Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership

Leaders, students celebrate first cohort of Nonprofit & Civic Leadership grads

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., July 27, 2017 — In 2015, Drury University introduced a unique master’s degree for professionals seeking to enhance their skills, insight, and leadership opportunities in the nonprofit and civic sectors. Now, nearly two years later, the first group of students is set to graduate with their Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership (MNCL) degrees.

Drury will mark this milestone with a special event next week featuring a panel discussion and showcase of student work in the field. The inaugural Capstone Poster Exhibition and Roundtable on the Future of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership will be held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Monday, July 31, at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center. The event is open to the public.

The soon-to-be-graduates of the MNCL program will hold poster discussions of their capstone projects (done in collaboration with partner local organizations) beginning at 5:30 p.m. The panel discussion begins at 6 p.m. and will feature a slate of community leaders who have been involved with the MNCL program in various ways. Moderated by Dan Prater, Director of Drury’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, the discussion will explore the issues future civic and nonprofit leaders will need to address in order to enhance our quality of life in the Ozarks. Panelists include:

  • Amy Blansit, Founder, Drew Lewis Foundation at the Fairbanks
  • Barbara Brown-Johnson, Executive Director, Child Advocacy Center
  • Phyllis Ferguson, Zone 1 Member, Springfield City Council
  • Brian Fogle, President and CEO, Community Foundation of the Ozarks
  • Debi Meeds, President/CEO, United Way of the Ozarks
  • Mark Struckhoff, Executive Director, Council of Churches of the Ozarks

“The MNCL program has seen a tremendous response from both students seeking to further their careers and nonprofit and civic leaders in the area who have served as guest lecturers and project partners,” said Prater, who is also an instructor in the program. “We’re extremely proud to present these graduates and their work to the community that has been so supportive of our program.”

For more information about the Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership degree program, visit or contact Dr. Charles Taylor, professor of communication, at (417) 873-7391 or


Drury launches Master of Nonprofit & Civic Leadership degree program

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Oct. 21, 2015 — Drury University will soon begin offering a new graduate degree for professionals seeking to enhance their skill sets in the nonprofit and civic sectors.

The Master of Nonprofit and Civic Leadership is a unique offering in a community where nonprofit organizations employ about half of all private workers and play an integral role in tackling pressing issues such as poverty, healthcare and education. The program aims to truly enhance the quality of life in the Ozarks by preparing emerging and mid-level leaders for executive service in these key institutions.

The degree takes full advantage of Drury’s highly interdisciplinary approach to education, bringing together academic resources from across campus and drawing upon the university’s longstanding commitment to civic engagement. It also harnesses the expertise of leaders from the Ozarks’ political, economic and cultural spheres, who will act as guest lecturers and mentors as well as facilitate exclusive internship opportunities. A key element of the program will be collaborative efforts between students and Drury’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership, which conducts research, training and networking for nonprofits in the region under director Dan Prater.

Classes begin in January. The 30-credit-hour program (10 courses) will focus on areas such as leadership, strategic planning, advocacy, resource management and governance. Designed with working professionals in mind, courses will be offered in a format that blends online and seated evening classes.

“When all of your training is on the job, then you really lose time,” says Debi Meeds, CEO of the United Way of the Ozarks, and supporter of the program. “And it is detrimental to the organization you’re leading. It’s important that you come to an organization with a professional level of knowledge, because then you can move that organization forward.”

“I never worry about the passion,” says Brian Fogle, president/CEO of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which has supported Drury’s nonprofit training programs, conferences and studies to strengthen the sector. “But I think we can do a better job of providing that skill set that is needed.”

“There is no other graduate program in the region with a twin emphasis on effective leadership and harnessing the power of the nonprofit sector to enhance life in our community,” says Dr. Charles Taylor, professor of communication and director of the new program.

Drury is offering the first credit hour free (a $444 value) for those who enroll now. For more information, visit: To receive the discount, applicants will enter the code MNCL when completing the online application.

For more information, contact: Dr. Charles Taylor. Office: (417) 873-7391; email: