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College of Education

Hinkle Academy

Hinkle Academy will prepare you to become a front-row leader in wellness, sport, and allied fields. Butler’s College of Education, Health and Recreation Complex, and Department of Athletics collaborate to deliver the 12-credit hours of graduate coursework in 11 months. You can apply these credits to a master’s degree at Butler or elsewhere.

Ready to Apply?

The Hinkle Academy will connect you with recognized Indianapolis leaders in sport and wellness organizations. Supported by online coursework, you will take these experiences back home to empower team commitment and excellence within your organization and community. You and Academy instructors will co-design a capstone apprenticeship that demonstrates your new knowledge and skills.

The Hinkle Academy draws on Indianapolis’ status as a professional and amateur sports capital, and on principles of sport leadership first articulated by Tony Hinkle, legendary Butler coach, athletic director, and physical education instructor. Still followed and admired today, Hinkle’s Butler Way “demands commitment, denies selfishness, accepts reality yet seeks improvement every day while putting the team above self.”

Who Can Benefit from the Hinkle Academy?

Anyone wanting personal and professional development to improve career trajectory and marketability, including:

  • Current and future Butler alumni
  • Licensed teachers and coaches in all sports at all levels
  • Volunteer coaches affiliated with schools, churches, community centers, and fitness centers
  • Professionals employed in sport and wellness
  • Individuals seeking career change or entrepreneurial opportunities in education, sports, athlete development, fitness, recreation, and wellness

$540 per credit hour

What Is the Plan of Study?
  • Exposure to a variety of sport and wellness careers
  • Self-paced, fully online coursework in fall, spring, and summer, making the Hinkle Academy accessible across distances and flexible to schedule
  • The Butler/Indy Lab, a three-day residential workshop at Butler University and in Indianapolis, during which you’ll meet the people—and tour the organizations and facilities—that drive our city’s reputation as a flourishing sports capital
  • A capstone, eight-week summer apprenticeship that can be completed in your home organization or community
  • The option to apply the 12-credit hours you’ll earn toward a Master’s in Effective Teaching and Leadership at Butler or a graduate degree elsewhere
  • Course information:
    • ED 550, The Hinkle Academy: Creating Community and Culture—This course focuses on communication, culture, and theoretical foundations that frame innovative program development and effective leadership based on the principles of The Butler Way. Students will review research, examine essential relationships, investigate a successful model, and identify strategies for successful communication.
    • ED 551, The Hinkle Academy: Innovation and Program Development—This course focuses on learning the essential components of successful program development. Topics include marketing, facility operations, event management, legal aspects, personnel, wellness coaching, and current event discussions. Students will have the opportunity to develop, plan, and implement real-world programs and events via Butler University and Indianapolis-based businesses and agencies.
    • ED 552, The Hinkle Academy: Experiential Apprenticeship—This course is an eight-week, field-based apprenticeship at an approved agency under the guidance of site-based supervisors and University mentors. Students will apply concepts and strategies for program innovation and development, culminating in an original project presented at both the apprenticeship site and the University.

Admission Process

The Hinkle Academy offers two eight-week sessions of the fall course. Session A is August 23–October 17. Session B is October 18–December 12. The application deadline for the first fall session is August 21. The second fall session application deadline is October 17.

Interested candidates must have their application materials submitted to the Office of Graduate Admissions to be considered. Application materials include:

  • The Butler University Application for Graduate Non-Degree-seeking Admission
  • Official transcripts from an accredited institution; minimum of a bachelor’s degree
  • Personal Statement 
    Applicants must submit a formal letter that contains a personal statement of background, interest and readiness to be accepted into the Hinkle Academy. Please address your letter to the Hinkle Academy Faculty.
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • GPA 2.5 or above 

For questions regarding the application process, please email


While we are not currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year, we would love to know more about you and your interest in this program. Please share your questions with Dr. Mindy Welch, Program Coordinator, at 317-940-9550 or

Download the Hinkle Academy information sheet.

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