MBU’s New Institute for Leadership Focuses on Servant Leadership

Pictured, from left, are Erik Gustafson, Teagan Rutz, Dr. Lacey, Julie Beehler and Dornisha Goodrich.


MBU junior Julie Beehler is a self-identified leader.

It’s a term she may not have always used to describe herself. But as a member of the inaugural MBU Institute for Leadership, she’s learned to view leadership through a new lens.

“Leadership isn’t necessarily about power,” she said. “It’s about developing a plan, having a vision and getting people on board to help execute that vision. As a college student, I may not have a lot of money or power, but I do have influence and that can make the world a better place.”

Nearly 25 of MBU’s highest achieving students have been selected to take part in the first Institute for Leadership. MBU launched the Institute for Leadership earlier this year as another way to live out its core belief of “social change through service and leadership.”

The yearlong program aims to intentionally cultivate servant leaders through, among other things, self-assessment and group service projects, said Lara Hines, MBU director of student activities and leader of the program. All students must complete 100 service hours and be involved in two philanthropic or MBU organizations in order to finish the program.

As part of a capstone project, members of the Institute are divided into groups and are charged with proposing a multi-faceted service project that supports the University’s core values. Members of the Institute will implement the chosen project in the fall.

Beehler, who is a human services major, was part of the group whose proposed project was adopted by the Institute. The Institute will be working with an urban school district in the fall to establish a mentoring and tutoring program.

“We think this has the opportunity to grow into a great way for MBU to serve our community,” Beehler said. “As college students, we have an opportunity to help our community, which is what leadership is really all about.”