Applications for the Leadership Columbia Class of 2025 have closed. Applications for the Class of 2026 will open in January 2025.  

Leadership Columbia is the region's signature leadership program offered through the Columbia Chamber. Leadership Columbia is a skills-building program that aims to develop emerging community leaders while providing an educational experience with a strong emphasis on social and community awareness. Upon completion of the program, Leadership Columbia participants will walk away with the knowledge and skills to focus their talents on the best service to the greater Midlands region.

Leadership Columbia's mission is to develop the leadership skills of current and emerging community leaders by providing diverse opportunities for professional development, community involvement, and networking. Throughout the 10-month program, Leadership Columbia participants must attend and complete a required two-day retreat, nine monthly day-long sessions, a collaborative class project, and a variety of enrichment activities, all designed to educate them on critical issues facing the community while also providing opportunities for deeper involvement in and around the greater Columbia region.

During the program, participants can expect to: 

  • Develop and fine-tune leadership skills
  • Enhance knowledge of the greater Columbia region through educational hands-on experiences and exclusive interactions with community decision-makers
  • Gain valuable insight into critical issues facing the community and learn how to get involved to make a difference
  • Build a lasting network of civic-minded leaders

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Who should apply? 

Leadership Columbia is for anyone wanting to learn about and get more involved in the Midlands area. Class members are selected based on community involvement, capacity for leadership, commitment to improving the Midlands, and an interest in enhancing their leadership skills.

Application Process 

All applicants must complete an online application and an in-person interview. Applications and interviews are independently and blindly evaluated by the Leadership Columbia Advisory Board to ensure fairness and integrity in the selection process.

You will first need to register and pay the non-refundable $50 application fee. Unless you have a personal login that you use on a regular basis, please use the ‘Not a Partner?’ link to complete your registration. Make sure to register using an email that you check on a regular basis as we will be sending updates on the status of your application to the email address you provide.

After you have successfully registered and paid your application fee, you will then be directed to a confirmation email containing a link to the online application. After you complete and submit your application, you will receive a confirmation email to confirm your submission. No applications will be accepted without payment confirmation.

For questions about applying to Leadership Columbia, please email Mary Beth Sanderson.

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