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Financial services firms don’t just need more workers or managers: they need leaders who are ready and able to step up and take charge. With a CLF®, you’re prepared to showcase the strengths needed to advance yourself and your career.



$995 per course


Complete in 12 months or less


Online synchronous and asynchronous format

Learning Outcomes

Master the fundamental skills of sound leadership strategies that will include:

  • Communication techniques intended to influence behavior effectively while accenting conflict prevention and resolution

  • Identify and manage risks while implementing a successful business strategy

  • Evaluate marketing practices and demonstrate superior decision-making skills

  • Prepare a management proposal that draws on ethical, high-performing principles, processes, and practices


The Chartered Leadership Fellow® (CLF®) Program provides financial services managers with the knowledge and tools they need to achieve key organizational goals, such as developing, coaching, and mentoring employees, recognizing and applying appropriate leadership styles, growing self-motivated teams, and dealing with a changing environment. The curriculum features a mix of relevant business courses to prepare you for today's leadership challenges and to help you create a culture of trust, respect, and success in your organization.



The CLF® Program is designed for financial services professionals and leaders regardless of position or industry with three years or more of experience in leadership roles who want to expand their knowledge of effective leadership practices, such as:

  • Regional Vice Presidents and Managing Partners 

  • Field Managers and Managing Directors

  • Regional and District Leaders

  • Sales and Marketing Leaders


Program Details

Educational Requirements

There are no prerequisite courses required before you can begin the CLF® Program other than a high school diploma or the equivalent; however, three years of relevant business experience accumulated up to four years before completion of the program ARE required to use the designation.

To receive the CLF® designation, you must:

  1. Successfully complete program content in the program
  2. Agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures

Participation in the annual Professional Recertification Program (PRP) is required to maintain the designation.  For more information, see our Continuing Education (CE) FAQ and PRP pages.

The Office of the Registrar determines and certifies that students have completed all designation requirements. Once certified, students are considered to have graduated with all the rights, privileges, and obligations pertaining thereto.

Tuition & Fees

CLF® Individual Course Base Tuition: $995

CLF® Total Program Tuition: $6,000 or less

Tuition covers all course and admission fees and includes required study materials and access to convenient online learning tools.

*For existing students in sections of CLF® prior to April of 2021, please call an academic advisor for assistance with your program.

The CLF® is a 6-course program delivered online in a synchronous and asynchronous format starting on a quarterly basis. Course materials may include:

  • Video lectures (live and prerecorded)
  • Faculty-led webinars
  • In-depth case studies
  • Detailed course outlines
  • Real-time discussion forums

Students typically complete the program by taking one course per session over a one-year period. Online courses are conducted through our course website.

REQUIRED FOLLOWING PROGRAM COMPLETION: Annual participation in the Professional Recertification Program (PRP).


In today’s changing financial planning landscape, financial services firms need motivated and dependable leaders who are ready and able to step up and take charge. The Chartered Leadership Fellow® (CLF®) prepares designees to lead with foresight, enabling their organization to grow according to a strategic plan.

We have made many substantial improvements to the redesigned CLF® Program which include.

  • Relevant research, case studies, videos and gamification covering contemporary leadership topics and challenges, both domestic and global, that will be readily applicable to real-world challenges.
  • Flexibility in assignments, cohorts, and leadership positions as well as companies and organizations to allow for a variety of leaders to take advantage of CLF®
  • Timely information, taught by top industry thought leaders. Senior world class leaders featured in course curriculum include:
    • George Nichols III, President and CEO of The American College of Financial Services
    • Dan Berce, CEO of General Motors Financial
    • Lamar Smith, former CEO of First Command Financial Planning
    • Lt Gen Michelle Johnson. USAF (retired), former Superintendent of the US Air Force Academy
  • Development of a Strategic Business Plan (SBP) driven in partnership with a chosen mentor or leader within your company or organization. This is an accumulative project that begins in the first course and finishes in the capstone.

The reimagined CLF® Program consists of six courses and 18 credits.

The six required core courses are:

  • CHLF 400 The Leadership Role
  • CHLF 410 Leadership Communication
  • CHLF 420 Organizational Culture and Leadership
  • CHLF 430 Strategic Leadership-Planning Theme: Strategic Plan
  • CHLF 440 Team Leadership, Ethics, Diversity, and Crisis Leadership
  • CHLF 450 Leading In A Changing Environment

All the following weekly requirements can be worked on any time throughout the week and are due on Sunday of that week by midnight, allowing flexibility. You will find more details of the following requirements in the syllabi:

  • Discussion forums on readings and case studies
  • Individual projects consisting of two-page papers
  • Three-hour live online class
  • Cumulative Strategic Business Plan (SBP)

Students can complete the six courses required for a CLF® in 12 months, but have a total of five years to complete all program courses and receive their designation. In addition, we accept transfer of credit courses for up to seven years prior to The College application date.

Courses are currently offered online asynchronously and synchronously, meaning some will meet at the same time each week while others can be completed on your own time. Students have five weeks to complete each course. Plan to spend 40–50 hours of study time per five-week course.

Students can enroll through this webpage, or by contacting an Admissions Advisor at 866-923-9929. Enrollment can take place one month prior to course start date. Courses start bimonthly in September, November, January, March, May, and July.

Grading Rubrics are included in our Brightspace learning management system, with each assignment and discussion forum. Grading policies are found in the course syllabus.

The following grading scale is used when calculating final grades:


10 Point Scale










Below 60


CLF® is designed to be completed in a cohort over a 12-month period. The courses are five weeks long, completed in six, two-month cycles. This allows a student to get their designation within a year working with the same group from beginning to end of the course. We built a five-week schedule to give the students time to balance their other responsibilities with their studies. Each week, there is a required three-hour virtual class on either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday 6:00 to 9:00 PM ET depending on the course.

Special circumstances will be dealt with among CLF® advising, the instructors, and Jim Petersen, PhD, MSM, MSFS, CFP®, CLF®, ChFC®, CLU®, CASL®, RICP®, WMCP®, CRPC®, CAP®, ChSNC®, AEP®, CPMBC, CPBC, CLF® Program Director. Options are to stay with the cohort and take one course with another cohort, joining another cohort, or whatever we can do to accommodate the circumstances.

Potentially. We will evaluate previous coursework to see if it meets the requirements of the new curriculum. Students should contact the CLF® Academic Advising team by email or by phone at 888-263-7265 (option 2, option 4) to let them know of any requests. Company representatives can discuss this with the CLF® Program Director, Jim Petersen, at, for applicability.

The answer is no for a variety of reasons. Students invested time and effort in the CLF® Legacy Programs, and we want to support them through finishing their curriculum. The new program is significantly different from the previous programs, including required online live classes and a cumulative project beginning in the first course, which would require students to start over from the beginning. Therefore, it is in a student’s best interest to complete the current coursework.

We welcome leaders of all types and industries. Depending on their position and industry, we will work with them to find the best opportunity for them to participate. Please feel free to reach out to them or the CLF® Program Director at if you have a candidate or candidates.

The CLF® Program is designed for leaders with three years or more experience in various leadership roles who want to expand their knowledge of effective leadership practices. The curriculum is flexible and can be customized for any leader in any industry with a certain amount of leadership experience. Students can be in mixed cohorts that include leaders in various parts of the company or organization in a variety of roles. It is also possible to have a closed cohort of leaders from a specific company or organization, similar roles and/or similar responsibilities.

Individual course tuition is $995 per course. Students can pay for all courses at once or on an individual basis.

Tuition for each CLF® course is $995 and includes all required materials and fees.

We do not currently offer payment plans for the CLF® Program.

We are proud to offer scholarship opportunities for qualifying active duty, guard, reserve members, veterans, and their families. For more scholarship information, visit the American College Center for Military and Veterans Affairs.

If you have any questions or comments regarding the CLF®, please contact the CLF® Academic Advising team at or by phone at 888-263-7265 (option 2, then option 4).


The CLF® program consists of 6 courses and 18 credits.

CHLF 400 — The Leadership Role

This course covers four areas: the leadership role, who is the leader, leadership traits, and contingency approaches to leadership. This course provides the insight required for leaders to learn what type of leader they are and to understand those that they lead. Self-discovery is important so the leader understands how and why they respond in certain situations.  This course explores how leadership is different from management, leadership competencies, and the application of skills for successful leadership.  the Executive Leadership candidate is expected to complete both the reading material and written assignments before each session.

CHLF 410 — Leadership Communication

This course covers a variety of areas: leadership communication, intrapersonal and interpersonal effectiveness, networking, mentoring, coaching, leading and empowering others. Communication is critical for proper operation of today’s organizations and companies. This course explores various ways to communicate verbally and non-verbally and as many other ways to ensure the organization is informed as to what is required. In addition, the importance of effective meetings, feedback, delegation, and empowerment are essential for mission accomplishment. 

CHLF 420 — Organizational Culture and Leadership

Participants evaluate organizational culture and leadership in business and formulate ways to develop effective cultures within their organizations. Integration of systems and processes as part of the culture is also addressed in the course. The objective is that a leader contributes much to culture and must lead others to productive and successful cultures.

CHLF 430 — Strategic Leadership-Planning Theme: Strategic Plan

Participants evaluate strategic leadership and planning in business and formulate ways to develop strategies within their organizations. Successful execution of developed strategies and business plans are also addressed in the course. The objective is that a leader provides the foresight of what is to come and ensures that the organization is ready to execute and grow in a way dictated by the business plan.  

CHLF 440 — Team Leadership, Ethics, Diversity, and Crisis Leadership

Participants evaluate team leadership, ethics, diversity, and crisis leadership in business and formulate ways to lead diverse organizations in an ethical manner. The importance of team and crisis leadership are also emphasized in the course within their organizations. Successful execution of developed strategies and business plans are also addressed in the course. The objective is that a leader provides the foresight of what is to come and ensures that the organization is ready to execute and grow in a way dictated by the business plan. 

CHLF 450 — Leading In A Changing Environment

Participants evaluate leading in a changing environment in business and formulate ways to lead diverse organizations by dealing with organizational change. The importance of understanding and diagnosing change are also emphasized in the course. Successful change leadership perspectives and processes are also addressed in the course. The objective is that a leader provides the foresight of what is to come and ensures that the organization is ready to execute and grow in a way dictated by the business plan. 

Program Director & Faculty

Dr. Jim Peterson, Adjunct Professor of Ethics at The American College
Jim Petersen

Roger Hull/James S. Bingay Chair of Leadership

Chartered Leadership Fellow (CLF) Program Director

David Rendall

Adjunct Professor of Management

Keynote Speaker and Author

Jason Heller
Dr. Jason E. Heller

Adjunct professor of Behavioral Finance in MSFP®

Teaching various courses in the CLF® designation.

Tracey C. Jones Headshot
Tracey C. Jones

Adjunct Professor