbia will provide an excellent environment for meaningful leadership development.”

“This is an excellent addition to Columbia’s program offerings,” adds Bryan Born, president of Columbia Bible College. “A key strength of the Applied Leadership program is the way it integrates biblical training, character formation, leadership practices and business skills in a manner designed to enable graduates to excel as servant leaders in the not-for-profit sector, marketplace or the church.”

Students in conversation with Matt Kaminksi, Co-Program Director for Applied Leadership

Applications for the Diploma in Applied Leadership and BA in Practical Theology (Applied Leadership) are now open. For more info, visit