Whitworth launches leadership institute

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Whitworth University School of Business is launching its Institute of Leadership for rising career professionals. Admission to the program for the 2021-22 school year will be by invitation only, but applications for the 2023 class will open next fall. 

Developing Courageous Leaders of Character

Whitworth University's Institute of Leadership is guided by the foundational principles of gratitude, humility and service. It harnesses the strength and collaborative power of business and community leaders to create a connected, passionate and continuously educated network of leader-citizens. The Institute of Leadership is designed to prepare and empower high-potential individuals to make innovative and sustainable impact in their positions of leadership.

This dynamic reinvention of leadership training is built upon an intensive retreat model, engaging participants in a three-part series of offsite weekend retreats located in scenic locations along the West Coast. They will have the opportunity to reflect and relate in a close community of peers. In this three-part series, participants will explore the history of leadership theory and practice – from classical to contemporary – and collaborate to develop a plan for personal and professional growth.

Who should apply?

The Institute of Leadership seeks ambitious and high-achieving, rising professionals and activists who have a demonstrated track record of execution and results – who desire to lead with humility, gratitude and service in order to meaningfully and positively contribute to their organization, cause and/or community. If that's you, we'd love to chat.

Schedule and Descriptions

Over the course of one year, you will have the opportunity to engage in three destination retreats. Retreats will include facilitated discussion, group dinners, seminar readings, guest speakers and an evening social. Generally, sessions are scheduled to begin early Friday afternoons and end early Monday afternoons. All retreats are led and moderated by Kevin Parker.

How to Apply

Admission to the 2021-22 class will be limited and the first round of applications will be by invitation only. If you have received a personal invitation to apply, please click the button below to accept your invitation and complete the application. Applications for the Class of 2023 will open in fall of 2021. Beginning in 2022, the Institute of Leadership will follow an annual cohort model.


If you have questions about the application process, please contact Whitworth's Graduate Studies in Business at 509.777.3875 or kbertsch@whitworth.edu

Total Cost

The total cost of the institute per participant is $8,325 (nine credits earned at $925 per credit for 2021-22). Costs include lodging, program materials and most meals throughout the institute. Travel is not included. Employer tuition reimbursement, financial aid and scholarship opportunities may apply.

Our Leadership Team

Sinéad Voorhees
Director, Graduate Studies in Business

Sinéad Voorhees is a native of Ireland and earned a master of science in development practice from Trinity College Dublin. Voorhees has spent over a decade aligning passion with opportunity, with time spent in the fields of international development, event management and academia. During her tenure as director of graduate studies in business at Whitworth University, Voorhees has helped double the size of the MBA program, making it one of the fastest growing MBA programs in the area. She continues to implement a "people first" approach and believes in the power of collaboration and servant leadership. 

 In 2014, Voorhees was recognized as one of the Inland Northwest's top 20 rising professionals under 40, and in 2019 she was featured on the cover of Spokane Coeur d'Alene Living as one of the top 20 women in business leadership (an award she won in the newcomer division). Also in 2019, Voorhees was recognized as a Spokane Journal of Business Rising Star, an honor bestowed annually to 10 professionals under 40 in the Inland Northwest. She speaks publicly on passion, dreams and confidence and is a proud graduate of Leadership Spokane. In addition to her career accomplishments, Voorhees is a mother to four children, is married to the love of her life and happily calls Spokane home on her family's 10.5 acres of heaven.

Kevin Parker
Chair, Whitworth Institute of Leadership
Visiting Instructor

Kevin Parker is an entrepreneur, former four-term politician and a retired advisor to a senior member of Congress. He has taught organizational theory and leadership for over a decade to graduate students at Whitworth University and is currently a visiting instructor in the School of Business. He has also served as a facilitator in adaptive leadership at Harvard University, is a fellow of the Aspen Institute and is currently completing his Doctorate of Philosophy in leadership studies. Parker oversees 230 employees within his Dutch Bros Coffee franchise and has collectively received more than 30 awards for his work within the community and region, including being named to Spokane's Most Powerful list multiple times.