Red X iconGreen tick iconYellow tick icon


    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.

    About this paper

    Paper title Theological Perspectives on Leadership
    Subject Ministry
    EFTS 0.1667
    Points 20 points
    Teaching period Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025 (Distance learning)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $1,240.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    MINX 406
    Limited to
    MMin, PGDipMin, PGDipFBLM, MFBLM
    Suitable for people involved in Christian ministry or with an interest in professional training and development in a range of areas of Christian ministry.

    Dr Graham Redding:

    Teaching staff

    Dr Graham Redding:

    Paper Structure


    • 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


    • 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.


    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


    Not offered in 2024, expected to be offered in 2025

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught through Distance Learning
    Learning management system
    Back to top