Applications for the Leadership Columbia Class of 2025 are closed. Applications for 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.


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Throughout the 10-month program, Leadership Columbia participants must attend and complete a required two-day retreat, nine monthly day-long sessions (traditionally the second Tuesday of each month), 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.

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.

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.

Class members will participate in an orientation, a two-day mandatory retreat, nine monthly day-long sessions, and a graduation ceremony. In addition, class members are required to participate in the class project and a variety of enrichment activities. Over the course of the ten (10) month program, no individual class member can miss more than 12 class day hours and all class members must complete the minimum number of required hours on the class project.

Applicants will be notified of their selection status in June. Please understand that the Leadership Columbia selection process is highly competitive. The number of applicants always exceeds the number of participants that the program can accommodate. It is not uncommon for an applicant to apply more than once before being offered an invitation to participate.