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Program Overview

Program Overview

Every community has unique needs and must have leaders who understand them. When challenges arise, will you have the strength to sustain your energy, lead with vision and labor for others? Regional and national public servants in every sector guided creation of this program. They told us leaders in public service need better training to discern the best course of action during tough times. There's a great need for leaders like you who can serve and strengthen communities by implementing tangible solutions.

Discover ways to lead and serve with Tennessee as your primary laboratory, seeing firsthand how growing cities and rural communities deal with dilemmas and opportunities. Your field placement will help you gain valuable understanding of diverse policy issues. Join your classmates in the nation's capital, learn the framework of the Constitution from people with influence, and discover D.C. in an immersive experience. You’ll find that inspiration is not without the difficulties and complexities of poverty, race and money. Build critical skills in leadership, communication and conflict resolution. Our experts will lead you along the way. 

One year can change your life. Join us as we work together to engage, equip and empower those who strive to serve the common good.

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

  1. Application Form: Available online.

  2. Application Fee: Each application should include a $50 nonrefundable application fee ($75 for international students).

  3. Standardized examination score OR writing sample:

    • Accepted standardized test scores include those of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE), Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT), Law School Admissions Test (LSAT), Miller Analogies Test (MAT) or Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

    • The writing sample should demonstrate clarity of thinking, reasoning ability, logic, and strong writing and communication skills. The sample should be an academic or professional document that has been previously written in an academic or professional setting. Previously published work may also be considered. The sample should not be something prepared for the sole purpose of admission to the program.

  4. References: Two letters of reference are required as follows: one from a college or university administrator or professor, one from a professional supervisor/employer, or one from a personal reference with knowledge of your ability to satisfactorily perform at the graduate level.

  5. Official Transcripts: Each applicant must submit an official transcript showing degree conferral, when appropriate, from all schools attended.

  6. Health Form: Each applicant must submit a completed health form signed by a health care provider.

  7. FERPA: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students certain rights of access to educational records; even if you are independent of your parents, you must submit this form prior to enrollment.

  8. Résumé: A résumé detailing academic, personal and professional experiences and achievements.

  9. Goals Statement: A 750-1000 word expanded goals statement concerning the applicant’s interest in and application of the program’s curriculum to expected career progression is required.

  10. TOEFL: The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required for international students.



Program of Study

  • LPS 5003 - Introduction to Leadership and Public Service
  • LPS 5123 - Leadership, Innovation and Policy in the Metropolitan Setting
  • LPS 5063 - Effective Cross Sector Collaboration and Conflict Management
  • LPS 5133 - Leading and Serving for the Public Good
  • LPS 5143 - State Politics, Policy and Economics: The Role of States in Shaping Economies
  • ICM 5013 - Negotiation and Settlement Processes
  • LPS 5023 - Budget and Finance in the Public Sector
  • LPS 5053 - Ethical Leadership
  • LPS 5393 - Project in Leadership in Public Service
  • LPS 5000 - Internship I (non-credit)
  • LPS 5100 - Internship II (non-credit)
  • LPS 5200 - Internship III (non-credit)
  • LPS 5153 - Data and Decision Making in Public Service
Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

Tuition for Leadership and Public Service courses is approximately $1,091 per credit hour. 

For students earning their Master of Arts in Leadership and Public Service, tuition includes all travel fees, which cover the cost of transportation, accommodations and some meals during travel experiences.

Types of Aid


Both our deeply connected faculty and our experiential learning opportunities offer myriad ways for you to form relationships with leaders in the industry. These connections will serve and support you throughout your career.

Cohort Model

Our cohort model emphasizes communal learning and extended field experiences. You’ll have the opportunity to form professional and personal relationships with like-minded peers that will extend far beyond the duration of the program.


A big city. An even bigger opportunity. We consider Nashville an extension of our classroom, and as a leading city in many industries, that means you’ll gain experience and insight you won’t find anywhere else.

Our Faculty

  • Michelle Steele

    Michelle Steele

    Director, Leadership and Public Service

    Academic Director at the institute is Michelle D. Steele. With more than 15 years experience working with governmental agencies, Steele served as director of Nashville's Mayor's Office of Neighborhoods for...

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  • Craig Bledsoe

    Craig Bledsoe


    Bledsoe has served as the provost and chief academic officer at Lipscomb University since 1997. Under his leadership, the university has expanded to ten colleges that offer over 200 undergraduate...

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  • Josh Hayden

    Josh Hayden

    Director of Executive Programs

    Josh Hayden began his career after graduating from the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Arts in Leadership Studies. After college, he worked as Assistant Director of the President's...

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  • Phyllis Hildreth

    Phyllis Hildreth

    Associate Professor

    Phyllis Hildreth joined the Institute for Conflict Management in May 2010 and now serves as Adjunct Professor for the institute. She also serves as Adjunct Professor for Lipscomb's Institute for...

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  • Kristine LaLonde

    Kristine LaLonde

    Associate Dean, College of Leadership and Public Service

    Building teams that combine passion and pragmatism to create lasting change has been the driving force in Kristine LaLonde's career in politics, government, and teaching. In her role as Associate...

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  • Randy Lowry

    Randy Lowry


    Connecting the university to the Nashville community is a hallmark of Dr. L. Randolph Lowry's presidency at Lipscomb University. He views the city of Nashville as the university's campus and...

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  • William Turner

    William Turner

    Distinguished Professor of Leadership and Public Policy

    Turner holds a Distinguished Professorship in the College of Leadership and Public Service and is Counselor to the President at Lipscomb University on matters of diversity and strategic community engagement....

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Career Paths


Lawyers advise and represent individuals, businesses, and government agencies on legal issues and disputes.


Develop, introduce or enact laws and statutes at the local, tribal, State, or Federal level. Includes only workers in elected positions.

Social and Community Service Managers

Social and community service managers coordinate and supervise social service programs and community organizations. They manage workers who provide social services to the public.