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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, offering conflict management training and much more.

People

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

  • Steve Joiner headshot

    Steve Joiner

    Dean, College of Leadership and Public Service

    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

    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

    Director, Environmental Science and Sustainability

    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
  • Kristine LaLonde

    Kristine LaLonde

    Adjunct Faculty

    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...

    Meet Kristine LaLonde
  • Matt Milligan

    Matt Milligan

    Director, Institute for Conflict Management

    Matt Milligan moved to Middle Tennessee with his wife, Rachael, in 2002 when they began their work as house-parents at the Tennessee Children's Home in Spring Hill.  After graduating from...

    Meet Matt Milligan
  • Randy Spivey

    Randy Spivey

    Adjunct Faculty

    Randy Spivey serves as an adjunct professor for the Fred D. Gray Institute for Law, Justice & Society. Spivey began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge David...

    Meet Randy Spivey
  • Michelle Steele headshot

    Michelle Steele

    Director, Leadership and Public Service

    Dr. Michelle Cummings Steele is Director and Associate Professor of the Department of Urban Studies and the Master of Arts in Leadership and Public Service for the School of Public Policy at...

    Meet Michelle Steele
  • William Turner headshot

    William Turner

    Distinguished Prof of Leadership and Public Policy

    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


Blog

Civility in the Time of a Pandemic

Written by Tracy Allen, distinguished professor, Institute for Conflict Management It appears most of us are growing more than weary of  masks, quarantines, social distancing, limitations on freedoms, anxiety over illness and vaccines, visibly seeing health care workers overwrought with stress, and the political fall outs that have emerged. To many,...


Mon, 08/23/2021 - 15:59
Posted by Grace Evans

Students travel to Vermont for hands-on learning in 2021 Advanced Study of Sustainability in New England

Dodd Galbreath, director, Institute for Sustainable Practice Although solar energy continues to grow rapidly in the Southeast U.S., other sustainability practices are still evolving in the region. Therefore, graduate students in the Institute for Sustainable Practice travel to New England each July to examine European scaled sustainability that is highly diverse and geographically...


Wed, 08/11/2021 - 08:44
Posted by Grace Evans

What My Van Can Teach You About Workplace Conflict

MATT MILLIGAN, JD | INSTITUTE FOR CONFLICT MANAGEMENT Recently, our family went on a “great American road trip” out West to explore and experience essential national parks, including Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Zion, and the Grand Canyon.  We are a family of five, and the thought of sixteen days and 5,200 miles in...


Tue, 07/27/2021 - 09:37
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.