The vast, complex, and ever-changing business landscape of today requires a unique set of skills and knowledge to stay ahead of the curve. That’s why PLNU’s Lean Six Sigma Certificate Program offers just the tools you need to take a leap forward in your career.

Our cost-effective model and relational learning instruction will teach you how to streamline operations, improve processes, reduce cost, increase customer service, and maximize profit for your organization.

Personalized Instruction

Receive instruction in small, tailored classes that use current expertise, future-ready practices, and personalized attention to help you drive innovation.

Geared for Working Professionals

A flexible and condensed learning format designed to meet your professional goals and sharpen your influence in the workplace allows you to finish the program quickly while still working a full-time job.

A Balanced Approach

PLNU offers Green Belt and Black Belt certification through a step-by-step approach to “balanced management” by Defining, Measuring, Analyzing, Improving, and Controlling (DMAIC) performance.

Program Description

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) training and certification prepares practitioners to apply the LSS tools and deliver results that are focused on customer needs and business success. This highly interactive course includes case studies, simulations, and games in the class format. No prerequisites are needed.  

Green Belt Overview

Green Belts are typically Lean Six Sigma practitioners who complete five half days of LSS training and play a functional role in support of larger LSS efforts. A Green Belt is dedicated to communicating the fundamental principles of Lean Six Sigma with colleagues and inspires creativity and change with measurable results.

Black Belt Overview

Black Belts are Lean Six Sigma experts who complete 12 days of LSS training and act as internal consultants or coaches to drive an improvement project to achieve results (usually results in $100,000 of annual savings). Black Belts receive a balance of management skills (project/team/change management) and tool application to achieve desired process improvements. A Black Belt is dedicated to driving critical change opportunities and achieving results. The Black Belt leads, coaches, rallies, and provides expertise to a Lean Six Sigma team.

If you have previously completed a LSS Green Belt program, you may apply directly to the LSS Black Belt program. If you have not previously done LSS training you may complete the Green Belt and Black Belt programs sequentially.  

To recieve the Black Belt certification, you must attend all training sessions, pass an assessment, complete one project, facilitate two Kaizen events ("to become good through change"), deliver results of at least $100,000 in annual savings and present the project. Students will be mentored by the instructor over a six month period as they complete the necessary assignments for certification.  

Ric Van Der Linden

Ric Van Der Linden - Adjunct Professor - Lean Six Sigma program

Ric Van Der Linden
| Lean Six Sigma Certificate

Lean is a collection of tools and approaches to identify and reduce waste in any business and for any process. Six Sigma is focused on the reduction and control of variation in your processes and is based on importance to the customer.  Lean Six Sigma combines Lean’s Speed and Six Sigma’s Quality for optimum improvements.  Lean Six Sigma delivers quick hit improvements, cultural development, and long-term quantifiable improvement.

Expected Completion Time

1 Month (5-6 one-day sessions)

Black Belt students will be mentored by the instructor as they apply LSS in their workplace over the following 6 months in order to complete their certification.  

Program FormatClassroom
LocationMission Valley
Needed Units to Graduate


Program Start Date

Talk to the program counselor for the next program start dates.


Green Belt $1999
Black Belt upgrade $2500
Black Belt $4000

Are you ready to get started?

Quality & Experience

Lean Six Sigma

Quality programs, caring people, and a guiding faith set Point Loma Nazarene University apart. Our forward-thinking, balanced approach to education will help you earn a well-respected degree while gaining confidence and a network of lifelong support.  

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Important Dates

Talk to the program counselor for the next program start dates.

Nikki Shimozaki

Nikki Shimozaki

PLNU MBA '14 | Lean Six Sigma Certificate

With the accelerated format of the Lean Six Sigma certificate program, I was able to learn a lot of information in one night and directly apply it to my work the next day.

Program Details

What is Lean Six Sigma?

Many businesses have not kept pace with the rise and fall of change. Lean Six Sigma (LSS) provides a systematic method to optimize performance efficiencies by refining process and reducing variations to achieve profit. PLNU offers superior Lean Six Sigma certificate programs that will provide you with the tools to improve quality and process activities. Our cost-effective model and relational learning instruction will help you achieve your desired professional goals. Learn the specialized knowledge to streamline operations, increase value, and reduce waste.   

How does LSS drive innovation and improvement?

Team Building

Increase employee involvement through active participation on process improvement teams. Involving employees in the implementation of quality activities gives them a greater appreciation for the impact of their work and a greater appreciation for how the work of other employees and departments also contributes to success. 

Cost Reduction

Reduce cost through process improvement and require less time and employee resources to decrease deficiency and error by examining the various steps involved in a process, understanding what customers value, and then acting to eliminate unnecessary steps while increasing value. Companies using Lean Six Sigma can significantly decrease costs and increase customer value.  

Acknowledge Customer Needs

Lean Six Sigma focuses on process improvement as well as improvements to product delivery methods and other customer service activities that impact customer satisfaction. Increased customer satisfaction will lead to repeat business, increased margins, and business success. 

Lean Six SigmaWhy PLNU for Lean Six Sigma?

Kiplinger's Personal Finance ranks PLNU nationally in its top 100 best values in private institutions, placing PLNU among private universities and liberal arts colleges that combine outstanding rigor with affordability. PLNU is committed to providing professional certifications that add value to our communities.

PLNU offers a Certificate Program in Lean Six Sigma to help close our local skills gap in business and to better serve our community. Our objective is to prepare students with the practical knowledge they need to use an evidence-based approach to improve processes, increase customer satisfaction, and maximize success.
Convenient Schedule

As a busy professional, we value your time and many commitments, and we have created a flexible and condensed learning experience to meet your educational goals and advance in your career.

Certification requires participants to attend all training, pass an assessment, work on a team project, and deliver project results.

Program Objectives

Green Belt practitioners will:

  • Learn LSS philosophy and Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control (DMAIC) methodology.
  • Obtain knowledge of the most common Lean and Six Sigma tools.
  • Learn techniques for identifying and selecting opportunities for improvement.
  • See how LSS can impact bottom-line and overall business performance.
  • Apply LSS concepts on a project to improve business processes.
  • Begin creating a culture of continuous improvement utilizing LSS.

Black Belt practitioners will:

  • Learn the combined LSS tools at a Black Belt level
  • Acquire the ability to select projects, develop teams, and deliver results
  • Apply concepts to a project impacting the bottom line
  • Deploy LSS principles to other individuals in their organizations
  • Develop abilities to teach LSS White, Yellow, and Green Belts

Interested in learning more about the program?


Adjunct Professor of Lean Six Sigma
Ric Van Der Linden has trained, mentored and certified over 700 Lean/Six Sigma individuals, resulting in over $50 million in savings to their organizations.


Why PLNU? No matter which PLNU program you decide is right for you, you'll discover the hallmark PLNU experience is designed to give every student the clear framework and professional tools to stand out in his or her field.

Established in 1902, PLNU is located in beautiful San Diego. Our small class sizes, focused faculty attention, and convenient online offerings are just a few of the powerful ways PLNU delivers real value to every student, no matter which physical or virtual campus he or she chooses.

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Top 5 "Best Value" among private California universities. 
- Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lean Six Sigma Certificate


Nikki Shimozaki
Enrollment Counselor
(619) 563-2868