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.

The program day topic areas include:

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Springfield, Our Community

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Criminal Justice and Public Safety

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Civic Awareness

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Communications and Technology

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Health and Medical Services

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Education and Life-Long Learning

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Arts and Quality of Life

Get Started

You may turn in your application online. The application typically takes around 30-40 minutes and must be completed in one session. The early bird application fee is $35, and $50 afterwards. 

Applications are open from January to April. Currently, applications are closed and will reopen in January 2020. 

Applicants to the Signature Class must:

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Live or work in Springfield metropolitan area

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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 $2,100 and covers retreats, lodging, facilitator cost, materials, meals and transportation provided during program day and graduation dinner. If needed, you may request a full/partial scholarship on a case by case basis. Your request for a scholarship will not factor into your application being approved or denied. 


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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 is offering Signature Class graduates up to six hours of academic credit toward the Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership degree, which is a 30 credit-hour program. Three of the credits will count toward the MNCL 701 Social Impact and Assessment course. Three additional credit hours may be earned by submitting a written request along with documentation of professional accomplishments and academic credentials.

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.

Ready to learn more about our programs?

Access class program offers crash course in the community