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Winter 2014/Fuller Live!

Irvine, Menlo Park




DESCRIPTION: This course explores the dynamics of leading and managing a missional congregation in light of its environmental opportunities. The systemic nature of mission, vision, structure, and interpersonal relationships are considered in light of best practices in team formation, conflict management, strategic planning, and legal and financial stewardship.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: In order to effectively lead and manage a local congregation, one must clearly understand the totality of the church enterprise, identify the key structures and skill sets that are needed to maximize effective missional ministry, and develop a management approach that leads the congregation to fulfill its vision and mission.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, students will (1) demonstrate a systemic understanding of a missional congregation and its ministries; (2) establish principles of volunteer recruitment, team formation and conflict management; (3) evaluate strategic planning approaches for their own setting; and (4) examine selected legal issues and best practices in financial stewardship.

COURSE FORMAT: The course meets three weekends on Friday evenings and Saturdays. In addition, students spend two hours per week in on-line discussion. Classes combine lecture and response to postings and to other questions.

REQUIRED READING: 1189 total pages required.

Bacher, Robert and Michael L. Cooper-White. Church Administration: Programs, Process, Purpose. Fortress Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0800637422, Pub. Price $34.00 [302 pp. assigned].

Collins, Jim. Good to Great and the Social Sectors. Harper Collins, 2005. ISBN: 978-0977326402, Pub. Price $11.95 [35 pp. assigned].

Drucker, Peter F. et al. The Five Most Important Questions Self Assessment Tool: Participant Workbook. Jossey-Bass, 2010. ISBN: 978-0470531211, Pub. Price $30.00 [97 pp. assigned].

Lencioni, Patrick M. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team. Jossey-Bass, 2010. ISBN: 978-0470893869, Pub. Price $16.99 [227 pp. assigned].

Lingenfelter, Sherwood G. Leading Cross-Culturally: Covenant Relationships for Effective Christian Leadership. Baker Academic, 2008. ISBN: 978-0801036057, Pub. Price $18.00 [170 pp. assigned]. BV652.1.L57.

Shawchuck, Norman and Roger Heuser. Managing the Congregation: Building Effective Systems to Serve People. Abingdon Press, 1996. ISBN: 978-0687088980, Pub. Price $32.00 [358 pp. assigned].


Babbes, George and Michael Zigareli. The Minister’s MBA. B&H Publishing, 2006. ISBN: 978-0805443936, Pub. Price $14.99 [128 pp.].

Busby, Dan and John VanDrunen. Zondervan 2013 Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide. Zondervan, 2013. ISBN: 978-0310492306, Pub. Price $15.99 [224 pp.].

Chait, Richard P., William P. Ryan and Barbara E. Taylor. Governance as Leadership: Reframing The Works of Nonprofit Boards. John Wiley & Sons, 2004. ISBN: 978-0471684206, Pub. Price $70.00 [224 pp.].

Jeavons, Thomas H. and Rebekah Burch Basinger. Growing Givers’ Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry. Jossey-Bass, 2000. ISBN: 978-0787948290, Pub. Price $29.95 [224 pp.].


  1. Required attendance, class participation, and 1,189 pages of required reading (20%).
  2. Course project that evaluates, in light of course readings and lectures, the best practices in three of the following areas: volunteer recruitment; team formation; conflict management; and strategic planning [2400-2600 words] (40%). [This assignment is related to learning outcome #2 and #3].
  3. Research selected legal issues project and financial management practices in local congregations [Findings presented in class] (20%). [This assignment is related to learning outcome #4].
  4. Course project that examines a ministry in a congregational setting from an open systems perspective [800-900 words] (20%). [This assignment is related to learning outcome #1].

Note: There are alternative for students who are not actively involved in congregational ministry.


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Meets MDiv core requirement in Pastoral Ministry and Theology (MIN 6).


NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.