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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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MINX 406
Limited to
Suitable for people involved in Christian ministry or with an interest in professional training and development in a range of areas of Christian ministry.
Professor Paul Trebilco:
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Professor Paul Trebilco
Paper Structure
  • 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
  • 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).


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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Not offered in 2022

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system