Leadership Academy Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome to the Leadership Academy. Have questions? We’ve got answers.

ICBA leadership academy logo

The Leadership Academy is a comprehensive, innovative leadership training curriculum. It provides community bankers with the opportunity to learn leadership skills, technical banking knowledge, and how advocacy impacts change within the banking industry. The Leadership Academy teaches the necessary skills to move the organization forward.

The Leadership Academy is a great alternative to an intensive and expensive banking school.

First and foremost, we believe in the community banking industry.  It is our goal to provide learning opportunities that support the leaders and forward progress of community banks across the country. We have no doubt that the community banking model is one that has a long-lasting hold and we are excited to be able to offer convenient, relevant, and reasonably priced training for all community bank leaders.

We believe that more community bankers deserve to be invested in and offer this curriculum for all types of community banks. There are remarkable leaders within all community banks and across business lines. The Leadership Academy gives all of these leaders, regardless of title, a dynamic opportunity to learn and in turn, provide even greater leadership at the bank. Standing still is not an option so this curriculum provides banks an opportunity to keep moving forward.

The Leadership Academy is an 80-hour program in which allows participants to learn at their own pace within a 36-month period. Participants are required to:

  • Attend and participate in the following live events:
    • One ICBA Capital Summit; and
    • Two LEAD FWD Summits
  • Complete a series of self-paced online coursework focused on technical banking skills, advocacy, personal development, and leadership development.

Visit the curriculum page for more details.

Because we understand that community bankers are tasked with numerous responsibilities at the bank, we have structured the curriculum to be completed at one’s own preferred pace. To complete the Leadership Academy, you must complete 80 hours of training. You complete the 80 hours of required training by attending in-person events, webinar series, and completing online training courses – all at your own pace. Completion of all events must occur within 36 months.

The following table highlights the curriculum required to be completed for the Leadership Academy certificate.  A certificate of completion will be awarded upon successful completion of all 80 hours.

Leadership Academy Curriculum

Estimated CPE Hours

LEAD FWD Summit (Live Event)

19 Hours

LEAD FWD Summit (Live Event)

19 Hours

ICBA Capital Summit (Live Event)

16 Hours

+ Online Courses

26 Hours
TOTAL79 Hours

Employees need someone to look to, learn from and thrive with. This can be achieved through great leaders. Leaders are coaches with a passion for developing people, have a wide variety of knowledge within their industry, inspire people through a shared vision and create an environment where people feel valued and fulfilled. Leaders want their entire organization to succeed.

There is a leader in each of us, so whether you are an emerging leader within your organization or looking to further develop your current leadership skills, the ICBA’s Community Banker University Leadership Academy is the program for you.

Participants must complete three live events as part of the Leadership Academy. They must attend two different session of the LEAD FWD Summit and one ICBA Capital Summit over a 36-month period.

These events are annual events where the foundational principles will be consistent but where content, workshops, and instructors will evolve to stay as current as possible.  For this reason, we believe attendees will enjoy attending each year to gain new knowledge in the industry’s current and emerging issues.  

Click here for additional information related to the live events.

Community Banker University offers a full library of online training for community bankers.  To further enhance the curriculum of the Leadership Academy, we have extracted 25 online courses and bundled them for participants.  The bundled courses, offered as a Leadership Acceleration Bundle, are comprised of online training with a focus on both the technical and personal leadership tools need to advance your career as a community bank leader.  The Bundle offers training in six (6) key areas – communication, bank compliance, customer service, human resources, management & leadership, and financial operations. 

Subscribers to the Leadership Acceleration Bundle have access to the courses for three years. Click here for additional information and a listing of all the courses.

The cost for the Academy is $1,997.00 for ICBA members and $3,597.00 for Non-Members. Receive a $100 discount if your bank is a current subscriber of ICBA’s Community Banker University Online Training. The cost of the program includes access to the online training system and courses, the two digital webinar series downloads, and the registration fees for the two Lead FWD events (Capital Summit does not have a registration fee). Each participant is responsible for his or her travel, accommodations and personal expenses at the live events.

Completion of the 80 hours of curriculum should be celebrated! Your commitment to greater learning and successful leadership within the community banking industry is important and one that we believe should be recognized. Once you complete the required components of the Leadership Academy you will receive a certificate of completion presented to you by ICBA and Community Banker University.

Graduates of the Academy will also be recognized at upcoming events attended by fellow community bank leaders. We will also share a sample press release with your institution at the time you complete the Academy so that a press announcement can be initiated by your bank to recognize your achievement.

Still not finding an answer to your specific question?

Please do not hesitate to contact the Community Banker University team at 800-422-7285 or send us an e-mail if you have questions or want to talk more about the Leadership Academy.

We look forward to hearing from you!