Berea College

Brushy Fork Leadership Institute

Brushy Fork Leadership Institute

The mission of the Brushy Fork Leadership Institute is to strengthen local and regional leadership in Central Appalachia. Local people effectively lead the development of Appalachian communities, resulting in an enhanced quality of life.

As Brushy Fork Leadership Institute provides established and emerging leaders with opportunities to enhance their skills, gain innovation perspectives, and create connections with others working on similar issues, we approach this work with the intent to:

  • Honor the voice and vision of local people.
  • Engage community members in partnership for mutual learning, growth, and service.
  • Promote learning, innovation, and results through hands-on work in community.
  • Encourage mindful living, zest for learning, and concern for others.
  • Assert the kinship of all people.


  • Leadership Summit
  • People Ready Communities Leadership Program
  • Custom-Designed Services

Explore our programs here.


Brushy Fork Leadership Institute’s overarching programmatic goals are to:

  • Increase the number of people assuming leadership at the community, organizational, and regional levels
  • Enhance leadership skills and perspectives for individuals and organizations
  • Apply learning through projects that make a difference in community
  • Support regional networks and partnerships
  • Promote Brushy Fork’s Leadership Values and the Great Commitments of Berea College

Service History

Since 1988, Brushy Fork Leadership Institute has partnered with Central Appalachian communities and organizations to provide leadership training, organizational development workshops, and technical assistance to communities working for a better tomorrow.

Brushy Fork offered the first Annual Institute in 2005. The Institute is designed to build the capacity of nonprofits and community-based organizations in Central Appalachia. Held each September on the campus of Berea College, the Annual Institute serves as a regional model for a self-sustaining, open training venue.

Brushy Fork also offers a broad range of programs and services designed to support regional leadership development initiatives. These programs provide individuals with the skills needed to implement effective community-based capacity building efforts throughout Appalachia. They are built upon nearly two decades of experience operating an award-winning rural leadership development program, wherein we learned from and with grassroots leaders.


Contact Us

Berea College | CPO 2164 | Berea, KY 40404 | 859-985-3858 |