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MINS406 Theological Perspectives on Leadership

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Critical theological reflection on the nature of leadership, focusing on understandings and models of effective leadership, and the nature of congregations and other faith-based organisations as social and religious communities.

This paper helps leaders to reflect critically on the nature of congregations and the kind of leadership that facilitates health and mission. The paper engages students in critical reflection on the nature of leadership in the context of congregational life and on different theoretical perspectives on congregations and leadership. This reflection requires a dual focus: firstly, on the nature of congregations as social systems and religious organisations; secondly, on understandings and models of effective leadership. Readings will help students understand how congregations function as communities and the role and different dimensions of leadership within them. Case studies will help students understand the practical application of the topics covered.

Paper title Theological Perspectives on Leadership
Paper code MINS406
Subject Ministry
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2022 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,403.61
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Restriction
MINX 406
Limited to
MMin, PGDipMin, PGDipFBLM, MFBLM
Eligibility
Suitable for people involved in Christian ministry or with an interest in professional training and development in a range of areas of Christian ministry.
Contact
Professor Paul Trebilco: paul.trebilco@otago.ac.nz
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Professor Paul Trebilco
Paper Structure
Topics:
  • Module 1: Leadership and the church
  • Module 2: Understanding congregations as systems
  • Module 3: Healthy congregations and leaders
  • Module 4: Mission and maintenance
  • Module 5: Culture and diversity
  • Module 6: Managing conflict
  • Module 7: Leading change
  • Module 8: Leading and developing teams
Assessment:
  • 1,200-word book review 15%
  • 1,500-word case study presentation 20%
  • 2,000-word essay 25%
  • 2,500-word research essay 40%
Teaching Arrangements

This is a distance paper, taught by videoconference (including a videoconference teaching day).

Textbooks

Required: Galindo, Israel, The Hidden Lives of Congregations: Discerning Church Dynamics (Herndon: Alban Institute, 2004).

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will be able to
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the congregation as a system and the factors that promote health within it
  • Identify the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to congregational leadership and begin to describe their own style of leadership
  • Discuss the tensions that exist within congregational life and the impact of those upon congregational leaders
  • Identify significant causes of conflict within congregational systems and be aware of helpful approaches in dealing with these
  • Explain and utilise effective approaches to managing change in a congregation

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Timetable

Not offered in 2022

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard

Critical theological reflection on the nature of leadership, focusing on understandings and models of effective leadership, and the nature of congregations and other faith-based organisations as social and religious communities.

In the English-speaking world, the field of leadership studies is dominated by secular western perspectives, mostly from North America and the UK. What does it mean to consider the subject of leadership from a theological perspective in the context of Aotearoa New Zealand? That is what this paper seeks to do. Students are encouraged to view leadership through multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural lenses that give due weight to Māori and theological perspectives. They will integrate academic learning with lessons drawn from personal experience. They will reflect critically from a faith-based perspective on what is involved in grappling with organisational culture, and managing change, risk, crises, and conflict. They will also consider what is involved in maintaining personal health and wellbeing. The paper is suitable for existing and aspiring leaders across a wide range of sectors and organisations, including churches.

Paper title Theological Perspectives on Leadership
Paper code MINS406
Subject Ministry
EFTS 0.1667
Points 20 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (Distance learning)
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2023 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

Restriction
MINX 406
Limited to
MMin, PGDipMin, PGDipFBLM, MFBLM
Eligibility
Suitable for people involved in Christian ministry or with an interest in professional training and development in a range of areas of Christian ministry.
Contact

Dr Graham Redding: graham.redding@otago.ac.nz

Teaching staff

Dr Graham Redding: graham.redding@otago.ac.nz

Paper Structure

Topics:

  • Module 1: Setting the scene: A brief history of leadership studies
  • Module 2: Māori & Christian perspectives on leadership
  • Module 3: Theological considerations
  • Module 4: Handling power, measuring success
  • Module 5: Grappling with organisational mission & culture
  • Module 6: Managing change & risk
  • Module 7: Managing crises & conflict
  • Module 8: Maintaining personal health & wellbeing

Assessment:

  • Two 3,000-word research essays, 45% each
  • Three 500-word posts on leadership formation, 10%
Teaching Arrangements

This Distance Learning paper is taught remotely.

Seven two-hour videoconferences on Zoom spaced throughout the semester.

Textbooks

There are no textbooks required for this paper.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper should be able to:

  • Articulate a theologically grounded personal philosophy of leadership relevant to the context in which they are placed
  • Understand and critically analyse findings from social science research so they can be used in helping their organisation to operate in an efficient and healthy way, while still reflecting a Christian ethos
  • Analyse and identify the culture of their organisation and know how to work with others in constructively developing it from a faith-based perspective
  • Understand how to lead an organisation in a process of change and manage conflict effectively while exercising pastoral concern and care for those involved and impacted by it
  • Know how to develop good practices and disciplines that enable them to grow their faith and develop the resilience needed as a Christian leader

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Timetable

Semester 1

Location
Dunedin
Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system
Blackboard