Professional Development Paths

Earn a certificate or the MSARP credential through MSAI


Over the past 35 years, the professional field of downtown and commercial district management has evolved to require a very distinct set of skills and expertise. The continuing evolution of the profession, driven by ever- changing micro and macroeconomic forces, requires a professional development program that is adaptive and flexible. MSAI offers two distinct certificate programs, culminating in the Main Street America Revitalization Professional credential, the highest credential achievable through MSAI.

Those interested in pursuing MSAI certificate or credential programs should note that all courses must be taken within a two year timeframe. Exceptions may be given upon request at the discretion of MSAI staff. 

Leadership Development Certificate

To earn this certificate, these two courses and one workshop on required


Advanced Principles of Leadership Development

Strong Leadership Teams

Leadership Development Workshop


Community Transformation Certificate

To earn this certificate, these 8 online courses and 1 workshop are required


Advanced Principles of Sustainable Organization
Advanced Principles of Quality Design
Advanced Principles of Effective Promotion
Advanced Principles of Economic Vitality
Funding Revitalization Programs
Commercial District Planning
Getting Retail Ready
Promoting the Local Economy
Community Transformation Workshop


Main Street America Revitalization Professional Credential

MSARP is the highest credential offered through the Main Street America Institute


Participants who complete both certificate program requirements are eligible to apply to become a Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP), currently the highest credential achievable through MSAI. To earn the MSARP, applicants must pass a comprehensive final examination ($150) within six months of completing all other MSAI coursework.


Effective January 2022, participants will be eligible to begin their MSARP exam during two periods each year.


The first will be mid-summer, after the Advanced Principles courses for the year have been completed. Exams for this period will be due in early winter.


The second will be mid-fall, after the Community Transformation Workshop has concluded. Exams for this period will be due in late spring, unless participants wish to finish by an earlier deadline that will be provided, in order to be recognized at that year's Main Street Now Conference.

Participants who complete both certificate program requirements are eligible to apply to become a Main Street America Revitalization Professional (MSARP), currently the highest credential achievable through MSAI. To earn the MSARP, applicants must pass a comprehensive final examination ($150) within six months of completing all other MSAI coursework.


Effective January 2022, participants will be eligible to begin their MSARP exam during two periods each year.


The first will be mid-summer, after the Advanced Principles courses for the year have been completed. Exams for this period will be due in early winter.


The second will be mid-fall, after the Community Transformation Workshop has concluded. Exams for this period will be due in late spring, unless participants wish to finish by an earlier deadline that will be provided, in order to be recognized at that year's Main Street Now Conference.