Developing and Leading Effective Teams

The Art and Science of Leadership

The Advanced Learning Certificate in Developing and Leading Effective Teams is designed to provide helping professionals an opportunity to expand their skills in individual and group leadership.  The program provides a framework to understand and build skills around both the art and the science of leading self and others.

Participants will learn to better identify and understand their personal leadership style, to align their leadership strategy and style with their own personal values and self-image, and to communicate and apply their leadership style to building and supporting effective teams. The program is rooted in strengths-based leadership and includes a focus on leading for social justice, equity, and inclusion.

Class topics include:

  • Leadership Styles and Strengths-Based Leadership
  • What Makes a Team Thrive?
  • Understanding Team Dynamics and the Function of Power
  • Communication: Difficult Conversations and Deep Listening
  • Leading with Presence, Integrity, and Justice

Please sign up to be notified when a new cohort forms.

Is this program for me?

This program is intended for individuals who already hold a master’s degree and have a demonstrated interest in increasing their effectiveness providing individual and group leadership within social service and related fields. You do not have to be an alum of the Brown School to apply for consideration.

The group will meet intensively over two sets of Thursday-Saturday meetings for skill-building.  The first set of meetings (March 24-26) are scheduled to be in-person at Washington University, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. daily.  The second set of meetings (April 28-30) will be virtual, hosted on Zoom 9:00 a.m. -Noon and 1:00-4:00 p.m. CDT each day.  There are modest reading assignments of management texts between the class meetings. All texts are included in the program fee.

The program is appropriate for emerging leaders for whom team leadership is a new challenge, as well as for more seasoned professionals who haven’t previously received extensive training on the topic and want to increase their leadership effectiveness.

At the end of the program, participants will:

  • Identify and develop a personal leadership philosophy and presence that reflects greater knowledge, capabilities, and insight
  • Develop collaborative leadership skills to engage with a diverse range of individuals and stakeholders
  • Hone their skills to empower others and foster effective teamwork
  • Enhance and increase their confidence to make a difference as active, engaged citizen leaders

Successful completion of the certificate program includes submission of a leadership portfolio and a leadership action plan, along with the completion of a strengths-based leadership assessment.

How to Apply

Complete program applications include:

  • Online application form, including statement of purpose (300-500 words)
  • Submission of your current resume
  • Transcript of your master’s program. While an official transcript from the issuing institution is preferred, due to the current public health situation, an emailed scan of your graduate transcript is acceptable.

Mailed transcripts: Transcripts can be mailed to:

Brown School Professional Development
Washington University MSC 1196-0251-46
One Brooking Drive
St. Louis, MO 63130

Electronic transcripts: Electronic transcripts should be directed to

Admissions decisions will be made on a rolling basis. Generally it is possible to provide an admissions decision within two weeks of receipt of a completed application. Complete applications (including official transcripts) must be received by March 9, 2022.

Admission prerequisites:

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree from an accredited university. Applicants with degrees from international universities may request a waiver of the accreditation requirement.
  • Applicants should have (or be able to obtain) access to a computer that has Microsoft Office (Excel, Powerpoint), along with a webcam and reliable internet service.

Meet Your Instructors

Orvin Kimbrough

Orvin Kimbrough, MSW, MBA, MA
CEO, Midwest BankCentre

After many years leading within the non-profit sector, Orvin Kimbrough is taking on a new challenge as CEO of Midwest BankCentre.  Growing up in the Missouri foster care system and having witnessed tragedies far beyond his years, Orv credits his faith, determination and a strong support system in helping him build a career and passion for helping people.  He holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Missouri – Columbia, a master’s of business administration from University of Missouri – St. Louis and a master’s of arts in theology from Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis.

Jill Stratton

Jill Stratton, PhD
Assistant Provost for Residential Education & Associate Dean for Residential Colleges, Vanderbilt University

Jill Stratton has over 25 years of experience in higher education and has devoted much of her research to understanding career joy, strengths-based leadership, and the concept of creative flow. Previously an Associate Dean at Washington University, she currently oversees many of the student development programs for Vanderbilt University undergraduates. Jill serves as a consultant on organizational culture and effectiveness.  She holds a PhD in ethical and creative leadership from the Union Institute and University, as well as a master’s degree in higher education administration from Indiana University and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Transylvania University.

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