Whether you’ve lived here your whole life or you’re a transplant to the city, Leadership Springfield’s Signature Class will get you plugged into your community and energize you to get involved. 

The Signature Class is a deep dive into what makes this place tick, exploring blue ribbons and red flags and encouraging the participants to find solutions through community resources. 

For more than 30 years, the Signature Class has provided opportunities for leaders to gain a unique awareness of their own strengths, an unparalleled depth of community understanding and motivated recognition that they can make an impact where their strengths, passions and community needs meet.

Participants put our motto of “inspire, develop, connect, serve” into action, developing a passion for service in their local community and beyond. 

The Signature Class is a nine-month program, including two retreats and intensive day-long, once-a-month sessions on a variety of topics. The class will split into groups that plan each program day, working with community leaders.

Get Started

Applications are currently closed. If you would like to be notified when applications open for the 2025-2026 program year, please fill out the form below.

2024-2025 Application Open Now

Signature Class applications are open for the 2024-2025 program year! Start your application below. The early bird deadline to apply is Monday, March 4. The final deadline is Monday, April 1 by midnight.

Do you have questions about the Signature Class?

Find what you need to know about the program and application in this Signature Class FAQ.

2024-2025 Signature Class Dates

In order to accommodate a greater pool of applicants, we offer two Signature Classes that run simultaneously, but on different days each month. Signature Class 45 & 46 for the 2023-2024 program year were announced in May 2023.

The program day topic areas include:

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Springfield Region: Past, Present & Future

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Business, Industry & Entrepreneurship

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Civic Awareness: Public Service & Public Safety

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Education & Lifelong Learning

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Health & Medical Services

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Quality of Life

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Arts & Ozarks Culture

Applicants to the Signature Class must:

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Live or work in Springfield metropolitan region

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Demonstrate commitment to personal and professional growth

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Commit themselves to improve the community, impact economic development and quality of life

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Regularly spend time working in community

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Be motivated to serve others

Be aware that getting into the Signature Class can be a multiyear process, as there are often more applications than spots available in the class. Classes are representative of our community and include participants who represent large and small businesses, the self-employed, non-profits and community volunteers. Applications will be thoroughly reviewed by the entire Board of Directors before a selection committee determines the final class list.

Tuition for the program is $2,950 and covers retreats, lodging, facilitator cost, materials, meals and transportation provided during program day and graduation dinner.

Scholarships are available through the Leadership Springfield Scholarship Fund. These are awarded to a limited number of participants based on availability of funds. Scholarships are awarded based on need and can be requested by submitting a scholarship form. Scholarship applications are reviewed thoroughly for demonstrated need. Submitting a request for scholarship assistance will not be considered a detriment when choosing participants for each class. You may apply for a scholarship at the same time you submit your application for the program.


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Establish Roots

By connecting to the community, participants are able to better establish roots in Springfield. Not only does this keep them in our community for longer, it also keeps them continuously engaged.

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Build Leadership Skills

Through every step of the program, participants use their strengths to find how they best communicate and interact with others. In turn, they begin to truly hone their leadership skills.

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Network with others

The Signature Class offers the opportunity to interact with professionals that you may not otherwise encounter in your day-to-day work. At the completion of the program, your professional network will grow exponentially.

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Gain a stronger workforce

By going through the Signature Class program, participants will become more influential leaders in their workplace. As graduates progress in their careers, they will grow their skills even more thanks to their time with Leadership Springfield.

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Join our alumni network

Leadership Springfield celebrates more than 2,000 alumni spanning three decades. These informed and highly engaged leaders are movers and shakers changing the world. When you graduate from a Leadership Springfield program, you are invited to join our Alumni Membership where you will receive on-going opportunities to remain inspired, developed and connected for years to come!

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Engage with your community

After completion of the program, we encourage all graduates to take their experience and put it into practice in an area where their passions and strengths meet community needs. Whether it’s serving in public office or on a board, volunteering for a school or sports team, or seeing a concern and jumping in to be a part of the solution to connect and convene others to accomplish a task, engaging in the community as a Leadership Springfield alumni makes a significant impact on this place we live, work and play.

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graduate-level college credit

Graduates of Leadership Springfield’s Signature Class will now be able to claim graduate-level college credit for their experiences in the intensive nine-month program – at no additional cost.

Drury University offers Leadership Springfield graduates of Class 29 and later course credit toward multiple master’s degree programs:

Master of Arts in Communication – up to six hours of academic credit, three of which count toward MNCL 702 Leading Community Change.

Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership – up to six hours of academic credit, three of which count toward MNCL 701 Social Impact and Assessment.

Master in Public Service and Safety Leadership – three hours of academic credit toward PSSL 660: Community Engagement, Partnerships and Program Promotion.

The courses will appear on a participant’s transcript after all degree requirements have been met. There is no tuition cost and Drury will waive the $25 application fee for all Leadership Springfield applicants.

This exclusive opportunity for Signature Program graduates offers tuition savings and a quicker path to degree completion.

For more information and the waiver code, contact the College of Graduate Studies at (417) 873-7530 or [email protected].