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College of Leadership and Public Service

The College of Leadership and Public Service is unique in higher education – an outward-focused, theory-based, community-serving college. It combines a rigorous academic education based in practical theory with extended and nationally recognized community engagement at the local, state and national level. This College is committed to “teaching the skills that make cities work.”

Within the College of Leadership and Public Service, we offer undergraduate degrees in Law, Justice and Society; Sustainable Practice; and Urban Studies.  At the graduate level, degrees and certificates in Conflict Management; Leadership and Public Service; and Sustainable Practice are offered. Each of these degrees unite education and community engagement providing students with advanced skill sets to be cutting edge leaders.

Additionally, the College houses three Institutes committed to serving others through training and consulting -the Institute for Conflict Management, the Nelson Andrews Institute for Civic Leadership, and the Institute for Sustainable Practice.  Through these Institutes, over 300 public and private organizations have been served.

Last, but certainly not least, the College of Leadership and Public Service is home to Leadership Tennessee. In its sixth year, Leadership Tennessee is nationally recognized for its signature program, which has convened over 150 statewide leaders to address the biggest challenges of the state.  Additionally, Leadership Tennessee serves the state through education and hosting significant conversations statewide.

Over the past year, Lipscomb’s College of Leadership and Public Service, home to the Fred D Gray Institute for Law, Justice and Society, has led community discussions on transit, offered free legal clinics, a law camp for local high school students, and continued to educate students to serve the needs of our diverse, growing community.  Additionally, the College recently led city-wide conversations about equity and race in support of a mayoral initiative and continues to lead key entities in the city and state through difficult cultural and organizational issues.



Scholarship support for students pursuing work with vulnerable and marginalized populations


Support for collaborative programming that brings together non-profit, government, business and faith communities to work in a sustained way to address shared community challenges, such as criminal justice reform, homelessness, and transit


Support for a visiting faculty fellow program that would support our goal to bring diverse perspectives to the campus

About the College/Vision

The College of Leadership and Public Service engages, equips, and empowers those who strive to serve the common good. 

We seek to embody and share skills, principles, and practices of service, collaboration, intellectual rigor, informed inquiry, disruption, and bold action.

We live in the hope of contributing to beloved community by serving justice, diversity, sustainability, and the respectful and equitable inclusion and treatment of all. 

Through its graduates and its programs, the college achieves measurable impact as a catalyst for conceiving and implementing solutions to the complex challenges facing cities, regions, states, and nations.