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Expanded Course Description

Summer 2012/Seattle






DESCRIPTION: The purpose of this course is to teach students to lead God’s people. We will use your ministry setting as a context for learning. The course describes the multiple layers of leading and gives students the opportunity to understand leadership by relating it to the work they are doing in their ministry setting. The ministry context also provides a proving ground that allows students to experiment with the lessons taught in the classroom.


COURSE OBJECTIVES/LEARNING OUTCOMES: The course has intellectual and formative objectives. The students will accumulate knowledge about leadership, with a particular emphasis on managing change. The course will describe the four major schools of thought on leadership and give students the opportunity to experiment with each one. The course also has formative goals. Students will develop pastoral identity and learn how to manage the fears and pride that come with attempting new things.


RELEVANCE FOR MINISTRY: The course provides clear and specific opportunities for students to integrate their seminary education in particular ministry contexts.


COURSE FORMAT: Each class period will include lecture, discussion of the course readings, and focus on a case study. A key part of the learning comes from students writing one-page reflection papers each day. The papers are due via email the day before class meets. The professor will covenant to have the papers graded with individual comments by the time that class meets. These comments ensure that each student receives regular individual attention and feedback from the professor. The class meets Monday through Thursday for two weeks (June 18-21 & 25-28) in both Seattle and Menlo Park. The first week the professor will be in Seattle and will broadcast through video-link to Menlo Park. The second week he will be in California and broadcast back to Washington. There will be time each week to meet via video-link with the professor outside of class



Bolman, L. and Deal, T., Reframing Organizations (Jossey-Bass, 2008) ISBN 978-0787987992 ($36)

            Collins, J, Good to Great (HarperCollins, 2001) ISBN 0066620996 ($16)

                        Good to Great and the Social Sectors (HarperCollins, 2005) ISBN 0977326403 ($8.37)

            Cormode, S. Almond Springs Casebook (published online at www.christianleaders.org)

            Jeavons, T. and Basinger, R.B., Growing Givers’ Hearts (Jossey-Bass, 2000) ISBN 0687492238 ($25)


            Course Pack of Articles

Anderson, R., “Ministry as Theological Innovation,” in The Soul of Ministry (Westminster/John Knox, 1997)

                        Argyris, C., “Teaching Smart People How to Learn” Harvard Business Review

Brueggemann, W., “The Liturgy of Abundance, the Myth of Scarcity,” in Deep Memory, Exuberant Hope (Fortress, 2000)

                        Collins, J. and Porras, J., “Building Your Company’s Vision,” HBR

                        Cormode, S., “Multi-Layered Leadership,” Journal of Religious Leadership

                        Dykstra, C., “Evaluation as Collaborative Inquiry”

Dykstra, C. and Bass, D., “A Theological Understanding of Christian Practices,” in Practicing Theology, ed. Volf, M. and Bass, D. (Eerdmans, 2002)

Ely, R. and Meyerson, D., “Theories of Gender in Organizations,” in Research in Organizational Behavior

Farley, E., “Interpreting Situations,” in Formation and Reflection, ed by Mudge, L. and Poling, J. (Fortress, 1987)

Heifetz, R., “The Work of Leadership” HBR

Heifetz, R., “Mobilizing Adaptive Work,” from Heifetz, Leadership without Easy Answers (Harvard University Press, 1994)

                        McGrath, A., “The Doctrine of the Church,” in Christian Theology (Blackwell, 1997)

                        Peterson, E., “Throw me into the sea!” in Under the Unpredictable Plant (Eerdmans, 1992)

Senge, P., “The Leader’s New Work,” Sloan Management Review

Tisdale, L.T., “Preaching as Local Theology,” Princeton Seminary Bulletin

Volf, M., “Theology for a Way of Life,” in Practicing Theology, ed. Volf, M. and Bass, D. (Eerdmans, 2002)

                        Wuthnow, R., “The Crisis in the Churches,” in Financing American Religion



RECOMMENDED READING: There will be a bibliography available for students who wish to pursue specific questions or focus on ministering in particular contexts.


ASSIGNMENTS: Daily papers and an exam.


PREREQUISITES: Students must be engaged in some ministry context. This does not need to be a formal internship or a paid position. But students will need some context that they can use as basis for reflection.