Leadership Honors Program

JPCatholic’s Leadership Honors Program (LHP) offers highly motivated sophomores—who aspire to create a leadership legacy—the opportunity to nurture their understanding and deepen their mastery of leadership over an entire academic year (4 quarters). Drawing students from all undergraduate degree programs, the LHP provides an enriching academic environment that fosters a strong sense of community and challenges students to direct and utilize their gifts in the service of others.

Curriculum & Program Learning Outcomes

The LHP leverages the student's innate intellectual skills and leadership abilities to form in them a greater understanding of ethical leadership and of their personal ability for cultural transformation. As students’ progress through the interdisciplinary curriculum sequence, they gain deep insights into character development and ethics from classical philosophy. They explore in-depth, well-established leadership principles and practices within contemporary business. Taught by senior faculty, its seminar format encourages discussion, collaboration, and critical thinking, while its experiential learning and co-curricular community engagement activities are designed to build and develop deep relationships. Guest speakers are a part of the LHP experience, including selected “emerging leaders” from across the country.

By the end of the LHP, the student should have experienced leadership in practice as well as be able to:

  • Identify great leadership qualities, which are underpinned by character and ethics based on virtue.
  • Understand contemporary leadership principles and best practice.
  • Apply the principles by building a sustainable on-campus entity.
  • Understand the Church’s main teachings on the relation between leadership, human dignity, and justice, as well as the claims made by Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, et. al. about virtue and good leadership.
  • Understand the role of grace, the sacraments, and prayer, along with the challenges of growing in virtue.

The Legacy Project & Co-Curricular Activities

LHP students come from all majors at JPCatholic. They engage with and will have leadership positions in a wide variety of extracurricular activities, including student clubs and student government. They will develop a strong sense of camaraderie with others in their cohort as they share intense intellectual experiences, study, and relax together as well as participate in co-curricular activities. These close relationships with their peers are among the most important benefits of the program.

The Legacy Project, which the student is required to build within the 4-quarter period, may be almost anything that provides service to the campus, local or even the global community. Ideally, the project has the potential to be sustainable and to last long after the student graduates. Examples include any type of student outreach to a community in need; households to support on-campus student human growth; mission trips; evangelization efforts; students clubs; and whatever the student can imagine that meets a compelling need (including those projects that enhance academic program experiences).

Program Structure & Faculty

The LHP classes are small, thematic seminars with an emphasis on active discussion. They are virtue-centered and aim at establishing interdisciplinary connections. The LHP seeks to form well-rounded students, both personally and professionally.

The LHP spans 4 quarters and offers 6-units of academic credit. Graduates earn a LHP certificate, which will be awarded at their graduation along with their undergraduate degree.

The cohort will meet once per week during the quarter. The day of the week will vary from quarter to quarter. Students must attend all class meetings.

Core faculty are:

  • Dr. Derry Connolly, PhD, Professor of Business
  • Shalina Stilley PhD, Professor of Philosophy


In most cases, students will not need to pay extra tuition to participate. It is expected that students will take LHP as a 6th class in their 1st and 3rd quarters, and take it as a 5th class in the 2nd and 4th quarters. In the event LHP is taken as a 6th class in the 2nd and 4th quarters, the student will be charged the extra tuition rate associated with a 6th class.

Some major/emphasis combinations have core classes occupying all 5 class slots in a schedule for multiple quarters, including during the 2nd and 4th quarters of LHP. Students concerned about the possibility of being charged for a 6th class due to having to take 5 other classes are encouraged to contact the Registrar's Office for an estimation if LHP aligns with their major/emphasis combination.

Registration & Academic Maps

Registration for the LHP is separate from Registration Week, and the LHP class should not be included on the usual registration page. Instead, the students who have their applications accepted will be automatically enrolled in the LHP class in addition to their Registration Week course requests. This automatic registration will reoccur until the student has completed all 4 quarters.

The 6 credits from the LHP, fulfills the following degree requirements:

  • Leadership & Management (3 credits)
  • Business Elective Credit (3 credits)

Program Admission Criteria & Application

To apply, students must complete this LHP Application. Requirements for acceptance into the program include a cumulative GPA above 3.00 and demonstrated leadership potential. These qualifications do not guarantee acceptance as the program has limited enrollment.

In your application you will detail:

  • Your leadership abilities, aspirations & the benefits you will bring to the LHP cohort
  • Your learning objectives
  • Your Legacy Project aspirations

Submitting your application confirms your commitment to:

  • Completing the 12-month program
  • Maintaining a minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA
  • Completing a significant Legacy Project

Students who have not taken the “Entrepreneurial Thinking” class must request a letter of nomination describing their academic ability and leadership potential from any JPCatholic faculty member or senior administrator. Have the nomination letter emailed on your behalf to Bob Keith ASAP.