Frequently Asked Questions
The Program


What is the purpose of the program?

The program is designed to develop the next generation of senior leaders for Lutheran higher education and church-wide agencies by exploring the “Why”, “Who” and “How” of leadership.   

How much time do I have to dedicate to the program?

The retreats are very intensive requiring your attendance and engagement for the entire time. Outside the retreats you will work on a project for your organization.  The time varies for the project.  It is typically associated with your own work.

How large is each cohort?

Cohort size varies from 13 to 16 participants.

What will my institution be responsible for financially?

Your institution is responsible for tuition, travel, accommodations, meals and any other costs associated with your attendance.

What are LECNA Fellow Program alumnae/alumni doing today?

We are very pleased that twenty-seven Fellows have been promoted to presidencies, thirty-two to vice presidencies and twenty-nine to the director or dean level.

How can I be nominated for the program?

Your nomination must come from the president of your institution.  Application packages are sent to the presidents during the beginning of December of each calendar year. You can also find the application materials on the LECNA web site here.

Opening Retreat


How long is the opening retreat?

The opening retreat for the higher education program typically begins on the first weekend in June and lasts for 7 days.  


Where will I stay?

The opening retreat for both Fellows programs will be held at the Oak Ridge Retreat Center in Chaska, MN.  (  It is a 30 minute drive from the Minneapolis airport.  You may want to ride share with the other members of your cohort.


What should I bring to the opening retreat?

The Oak Ridge Retreat Center is in a beautiful area with hiking trails and a lake.  Bring plenty of bug repellent, sunscreen and allergy products.  Daily dress is business casual and evenings are casual.  It can be cooler in the evenings. Fellows are booked into individual rooms.


Can I bring my spouse/partner?

The days and nights are full with content and conversation. The curriculum is very focused and immersive so to fully achieve a retreat experience the program only wishes the fellow attend. 


What is the schedule of the retreat activities?

A full schedule will be provided to you ahead of the retreat.  In general, you can expect to spend a full day (breakfast through dinner) with your cohort (with breaks).  Evenings are often spent around the fire in conversation with your cohort or in the bar/lounge in conversation with guest speakers.


I am flying into Minneapolis-St. Paul from out of state.  What’s the best way to get to the retreat center?

Previous cohorts have found it valuable to connect with each other electronically before the retreat to coordinate transportation to both reduce costs and environmental impact.  Carpooling to the retreat center is a great way to get to know some of your cohort members.

Mid-year Retreat


How long is the mid-year retreat?

It is typically two full days with a travel day at the beginning and end


Where is the mid-year retreat?

For higher education leaders, the mid-year retreat is held in conjunction with the Lutheran Educational Conference of North America president’s meeting.  The president’s meeting occurs at the beginning of the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) president’s meeting.  You can find out more about CIC and the president’s meeting at  This meeting is typically the first week in January just after the New Year.  The location varies but is always someplace warm.


What will I do at the mid-year retreat?

The purpose of the mid-year retreat is to continue the process of leadership development.  You will meet and dine with leaders from across the country.  Presentations will include a panel of leaders discussing a current issue in higher education or the church, and other speakers.  In addition, you will present an update to the staff and your cohort—we call this a “check-in”. 

Closing Retreat


How long is the closing retreat?

The closing retreat is two and one-half full days.


Where is the closing retreat?

The closing retreat for both programs will be held at the Oakridge Retreat Center in Chaska, MN.  (  Information and a schedule for the retreat will be provided by the staff.


What will I do at the closing retreat? 2019-2020 Fellows

You and the other members of the cohort will present the final reports on your projects and discuss your personal Integrated Leader Model.  You will also have a presentation on a leadership topic and a seminar on planning your leadership future.



2019-2020 Fellows

Updated Closing Retreat Schedule can be found here: Closing Retreat Schedule

Webinars:  The final webinar will be a “check-in” and is scheduled for April 14, 2020 at 12:00 PM CDT.  You will receive login information the week before.

2020-2021 Fellows delayed to 2021-2022 Tentative Schedule
Opening Retreat LFP 21-22 Cohort             Content                                               v1.0
Jun 6 to Jun12, 2021, Chaska, MN Oak Ridge Retreat:  travel early 6 Jun to arrive by mid-afternoon, depart 12 Jun 2021.
Webinars LFP 21-22 Cohort                          Content                                         v1.0
Note: these are based on second Tuesdays, may change based on speaker availability
Mid-Year Retreat LFP 21-22 Cohort         Content                                                     v1.0
Travel early 2 Jan 22 to arrive by mid-afternoon, meet 3 and 4 Jan 22 and depart 5 Jan 2022 in conjunction with the LECNA and CIC president’s meeting at Orlando, FL. The CIC Presidents Institute is January 4 to 7, 2022 in Marco Island, FL.
Closing Retreat LFP 21-22 Cohort               Content                                             v1.0
 2 Jun to 5 Jun 2022, Chaska, MN, Oakridge Retreat, travel late 1 Jun or early 2 Jun to arrive by noon on Thursday 2 Jun and depart early Sunday 5 Jun.
Visionary Leadership Project


What is the project mentioned in the application materials?

The Visionary Leadership Project (VLP) is a significant dimension of the LECNA Fellows Program as it provides an opportunity for each Fellow to apply the concept of Visionary Organizational Leadership and to do so by planning, executing, assessing, and then reporting on an important project or activity that is related to their current position and responsibilities.  The VLP timetable spans the Program year, and begins with a project proposal that is due by the end of the Opening Retreat.  Fellows will be advised by one of the program co-directors throughout the year, and the final project report will be presented at the Closing Retreat in June. 

It is important that the project be discussed with and approved by each Fellow’s President or reporting officer. Also, it is recommended that the project includes a visit to one or more Lutheran campus, church or agency  to work with colleagues who are able to be of help in moving your project forward (Fellows are responsible for arranging these visits.  As needed, Program Staff can help make the necessary contacts.)


How do I decide on a project?

What makes a good project will vary by individual and institution.  If you have past fellows at your institution reach out to them and ask them about their projects for inspiration.

Integrated Leadership Model

At the closing retreat Fellows will present a 10-minute overview of their personal Integrated Leader Model (ILM).  It can be a visual presentation/model, summary paper, or any other creative way of explaining a personal, sustainable leader model. 


This model is prepared based on the leader framework presented in the program at the opening and mid-year retreats, and developed in conjunction with your coach. 

Leader development is viewed as an ongoing process of formation and capacity building, integration, adaptability and resilience are at the core of sustainable leader development.  Therefore, the model should include follow-on leader development efforts.