The Center for Faithful Leadership continues a tradition dating back to Hope’s incorporation in 1866.
- The college’s incorporation articles state Hope’s purpose: “to provide comprehensive courses of study… enabling students to… prepare for positions of leadership in the nation and the world.”
- The Center for Faithful Leadership was formed (2005) during President Bultman’s tenure. President Bultman also positively impacted Hope College’s mission statement. Hope’s mission statement now reads: “to educate students for lives of leadership and service…in the context of the historic Christian faith.”
From its beginning, CFL's mission has been to enable students to experience their faithful leadership potential by engaging them in projects that help them apply in the real world what they learn on campus. Its first program was academic: leadership courses and a minor in Organizational Leadership Practice (2007). Over time, its core competency has become to engage students in teams, guided by coaches, mentors, and subject matter experts, to serve the community and solve complex organizational problems and address difficult societal issues. A student consulting business was added in 2010, followed by an entrepreneurial development program (2011). Today, the Center offers three venues to Hope students:
- Integrated Learning: Students on project teams in for-credit leadership courses (and the minor in Organizational Leadership Practice) engage in servant leadership-oriented “stretching” experiences, from service learning to start ups.
- Student Consulting: Students on project teams in paid non-profit and for-profit business advising experiences enhance their communication, critical thinking, learning, and research skills by serving such clients as Community Action House, Herman Miller, Holland Rescue Mission, Hope College, K&R Trucks, Presbyterian Homes and Services, Resthaven, and others.
- Entrepreneurial Development: Students on project teams in our 10-week incubator/fellowship program and other venues develop non-profit and for-profit businesses and in the process significantly enhance their management and leadership skills.
Taking very seriously Max DePree’s words that preparation for leadership does not come from books, CFL hopes to continue to give students opportunities to experience their faithful leadership potential. Its organizational goal is to help Hope College become nationally recognized for its mission of educating students for lives of leadership and service measured by what Hope students accomplish. But that is but a small part of an even larger vision: that all people flourish.