Certificate in Nonprofit Sector Leadership and Innovation

The 5-course undergraduate-level Certificate in Nonprofit Sector Leadership and Innovation (NSLI), in partnership with Luther College and the Faculty of Arts, gives students an introduction to leadership in nonprofit and voluntary organizations. This dynamic, multidisciplinary certificate is designed for students who want to acquire the expertise to pursue paid employment  and/or voluntary work in the nonprofit (voluntary, community-based) sector.

The courses will provide the necessary background in the structure and roles of nonprofit organizations, organization management, human resources, communications, and strategic planning. All courses will be grounded in a community-engaged, experiential learning model.

Note: Students enrolled in a part-time program do not maintain full-time student status throughout the program. Therefore part-time programs may be unavailable to international applicants due to Citizenship and Immigration Canada regulations. Part time programs are also not eligible for student loan funding.

  • Courses to complete: 4 core + 1 elective
  • Credit hours: 15
  • Prerequisites: Varies by course
  • Program duration: Designed for part-time study
  • Delivery mode: This program is 100% online with the exception of some electives
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Prior Learning and Recognition

Prior Learning and Recognition (PLAR) may be granted for one or more courses, except for NSLI 100, which is a required course for all students. PLAR will be determined by the VSSN Director and the Centre for Continuing Education.

Core Courses

NSLI 100 Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector

NOTE: NSLI 100 is a pre-requisite for all other NSLI courses, and is offered in the Fall semester.

Plus three from the following:
NSLI 220 Nonprofit Advocacy and Community Development
NSLI 230 Nonprofit Communications and Strategic Relationship Building
NSLI 240 Community Based Research in the Nonprofit Sector
NSLI 260 Nonprofit Organization Governance and Leadership
NSLI 340 Nonprofit Program Planning and Evaluation
NSLI 350 Nonprofit Financial Management and Philanthropy
NSLI 370 Fund Development in Nonprofit Organizations
NSLI 380 Nonprofit Sector Leadership and Strategy
NSLI 390 AA-ZZ Nonprofit Organization Special Topics


Students should choose one of the following electives:

Any additional NSLI course
BUS 100 Introduction to Business
BUS 260 Introduction to Organizational Behaviour
BUS 364 Managing a Diverse Workforce
IDS 101 Interdisciplinary Studies: Contemporary Issues
IS 302 Non-Governmental Organizations Crossing Borders
JS 350 Justice and Indigenous Peoples
JS 383 Social Justice Movements
JS 415 Program Evaluation
JS 484 Community Advocacy
PHIL 272 Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 276 Professional Ethics
PSCI 100 People, Power, and Politics: An Introduction
SOC 208 Inequality and Social Justice
SOC 211 Sociology of Diversity and Intersectionality in Canada
SOC 214 The Sociology of Indigenous People in Canada
SOC 308 Power and Social Jusice 
SRS 215 Volunteer Management
SRS 340 Governance and Legal Issues in Third Sector Organizations

CRN Course Sec Title Dates
32168 NSLI 100 L01 Foundations of the Nonprofit Sector Sep 4
Dec 6
32169 NSLI 230 L01 Nonprofit Communications and Strategic Relationship Building Sep 4
Dec 6
33226 NSLI 340 L01 Nonprofit Program Planning and Evaluation Sep 4
Dec 6
33197 NSLI 390AC L01 Nonprofit Sector Leadership and Innovation Capstone Course and Applied Service Learning Internship Sep 4
Dec 6

NSLI courses may only be counted once in either the required course section or the approved electives section.

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