How to Apply


The application for the Class of 2018 (starting September 2017) is not currently available. Please check back soon.

Application Process

Each Leadership Springfield (LS) class is selected by the Selection Committee of the LS Advisory Board, with final approval from the LS Advisory Board and the Chamber.

As a Chamber program, applicants from member businesses are given first consideration. If additional slots are available, non-members will be considered. An application evaluation process is conducted that consists of the following criteria: a commitment to civic involvement, demonstrated leadership potential, professional and personal achievement. 

Because diversity is an important goal of the program, other factors affecting the final make-up of the class may be considered.

While the time commitment for the participant can be significant, the amount of time the participant spends away from the office is only one day per month from October through May, after the Opening Retreat in early October.

Minimum Requirements

  • Must be at least 22 years old by Orientation (September 27, 2017)
  • Possess a high school diploma or GED equivalency
  • Live or work in Sangamon County
  • Must have at least 2 years experience of full time employment
  • Completed application (including supporting materials)
    • Applicant commitment
    • Employer commitment
    • Employer reference letter
      • Letters need to be on an official letterhead (if applicable) and must have an original signature (electronic signatures are not acceptable). Letters from relatives will not be accepted.

Suggested Requirements

  • Possess a Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university
  • Personal statement identifying professional goals

Successful candidates will have:

  • Expressed a desire to contribute both time and energy toward serving Sangamon County.
  • Demonstrated prior volunteer involvement and provided evidence of leadership experience.
  • Demonstrated professional growth focused on leadership skills. 

Graduation Requirements

  • Attend Orientation in September.
  • Attend and actively participate in the Opening Retreat and all monthly program sessions outlined in the Key Dates section.
  • Actively work and participate in meeting with project team throughout the program with completion and deliverables by the Closing Retreat.
  • Fulfill the minimum of four hours of community service aspect of the Leadership Springfield program.

Key Dates - Class of 2018

Program Orientation          September 27, 2017          4 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Opening Retreat   October 6, 2017   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Monthly Sessions   October 20, 2017   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    November 17, 2017   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    December 8, 2017   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    January 19, 2018   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    February 16, 2018   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    March 16, 2018   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    April 20, 2018   8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
Closing Retreat   May 18, 2018   8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Graduation   May 23, 2018   5 p.m. - 8 p.m.


Tuition for each participant in Leadership Springfield is $900 for Chamber members and $1300 for non-members.

If a non-member wants to increase their chance of acceptance into the program, they may join the Chamber at the time of application any pay the member tuition rate, if selected. Non-members interested in this option should contact the LS Staff Coordinator at the time of application.

Tuition is due upon receipt of invoice after acceptance into the program and prior to Orientation.

Tuition Assistance

Leadership Springfield is able to offer a limited amount of financial assistance. Those requiring assistance must fill out the appropriate section of the application. Applications from Chamber member businesses are given first consideration for assistance. Applications for assistance are confidential and have no bearing on the Selection Committee's decisions.


Our goal is to select a class reflecting the rich diversity of the Springfield community. All applications will be handled in the strictest confidence.


Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on June 30, 2017.

Application Tips

  • Please complete the short essays before starting your application. Your responses will not be saved if you close out of the application. Click here for the application questions. 
  • The LS Selection Committee will begin reviewing applications in July. Applicants will be notified of the Committee's decision in late July/early August. 


For further information, please contact Ashley Earnest at 217.525.1173 or

Mark Your Calendar

New Members