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A student meets Rep. John Lewis on the steps of the U.S. Capitol

College of Leadership & Public Service

Where Tennessee Turns for Leadership

To be a transformative, innovative leader in today’s world requires more than knowledge. You need the confidence, practical experiences, and most importantly, the integrity and heart to lead others toward a common goal and a better future. Lipscomb’s College of Leadership & Public Service is “Where Tennessee Turns for Leadership” by intentionally addressing local, national and global issues to prepare leaders to navigate, shape and steer the direction of matters affecting communities and people around the world. Our college is comprised of four institutes and one school, all of which focus on both outreach and academics. Through our distinctive approach to leadership and public service, built on a model of civil discourse, innovation and bold action, you will graduate ready to speak your mind and advocate for new ways to serve others. You will be ready to take immediate action that makes a lasting difference.

A student at an event

Undergraduate Programs

Be ready to affect change. Our undergraduate programs model the highest standards of professional practice, public service and community engagement. By choosing a discipline within our College of Leadership & Public Service, you will receive the specific skill sets, theoretical foundations and practical expertise that will prepare you to successfully live out your calling as a leader in communities around the world.

View Undergraduate Programs
Students studying

Graduate Programs

Our graduate programs in conflict management, leadership and public service, and sustainable practice offer experiential academics and skills that will help you succeed in serving the common good. We offer graduate awards in transit and mobility, education policy, diversity and inclusion, immigration, civil discourse and regional prosperity.

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Class in Nashville

Regional Scholars Program

To equip leaders and prepare them to govern in rural areas and small communities, the Regional Scholars Program gives public servants from various regions across Tennessee the opportunity to earn a discounted master’s degree and take their education back to their communities to better serve their constituents. Our aim is that communities would be changed and lives transformed across Tennessee through this program.

About the Rural Scholars Program
Alum Grant Mathis with community members

Reaching the Community

The College of Leadership & Public Service provides a number of opportunities for you not only to get involved in organizations within the community, but also to develop innovative solutions and compassionate action to address problems affecting our city. We serve the region and nation by partnering with national leaders, providing citizen education through seminar training, offering conflict management training and much more.


Meet the key people that make up the College of Leadership & Public Service.

  • Steve Joiner headshot

    Steve Joiner

    Executive Director ICM and Dean, College of Leadership and

    Steve Joiner is the Dean of the College of Leadership and Public Service and Managing Director of the Institute for Conflict Management at Lipscomb University. Joiner also serves as Professor...

    Meet Steve Joiner
  • Dodd Galbreath headshot

    Dodd Galbreath

    Professor and Director, Institute of Sustainable Practice

    In the Fall of 2007, Professor Galbreath founded the Institute for Sustainable Practice, the Southeast's first, comprehensive, academic sustainability program. As the director of graduate programs, his teaching primarily focuses...

    Meet Dodd Galbreath
  • Phyllis Hildreth

    Phyllis Hildreth

    Associate Professor

    Phyllis Hildreth the Vice President for Institutional Strategy and Academics at American Baptist College. Hildreth joined the Institute for Conflict Management in May 2010 and now serves as Adjunct Professor...

    Meet Phyllis Hildreth
  • Emily Stutzman Jones headshot

    Emily Jones

    Assistant Professor and Director, Environmental Science and

    With a M.S. in rural sociology and Ph.D. in forestry from Auburn University, Emily Stutzman joined the Institute for Sustainable Practice in January 2015 as our full-time Academic Director. She...

    Meet Emily Jones
  • Michelle Steele headshot

    Michelle Steele

    Assoc. Dean of Academics-College of Leadership & Public Serv

    Michelle Cummings Steele (she/her) serves as associate dean of academics and professor of leadership in the College of Leadership and Public Service at Lipscomb University. Bringing to the classroom more than 14 years of experience working with governmental agencies, her passion is to teach people the power they have within themselves to effect change in their community. Michelle's pedagogy combines theory and practice in an approach to learning she likes to call pracademics. Throughout her career, she has built a reputation for leadership development and community engagement strategies, incubating new models, and building out programs that work. Michelle possesses an unwavering commitment to connecting communities to resources and empowering others to unravel the mystery of working with systems and government to advance their personal pursuit of happiness and justice. Her vision and ability to nurture relationships have led to long-term solutions and success.

    Meet Michelle Steele
  • William Turner headshot

    William Turner

    Distinguished Professor

    Turner holds a Distinguished Professorship in the College of Leadership and Public Service and is Special Counsel to the President for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. An expert in family, community,...

    Meet William Turner


Emotional Intelligence: The Emotional Manager

Written by Cynthia Greer, Institute for Conflict Management In 1995, Daniel Goleman wrote his pivotal book, Emotional Intelligence. He was on the cover of Time magazine and the book, based on scientific research in neuroscience, explored how emotions are regulated in the brain. Today, companies worldwide look through the lens of EI in...

Fri, 09/16/2022 - 13:26
Posted by Grace Evans

Honor Where Honor is Due – Institute for Conflict Management Says Goodbye to Prof. Phyllis Hildreth

Written by Dr. Steve Joiner, dean, College of Leadership and Public Service Honor where honor is due… Professor Phyllis Hildreth has been anchor, leader, cheerleader, oracle and friend to the Institute for Conflict Management for over 11 years. She came as a student, adding to her bachelor’s degree from Harvard University and...

Mon, 02/07/2022 - 13:21
Posted by Grace Evans

All Mediators Need Rule 31 Domestic Violence Training. Here's Why.

Written by Cynthia Greer, Institute for Conflict Management Every nine seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten. One in 15 children are exposed to intimate partner violence each year with 90% of these children being eyewitnesses to the violence. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an 8% increase...

Tue, 01/18/2022 - 12:16
Posted by Grace Evans

More Blog Posts

Undergraduate Programs

Discuss and engage with current issues through the many academic and outreach opportunities offered by our College of Leadership & Public Service. Our programs also feature events and visits from national and international leaders related to the work of the college. This unique, creative engagement approach to undergraduate education will help prepare you for successful leadership, no matter what field you pursue.

Graduate Programs

Lipscomb’s College of Leadership & Public Service offers degree programs that will prepare you for a multitude of impactful, action-oriented careers from day one, including careers in policy, advocacy, elected offices, community engagement, corporate social responsibility and more.