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K-12 Educational Leadership through Sports (Graduate Certificate)

A Graduate Certificate in K-12 Educational Leadership through Sports from Creighton University can help you advance your career as an educator and become a stronger, more effective leader. Quality leadership is imperative to the success of our students, schools and activities and sports teams, so if you aspire to serve in an administrative role or become an athletic director, a graduate certificate in K-12 Educational Leadership from Creighton can help you reach your goals.

Creighton offers guaranteed scholarships to all educators to help support and encourage teachers to continue to their education in leadership. See the tuition and fees section below for more details.


Rooted in Jesuit values, Creighton’s Certificate in Educational Leadership through Sports goes beyond the administrative aspects of school leadership. You will learn the importance of compassion, relationship-building, reflection and humility in your work. Through hands-on, project-based learning experiences, you’ll learn to lead and manage your school, sustain a positive culture, and respond to diverse community interests.

Building on the University’s athletic prowess and successful sports achievements, the Education and Interdisciplinary Studies departments are committed to providing an experiential graduate certificate in educational leadership through a sports lens. Whether you have a career goal of becoming a building administrator, a head coach, or an athletic director, you will earn a unique sports leadership credential that will enable you to lead your coaches and athletic departments with a purposeful vision.

“Sports tend to play a huge role in our lives, from the time we are young athletes until we are seasoned fans. More recently, sports have given a voice to many of the social, political, and personal challenges that exist in our world. This program is ideal for the aspiring administrator or athletic director who seeks to understand the critical dynamics of humanity that we can learn through sports and how we can use sports to teach and learn lifelong lessons.”

—Gretchen Oltman, JD, PhD | Associate Professor and Program Director

Designed with public and private school K-12 coaches in mind, this certificate program can be used as a stepping-stone to become an athletic director and can build to an administrative degree with a Master’s in Educational Leadership.

Once enrolled in the program, you will have the ability to make an immediate impact as a strong leader in your school community. Your new skillset will also enable you to promote meaningful relationships within your teams and among your coaches. You will gain first-hand knowledge of our unique offerings that integrate coursework in leadership and education – all within the framework of sports! Our online programming enables you to join our classes from anywhere in the world and you will experience meaningful interactions with world-class faculty.

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Ann Mausbach, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Director, College of Arts and Sciences

Ann Mausbach, PhD | Associate Professor and Program Director, College of Arts and Sciences

"The K-12 Educational Leadership through Sports program enables educators who have a passion for sports to pursue a leadership degree from a nationally ranked university with extensive expertise in sports."

Program Details

The Graduate Certificate in Educational Leadership through Sports is ideal for any teacher seeking to be K-12 administrator who has a strong desire to become an athletic director, enhance their leadership skills and initiate positive change within the school’s athletic department.

To earn this certificate, you must complete 15 credit hours:

  • EDL 607 School Improvement
  • EDL 619 School Culture
  • EDL 627 Strategic Resourcing

Choose two of the following courses:

  • MSL 627 Leading Champions: Lessons from Extraordinary Athletes and Coaches
  • MSL 626 Failure and Failing
  • MSL 628 Current Issues in Sports Leadership
  • MSL 629 Principles in Sports Leadership
  • MSL 630 Coaching from an Ignatian Lens


As a collaborative effort between the Education Department and the Organizational Leadership Program at Creighton, our respected faculty strives to help students in the K-12 Educational Leadership through Sports Certificate program strengthen their skills, expand their knowledge and work to achieve their goals as athletic directors or head coaches.

Master's Degree Option

Credits earned for this graduate certificate can be applied toward the following master’s programs.

Educational Leadership (MS) (36 credits)
In the MS in Educational Leadership program, students are provided hands-on, project-based learning experiences that enable them to effectively lead and manage a school and sustain a positive school culture.

  • Available online

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the K-12 Education Leadership through Sports program, applicants must:

  • Complete an application
  • Possess a bachelor’s degree with 3.0 GPA or higher
  • Provide a transcript displaying completion of a teaching degree (exemptions available). Read more about sending transcripts here
  • Provide a teaching certificate (exemptions available) and have at least two years of successful teaching experience (can be in progress as you begin the program)
  • Submit a personal statement (see application for specific requirements)
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from persons other than friends or family members
  • Pass a background check (if offer of admission is extended)
  • Submit felony convictions and mental capacity statements

Due to the specific features and requirements of this program, international students cannot be admitted. Unique situations may be discussed with your enrollment specialist.

Tuition & Financial Aid

Tuition rates change in the fall of each year. Visit our financial aid site for more details.


Up to $3,000 scholarships available automatically for all educators—$200 per credit will be applied to each course throughout the program.

Financial Aid
To help make your graduate studies at Creighton University more affordable, we encourage you to file the FAFSA to apply for financial assistance. We also encourage you to apply for available graduate student scholarships and fellowships.

Still have questions? Email or call a friendly financial specialist at 402.280.2731 for any additional questions you may have.

Dates and Deadlines

The table below details the enrollment deadlines and starting dates of courses for the current academic year. If you have any questions about dates, deadlines, or application materials, please contact an admissions advisor for personalized assistance.


Rolling admission: Once your application is submitted it will be reviewed and we’ll work with you to get into the next available class. Classes start in August, October, January, March and June.

Still Have Questions?

Reach out to an Admissions Advisor
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