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Sports Leadership (Graduate Certificate)

A Graduate Certificate in Sports Leadership from Creighton University will help you discover what it takes to be an impactful and effective leader. Join us and learn how to lead meaningful organizational change, help develop future leaders and promote positive social changes in your community.

Does learning about successful leadership skills and strategies through a sports lens appeal to you? Are you seeking enhanced leadership skills to advance in your career? Are you excited about the opportunity to study sports leadership at an institution known for developing athletes and coaches in a purposeful way? If yes, the Sports Leadership Certificate from Creighton University right for you. Designed for professionals who seek to strengthen their understanding of organizational leadership processes, to serve in sports leadership roles, or to advance their careers in any professional field (business, law, healthcare, social sciences, and more) while studying leadership through a sports lens, Creighton’s Sports Leadership certificate offers you the opportunity to strengthen your community partnerships, build a unique personal brand and better understand how success and failure play into your long-term career satisfaction.

No matter your career goals, this online program will provide the opportunity to strengthen your ability to make thoughtful decisions, handle adversity, understand and manage organizational challenges, and collaborate with others—all with the goal of helping develop student athletes, coaches, colleagues and employees.

“Sports is a larger part of our mission at Creighton where we seek to teach students to ‘exercise wisdom, judgment, and faith to work for a more just society.’ By teaching students and professionals to pursue leadership with a purposeful philosophy, we can help develop students, players, colleagues, employees, and fans to appreciate this mission within the study of sports leadership.”

—Gretchen Oltman, JD, PhD | Assistant Professor and Program Director, Graduate School

The sports leadership certificate aims to develop strong organizational leaders with a purposeful leadership philosophy. The program will enable professionals to identify theories of leadership and how those theories apply to sports leadership, demonstrate a strong understanding of current issues in sports leadership and integrate Jesuit charisms and Ignatian practices into sports leadership topics. Students will examine the fundamentals of sports leadership, study leadership styles, explore coaching and leading, and investigate the impact of mindset on a leader’s decision-making processes.

Once enrolled in the program, you will have the ability to make an immediate impact as a strong organizational leader in your field. Skills and techniques learned in the classroom environment can be implemented in your organization while you’re still learning. Your new skillset will also enable you to promote meaningful relationships within your teams.  

A Certificate That Fits Your Career Goals and Your Schedule

A hectic schedule doesn’t have to stop you from pursuing your graduate certificate. Creighton University’s sports leadership certificate can be completed entirely online in 15 credit hours.  In addition,  professionals seeking to further advance their careers can utilize the certificate as a building block to a full master’s degree in Organizational Leadership. 


Creighton University’s Sports Leadership Certificate and Master of Science in Organizational Leadership lives within the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. The curriculum is developed by faculty from varying backgrounds, including sports, business, health, education, law, and arts and sciences. You’ll be immersed in a network of classmates with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and vantage points. 

The program’s interdisciplinary approach allows classmates and faculty to exchange insights about their respective industries and professional experiences. These relationships last long after the program ends—you’ll expand your professional network and reap the benefits of a thriving alumni community for many years.

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Program Details

Program Goals and Curriculum

The Sports Leadership Certificate is ideal for any professional who has a strong desire to enhance their leadership skills, a keen interest in sports and the desire to initiate positive change in their workplace and community. Students pursuing the certificate come from a range of backgrounds including, but not limited to, current and former college athletes, collegiate, high-school and youth team coaches, athletic directors and staff of athletic departments, assistant coaches, nonprofit and community leaders, sales professionals, career and wellness coaches, and entrepreneurs seeking to enhance their personal brand. Students are not required to be collegiate athletes or sports professionals, but rather individuals who seek to study leadership using sports, athletics, coaching and teamwork as a common thematic element.

If you decide to pursue further graduate study, all courses can be applied to our MS in Educational Specialist Areas.

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

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


Our respected faculty at Creighton strives to help students in the Sports Leadership Graduate Certificate program strengthen their skills, expand their knowledge and work to achieve their goals.

Still Exploring?

If you are a K-12 teacher or coach who wishes to become an Athletic Director or administrator in your building, Creighton offers an Education Leadership Certificate through Sports that is designed specifically for you.

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the Graduate Certificate in Sports Leadership program, applicants must:

  • Complete an application
  • Include an updated curriculum vitae or resume
  • Provide an official transcript from the institution that granted the Bachelor’s degree. Read more about sending transcripts here
  • Submit a personal statement of interest in the graduate certificate 

A personal interview may be requested in addition to the above requirements. The interview may be conducted in-person or virtually.

International students are welcomed into this program so long as they complete it from their country of residence, as F-1 visas will not be issued. 

International applicants must:

Tuition & Financial Aid

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

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 information 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 begin in August, October, January, March, and May.

Still Have Questions?

Reach out to an Admissions Advisor
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