Leadership Programs

Mount Mercy offers students incredible opportunities to learn, develop, and grow through a variety of programs. Of particular benefit is STEPS, Striving Towards Engaged and Purposeful Servant-Leadership, which offers students the chance to develop their leadership skills, social justice awareness, and provide service to the community.

Students in the STEPS-Leadership program are interested in learning how to utilize their strengths and abilities in order to contribute effectively and efficiently to the communities where they live and work. As a leadership program we empower students to develop skills that will aid them in their college experience and life after graduation. Students who participate in the STEPS-Leadership program gain a deeper understanding of their personal leadership style by participating in workshops and volunteering with local service organizations.

The STEPS-Leadership Program

Sophomore Year: Once accepted, students in the STEPS-Leadership program begin their twice monthly meetings in September. This year students travel to Omaha, NE during a portion of Fall Break for a Service Immersion Trip. Service opportunities will also begin with the students’ chosen partnering non-profit agency in the Cedar Rapids area. The first-year program’s goal is on understanding and developing students’ servant leadership and individual strengths & leadership traits that call them to lead. This year’s readings include: The Case for Servant Leadership by Dr. Kent Keith, and Strengths Based Leadership by Tom Rath & Barry Conchie.

Junior Year: Twice monthly meetings continue with your leadership cohort and students continue to serve at their chosen partnering non-profit agency. This year includes a wilderness weekend - an incredible experience that will allow you to grow as a leader and a person. This year’s program goal is to understand how one can use their strengths to make a positive social change in their community. This year’s readings include: Living Your Strengths by Winseman, A., Clifton, D., & Liesveld, C. and excerpts from both Exploring Leadership by Komives, S., Lucas, N., & McMahon, T. and the Journal of Servant Leadership.

Senior Year: This year will allow you to put your leadership into practice through co-presenting Transitions Workshops, sessions for other STEPS-Leadership cohorts, and assisting at StrengthsQuestTM Workshops. In your senior year we also travel to Ireland, during spring break, to connect servant-leadership to the works of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy. By the end of your senior year, you will have created a unique Reflection Portfolio to showcase how you have grown as a servant-leader.  The completion of three years in STEPS-Leadership will culminate in your 'graduation' from the program and will be identified on your official transcript.

To Apply

If interested, you can begin applying the spring semester of your first year or first semester of your sophomore year. Applications are due the second week in September and are reviewed by the Leadership Advisory Committee. After review, the Committee will send you notification in late September on whether you have been accepted into the program. Sophomores and Transfer students with less than 60 credit hours are encouraged to apply to the STEPS-Leadership program.

J. Heim
Director of Leadership and Learning Communities
University Center 240
319-363-1323 ext. 1599

J. Heim has leadership experience in a number of higher education areas from residence life, student activities, student government, clubs and organizations, and student unions. He received his Bachelor of Arts in sociology with minors in history and psychology from Mount Mercy University and his Masters of Education in Higher and Postsecondary Education from Arizona State University. His professional work experience includes StrengthsQuestTM training, leadership development program design, student government budget management, student organization advising, assessment initiatives, and student/staff trainings.

  • Time Management
  • Effective Communication
  • Stress Management
  • Academic Success
  • Goal Setting
  • Strengths: The 34 Themes
  • Developing Your Strengths
  • Strengths: Domains of Leadership
  • Living Your Strengths
  • Individual Strengths Coaching