Diplomat Leadership Program

The Diplomat Leadership Program aims to shape and inspire the next generation of student leaders. Selected students receive a scholarship and embark on a comprehensive, four-year examination of what it means to be a leader, community member, and force of change in the world.

Shaping and Inspiring the Next Generation of Leaders

Established in 2022 by a generous gift from the Lancaster-based Steinman Foundation, the Diplomat Leadership Program comprises a scholarship and four years of co-curricular programming. Through monthly workshops, community events, and off-campus programming, students embark on a comprehensive, four-year examination of what it means to be a leader, community member, and force of change in the world.

Diplomat Leaders examine leadership modes (such as the Social Change Model of Leadership), engage with the Lancaster Community through organizations such as Leadership Lancaster and our local businesses and resources, and pursue service opportunities supported by F&M’s Ware Institute for Civic Engagement.

During the program, students explore the Social Change Model’s assumptions about leadership, which:

“The leadership sessions have provided me with a better understanding of myself as a leader, and have taught me that leadership is not ‘one-size-fits-all.’”

"I have learned how to better serve myself and my community through discovering my personal style of leadership.” — Jamie, Diplomat Leadership Participant

“The Leadership Program has without a doubt been one of my favorite parts of being a student at F&M.”

"The ability to meet unique people with interesting perspectives, be connected to incredible opportunities, and form close bonds with my peers in the program are all such unique things that I don't think I would have gotten at any other school.” — Ethan, Diplomat Leadership Participant


How are students enrolled into the program?

The Diplomat Leadership Scholarship is awarded at the time of admission to F&M and includes acceptance into four years of co-curricular programming.

Students are selected after a brief application process following submission of the F&M admission application. For applicants entering the college in the fall of 2023, this scholarship was $15,000 per year, renewable for up to eight semesters.

What is the time commitment for accepted students?

Students are expected to commit their time to the program, and our schedule is designed to complement the holistic F&M experience. Participants attend one leadership workshop or experience a month, usually on Monday evenings. In addition, the program offers one off-campus experience per semester – ranging from tours of local businesses engaging in forward thinking practices to see leadership in action, to kayaking trips and outdoor experiential leadership sessions. Each semester, students will pursue one service opportunity on their own time, with support from the program. Opportunities for mentorship and individual coaching are available to students throughout the semester.

Does the program subscribe to a particular model of leadership?

At F&M, we have been inspired by the Social Change Model of Leadership Development, which you’ll see referred to around campus as SCM@F&M. This values-based model focuses on being socially responsible and making a positive impact on the world. The model assumes that leadership is a process, not a position, and that it is collaborative, inclusive, and available to all.

SCM is sometimes known as “The Seven C’s for Change,” because it is organized around seven values that all start with the letter C:  Consciousness of Self, Congruence, Commitment, Collaboration, Common Purpose, Controversy with Civility, and Citizenship. These seven values are grouped into three sets: Individual, Group, and Community.  
Our exploration of leadership within the Diplomat Leadership Program entails examining the SCM model, its strengths and weaknesses, and exploring additional leadership models as we seek to inspire students to lead from their individual and unique strengths.