Whether you aspire to be a leader in your career, in your community, or on the board of an organization you're passionate about—develop your leadership potential through Villanova's Women's Leadership Development Certificate.

Over the past several decades, women have made significant progress in academic achievements as well as their representation in the paid workforce. Despite this progress, women are vastly underrepresented in the top leadership positions across all industries and organizations, and a persistent earnings gap exists.

In keeping with its mission to foster women’s advancement, The Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women's Leadership, created a leadership development certificate geared towards “women in the middle.” The program builds on the participants’ experiences and interests to develop their leadership skills, and form their own unique path to leadership.



Ideal for women seeking career advancement, a career change, or those returning to the workforce—the Women's Leadership Development Certificate will help individuals build new skills, gain an awareness of systemic issues related to gender inequality, and explore ways to influence change.

In addition, the curriculum and program format fosters networking opportunities and cross-industry connections and collaboration for women seeking to develop their leadership skills and advance their careers.

A three-month program, the Leadership Development Certificate includes a combination of three in-person residences at The Inn at Villanova, as well as online work. The residency —a critical component of the certificate— fosters an environment that promotes deep discussion, reflection and collaboration.




Exploring Your Unique Context

March 7-8, 2025 (Tentative)

Building Knowledge and Leadership Skills

April 4-5, 2025 (Tentative)

Designing Your Path

May 2-3, 2025 (Tentative)


Upon successful completion of the Women’s Leadership Development Certificate, a participant will earn 3.9 Continuing Education Units and will be able to:

  • Advance yourself and others as leaders in personal, professional and community life
  • Identify ways to increase emotional intelligence, mindfulness and to develop growth potential
  • Improve competencies in systems management, innovation, organizational development, communication and interprofessional relationships
  • Understand how gender and other identities impact leadership development in organizations and society
  • Create a personal leadership development plan
  • Leverage new communication and leadership skills to empower yourself and others to enact social change
To complete the program and earn a Certificate in Women's Leadership Development, participants must:
  • Attend all three residency sessions
  • Complete the online assignments and activities
  • Complete and present a personal leadership development plan

Running over three months, the Leadership Development Certificate program includes a combination of three in-person residencies at The Inn at Villanova, as well as asynchronous online work. Participants will spend approximately 39 hours (3.9 Continuing Education Units) in residence at The Inn at Villanova over the course of the program.

The three residencies will meet on a Friday and Saturday for 13 hours in total length across the two days. Exact times are to be determined, but Friday will be a full day of study, and the Saturday sessions will conclude after lunch.

The online components of the program, completed in the weeks prior to and between the residency experiences, focus on identifying individual strengths and talents, reinforcing theoretical content, and participating in peer group coaching.

2025 Certificate Cost = TBD 

$250 Deposit for all participants.
Application deadline: February 2025

Program tuition includes accommodations and meals at The Inn at Villanova.

  • A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Please contact cps.info@villanova.edu if you are interested.
  • Discounts are available for Villanova Alumni and Group Applicants. Contact us at cps.info@villanova.edu for special pricing.


CPS students enrolling in the Women's Leadership Development Certificate Program may participate in a payment plan. Payment plans are offered through Nelnet Campus Commerce, and students are encouraged to reach out to Nelnet directly through the NCC website.

Please note:

  • Payments must be made over the course of three months.
  • There is an additional $40 payment plan fee for each semester. 
  • To initiate the use of a payment plan for an upcoming course, contact Trish Ertwine for a specific code to submit with the application.

For financial information, including cancellation policies, billing and payments, visit Admissions & Enrollment.


8:30am-9:00am — Breakfast
9:00am-10:30am — Morning check-in/Vision Statement sharing
10:30am-10:45am — Break
10:45am- 12:15am — Instructor led Content
12:15pm-1:30pm — Lunch & topical panel session featuring women leaders
1:30pm-2:30pm — Instructor led Content
2:30pm-2:45pm — Break
2:45pm-4:30pm — Instructor led Content
4:30pm-5:00pm — Break
5:00pm-6:30pm — Cocktails and Connections (networking reception w/alumni)
6:30pm-8:00pm — Dinner
8:00pm — Reflective learning & Journaling


7:00am-7:45am — Optional yoga & Meditation
8:00am-8:30am — Breakfast
8:30am - 9:00am — Morning check-in
9am-12:30pm — Instructor Led Content
12:30pm-2pm — Lunch & topical panel featuring women leaders


The Anne Welsh McNulty Institute for Women’s Leadership fosters women’s advancement through education, advocacy, community-building and the collaborative creation of new knowledge.

Learn more about the Institute for Women's Leadership.

College of Professional Studies

800 E. Lancaster Avenue
Vasey Hall, Room 103
Villanova, PA 19085

Maps & Directions to Campus

Important Notices for Distance Education Students

The following includes important information for students participating in online courses, online programs and/or on-ground clinicals or practicums while physically located outside of Pennsylvania.

Read the Notices for Distance Education Students


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Enhance your resume.

Professional education classes enable you to add new skills, expertise, or credentials to your resume and make you even more valuable to your employer.

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Expand your professional network.

Communicating and building relationships with your classmates and instructors can open new doors in your career.

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Learn from industry experts.

All programs are taught by instructors who have worked or who are currently working in the field, and who are able to share practical applications and real world examples of topics in the course.