Leadership Development

This program provides opportunities for students to develop leadership skills through workshops, retreats, and service through which students earn The Van Sant Leadership Certificate. Students who receive this certificate are capable and confident leaders who take action to make positive, sustainable change in the community and the workplace.

  • Workshops are provided each semester and DO NOT have to be completed in any order.
  • Enrollment in the Leadership Certificate is NOT REQUIRED to attend workshops.
  • This program can be completed in one semester or throughout a student’s time at Otterbein.


To help secure opportunities for all Otterbein Students to complete their Leadership Certification with the Van Sant program, students may view our pre-recorded workshops on the Center for Community Engagement YouTube Channel! Students may watch the workshops on the Dare To Be Workshop YouTube Playlist and then complete a survey to receive credit for that workshop.


  • Dare to be Practical*
  • Dare to be Challenged*
  • Dare to be Creative
  • Dare to be Fair
  • Dare to be Real
  • Dare to be Theoretical*
  • Dare to be Me*
  • Dare to be Savvy
  • Dare to be Magnetic
  • Dare to be Different*
  • Dare to be Well*

Attend 6 Core* Workshops, 2 Elective Workshops, Complete VAN SANT Workshop Requirement. Register at cse@otterbein.edu

Program Requirements

International Student Guide

Here For 1 Semester?

  • 2 Workshops (1 core, 1 elective)
  • 4 Service Hours
  • Receive Van Sant Leadership Certificate

Here For 1 Year

  • 4 Workshops (2 Core, 2 Elective)
  • 10 Service Hours
  • Receive Van Sant Leadership Certificate

U.S. Student Guide

Reach Your Leadership Summit Through 3 Core Commitments

  • Learn (8 Leadership Workshops)
  • Lead (Organization Participation)
  • Serve (20 Community Service Hours)

Receive Van Sant Leadership Certificate


Van Sant Fellows serve as ambassadors for leadership development on campus. A $1500 grant ($750 per semester) will be awarded to first-year students who have demonstrated a commitment to leadership and academic scholarship during high school. Finalists will be selected by a committee and interviewed at a scholarship interview day for virtual and/or possible in-person interviews. Updates will be sent if anything changes.

The grant will be awarded on the basis of the following criteria:

  1. Demonstrated commitment to leadership
  2. A cumulative high school grade point average of 3.0 or above
  3. Ability to design and implement leadership programming on campus

This scholarship is awarded to first year students during the admission process only, and are renewable. Current Otterbein students are not eligible to apply for this award.


Email the Center for Student Engagement at cse@otterbein.edu

Meet our Van Sant Fellows

The Van Sant Fellows serve as ambassadors for leadership development on campus. They are a dedicated group of Otterbein students that demonstrate a desire to help their peers develop as leaders in order to build a stronger and more innovative community on and off campus. These eleven students from all class years coordinate leadership training workshops, that cover topics such as: event planning, volunteer management, event coordinating, and identity development. Van Sant Fellows also lead a weekend leadership retreat off campus, and serve as Civic Partners for 5 Westerville non-profit organizations. These students, while individually are unique with their own aspirations, all together exemplify the essence of leadership through their compassion to make a change within their Otterbein community.

May I dare to be different, dare to be courageous, dare to be creative, dare to challenge others as I am challenged, and dare to make time for this important task.

Dean Van Sant's Leadership Creed