Our Leadership Program

Cleveland Life Institute Uniqueness-
Interactive, socially conscience, community active, experiential, practical, and powerful.

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Uniquely Designed Education

Successful leaders know their value lies not only in managing teams and running organizations, but in inspiring others, setting purposeful goals, executing strategic visions, and creating cultures of excellence.

Our program is designed to challenge your current perceptions about leadership and the values through interaction in our group both in the classroom as well as making a difference in our community project.

The Executive Education Program

The Cleveland Life Institute is a faith based residential executive education program that offers the opportunity to think strategically about guiding organizations to be relevant to culture and relational to the community.

In addition to the interaction of the classroom experience, the student will work collaboratively toward solutions to today’s challenges.

The semester consists of lectures, the design of a class project, implementation of that project in the community and a report to the agency on behalf the project was undertaken.  A critique of the project will conclude the term with recommendations on the continuation of the project for the next class or a spin-off of the project.

The lectures would be presented by industry experts under the direction of a facilitating faculty member who would be assigned to the class for the entire semester and would demonstrate how the various lectures pertain to the topic of the semester and the experiential learning project.

The one semester program “Management Skills for Social Entrepreneurs” will start on January 29, 2020.

SPRING 2020 Syllabus

Classes are Wednesday at 7:00 pm.

Text:  Sustainability, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Course Description

This course introduces you to the world of social enterprise, a world that is becoming increasingly important as society experiments with a variety of business and organizational models designed to provide products and services with a strong social impact mission behind them. Organizations in this area may be nominally “for-profit”, “not-for-profit” or NGO’s, but what they share is a commitment both to a social impact mission and to a set of disciplined, sophisticated financial and management practices.

Course Objectives

You will develop an understanding of those factors that determine the performance of organizations in the social enterprise space, and the influence of policies and politics in social enterprise. The principal deliverables for the course will require you to apply these skills and understanding to the critical analysis of a particular social enterprise and to develop a plan for the social enterprise selected by the class and as a team present your analysis to the class and to the agency.

Course Structure

The course has four principal sections:

  • The foundations of social enterprise – readings, lectures and discussions aimed at providing you with the tools to undertake a critical analysis of a particular social enterprise.
  • Expert lecture series encompassing government, private, and non-profit perspectives on social enterprise.
  • Putting theory to practice. Developing a group social enterprise solving a current social issue.
  • Final presentations on group social enterprise. Review of social enterprise concepts, applications, and general conclusions.

Academic Experiential Learning
Academic experiential learning provides students the opportunity to put into practice the concepts and knowledge obtained in the classroom. This program will focus on the kind of experiential learning known as “Service-Learning.” Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, tech civic responsibility and strengthen communities.

The service project will focus on


  1. Group: An in-depth analysis and critique that integrates the concepts (i.e. financial viability, and scalability) of social enterprise into a real case study.
  2. Group: A five-minute pitch and feasibility study based upon the social enterprise.
  3. Individual: A reflection on how well you team worked together, including challenges you faced during the life of the project, how effectively you addressed them, and what you learned from the experience.

SPRING 2020 Class Schedule

Week One: January 29

Introduction to and Ethics of Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurship Development and growth within a nation includes financial, physical, environmental, and movements towards sustainability.  Throughout history growth occurs incrementally at the cost of others.  This cost results in the depletion of resources and increase in social disparities.  Historically, growth of a society requires social pioneers to tackle social challenges.  Week 1 will explore the definition of social entrepreneurship, and ways a social entrepreneur creates sustainable solutions to meet the social and environmental challenges within a society.

Speaker – Rev. Dr. Burris & Dr. Bull

Week Two: February 5      Creating the Vision

Social Entrepreneurship may take the form of social service.  This service starts with a vision that creates a path for positive change and a social impact that bridges the gap between problem and possible outcomes.     In Week 4 we will create and explore a solution model that will create a transformative cumulative impact, which is the foundation for important discussion, planning and perspective that facilitates a community-driven visionary approach to a viable social solution.

This class shows how you can help a company fulfill its corporate and social mandate (intrapreneurship).

Speaker – Delesia Robinson, Founder of PADS

Week Three: February 12      The Feasibility Study and Project Planning

Our feasibility study aims to objectively and rationally uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the proposed project, the resources required to carry through, and ultimately the prospects for success.  The two criteria to judge feasibility are cost required and value to be attained.

The social enterprise team will provide a historical background of the project, a description of project, accounting statements, details of the operations and management, marketing research and policies, financial data, legal requirements and tax obligations.   Generally, feasibility studies precede project implementation which will be part of the implications of the analysis and suggested to the social enterprise.

A feasibility study evaluates the project’s potential for success; therefore, perceived objectivity is an important factor in the credibility of the study when presenting to the agency. It must therefore be conducted with an objective, unbiased approach to provide information upon which decisions can be based.

Week Four: February 19      Project Planning – program development and assessment 

Creating a framework that will implement possible outcomes, requires becoming an effective project manager.  This means utilizing leadership building skills. We will explore planning, executing and managing the project from the beginning to the end.  Leadership skills relevant to working with diverse communities, subcultures, political and government agencies will be explored.  An effective social entrepreneurship plan to connect participants, persons, and resources will be explored and drafted.

Week Five: February 26      How the Class and the Project Relate to Society

A. Discussion of the Project and its faithfulness to its social impact mission. Does it empower stakeholders and participants to aspire and enhance their freedoms? Does it recognize the unevenness in interactions between individual agency and existing social arrangements?

B. From the Opportunity to the Business Plan – Introduction 

The business plan is a written document that describes all the internal and external elements involved in starting a venture.  It involves the integration of functional plans such as marketing, finance, and human resources.  It also addresses both the short-term and long-term decision making for the first three years.  It is the road map for the remaining sessions of the course.

Week Six: March 4      Leveraging networks, mentors and strategic partners

Social challenges require a need to connect resources, networks, or information that will tackle solutions.  Holistic points of view is at the fingertips of social entrepreneurs, however, this requires building and creating a wealth of information through many channels.  This week we will create a framework for combing and exchanging knowledge, affordable and community driven solutions, by using networking and interactive resources.  This is a connector to opportunities and filling the gaps of untapped resources.

Week Seven: March 11      Finance: Banking, Budgeting and Accounting

Managing the social enterprise from the financial point of view involves two basic objectives.  The first is to insure that an adequate flow of cash is available to pay bills when they come due.  The second is to make the business as financially sustainable as possible.   This class discusses how much it costs to start a business, the concept of cash flow, budgeting and helps understand financial statements.

There is a close relationship between good accounting practices and business success.  This requires accounting information that is accurate, properly organized and continually up to date.  It must be comprehensive enough to satisfy the purpose of financial control.

This class demonstrates one element that is required in a social enterprise to show accountability to funding sources and regulators.

Speaker – From Keybank Representative

Spring Break

Week Eight: March 25      Applying fundraising and grant writing to your social enterprise/project

Funding institutions match projects with their funding priorities.  This class will discuss how to identify funders and outline the presentation and documents and disclosures that may have to be made to them.

Week Nine: April 1       Marketing Your Social Enterprise/Project 

Easter/Passover Break

Week Ten:April 15      Managing the Social Enterprise:  Legal and Regulatory Issues

Wherever a business is operated it will be subject to an assortment of legal restrictions and controls.  The legal framework controlling business is based on federal and state laws, statutes, and administrative actions.  This class will also discuss appropriate forms of ownership for the social enterprise.

Week Eleven: April 22      Administrative Structure of your Social Enterprise

Corporate governance; operations management; information systems; insurance and risk management; human resources.

Week Twelve: April 29      Finalization of Experiential Learning Project 

Review of Business Plan and Social Enterprise Visioning and Mission and Debriefing Meeting with PADS Leadership

Week Thirteen: May 6      Presentation of Analysis and Implications for Practice

Week Fourteen: May 13       Ethics
While schools cannot make people ethical, they can strengthen the commitment of those who have a well-developed sense of personal morality to begin with. They can help sensitize them to the kinds of ethical quandaries that will confront them in the business world. Most important, schools can teach the nation’s future business leaders how to manage their companies, divisions or units in such a way as to minimize the likelihood that those who work for them will violate either company policies or the law.

Week Fourteen:  May 13     Reflections on Course, Discussion of the Ethics and Specific Realities of Social Entrepreneurship =   Graduation

While courses like this cannot make people ethical, they can strengthen the commitment of those who have a well-developed sense of personal morality to begin with.  They can help sensitize them to the kinds of ethical quandaries that will confront them in the rough and tumble of social change action, the interaction between individual aspiration and social arrangements, the civic commons and the business world. 

Facilitators:   Rev. Dr. Burris & Dr. Bull

Presentation of the Project


Founded with a desire to unite individuals who are passionate about making a difference in our world and to explore their faith in a progressive, interactive environment along with a focus on innovation, the Cleveland Life Institute pursues excellence in our educational experience. It’s unique design of guest lecturers with real-world experience in our community advance the kingdom and quality of life for everyone within our community.

Our Prospective Students
We have identified three different demographics of Students for CLI
a. The Social Entrepreneur
        Train in not-for-profit management and leadership
b. The Mid-level corporate executive and legal associate
All major corporations and law firms have a social responsibility
They have identified a mid-level executive to fulfill this
mandate. We can
train the person they task to fulfill their corporate
c. The Micro-credential student
            Our program would add a component to the studies of students who
not have courses in business administration, leadership, and
 Our program will allow college students to show prospective employer they have honed their skills working on the project, including research,
entrepreneurship, communication and collaboration, skills demanded by
employers but usually missing from a conventional academic transcript.
Our Leadership Certification

Leadership Certification is a intensive semester program that will develop your unique capabilities to make an impact on the world and live a life of purpose and fulfillment. The curriculum covers competencies in self-management, teamwork, leadership and professional skills.

Graduates earn a designation on their transcript recognizing their demonstrated excellence in leadership and organization and community involvement.

  • Requirement – High School Diploma or GED equivalent
  • Commitment to the completion of the program.  (This is essential for the interaction of the class and involvement in the project.)
  • Limited enrollment 

Campus –

Historic First Baptist Church
3630 Fairmount Blvd. Shaker Heights, OH 44118FBC Level 1 Map

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