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Nonprofit Leadership graduate certificate

The graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership provides a unique opportunity to pursue a theoretically based and practically oriented education in leadership for nonprofit professionals. This program offers nonprofit managers the up-to-date professional skills and perspectives required to lead their organizations in the rapidly changing and complex nonprofit sector of society.

This program is available fully online.

Visit the program website for more information.

Program Overview

The graduate certificate is specifically designed for the experienced nonprofit manager who has an advanced degree or an undergraduate degree and several years of professional experience. It is intended for those holding or seeking executive positions that wish to further their education without pursuing the full requirements for a graduate degree.

Why Study Nonprofit Leadership at Grand Valley?

  • Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, focused on financial, technical, and administrative support on teaching, research, and service.
  • Community Research Institute, which provides quality research and critical data for community improvement.
  • Grand Valley library's endowed Johnson Collection for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership, which is one of the country's best collections on the nonprofit sector.
  • Ideal for the busy professional, this certificate can be completed fully online.

Location & Format

All classes for this program can be completed online.



The certificate requires the completion of 15 credit hours of graduate study:

  • Three credits of workshops or fund development
  • Financial Management
  • Nonprofit Boards, Trustees, and Governance
  • Nonprofit Management Practice
  • Nonprofit Organizations, Advocacy, and Public Policy

Career Options

Career opportunities include positions as:

  • Clergy and ministry directors
  • Executive directors
  • Foundation directors and staff members
  • Grant managers
  • Nonprofit board members
  • Social workers

Application Deadline

A fully completed application must be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to the intended semester of enrollment. The $30 nonrefundable application fee is waived if the applicant has previously applied to Grand Valley State University. Please visit

Admission Requirements

Applicants for the Certificate Program in Nonprofit Leadership must:

  1. Apply at or call (616) 331-6575 for an application packet.
  2. Hold an advanced degree or a bachelor's degree with a minimum of 3.0 in the last two years of undergraduate work.
  3. Have some professional experience in nonprofit organizations.
  4. Submit official transcripts, an application essay and three letters of recommendation.

For More Information

School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration
288C DeVos Center
(616) 331-6575

Graduate Admissions Office


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