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18 BT301 Biblical Theology of Leadership

Course Description

An examination of God’s call for leaders to be restored into the image of God through the lens of biblical theology, with a primary focus on the New Testament.

Students will study examples of servant leadership and compare and contrast discipleship and leadership. They will examine positive and negative examples of leadership and evaluate the methods used by leaders in the New Testament to accomplish a range of activities. Students will compare and contrast these biblical examples with examples from their own cultural context of leadership. The biblical theological approach will then bridge into practical leadership issues that face ministers today.

Course Rational

Like any other institution, leadership is important in the church, but in this context leadership must reflect biblical values and priorities. Leadership is a form of empowering for service and the servant model is the template given by Christ. This unit will identify the spiritual gift of leadership and calling that occurs among believers that must be recognized and developed. All believers need to be discipled and empowered for ministry. Those with leadership gifts should be identified as a result of effective discipleship. Leaders are first discipled and then disciple others. Leaders who are not actively discipling others cannot be effective leaders.

Program Outcomes


CN-2 Ability to describe the content, genre, major characters, historical context, main events, and theological themes of the Old Testament.

CN-3 Ability to describe the basic content and theological themes of the New Testament, identify the principal people and events and their roles in New Testament history.

CN-6 Ability to explain how the theological foundations of Christianity proceed from the Scriptures.


CP-6 Ability to express pastoral care through visiting the sick and conducting weddings, funerals, burials, baptisms, and dedications.

CP-7 Ability to offer biblical counsel and refer as needed and to equip others to do the same.

CP-8 Ability to determine direction and personnel to equip God’s people for works of service.

CP-10 Ability to lead and to discover, develop, and deploy leaders.


CH-1 Ability to find, understand and utilize resources for one’s own spiritual growth in prayer, Bible study, and personal devotion with the goal of becoming like Christ. CH-1

Activity Outcomes


ACC-1 Demonstrate a Christ-like character of submission, integrity and love in all relationships.

ACC-2 Explain and demonstrate how the Christian life of accountability is shown in relational integrity, leadership integrity, and financial integrity toward God, church leaders, within marriage, and in other relationships.


ADM-1 Identify and demonstrate ways to be Christlike in administering a local church.

ADM-2 Explain and demonstrate how a pastor leads in love while balancing the demands of administration, leading with vision, following those in authority, and the shepherding concerns of the church.

ADM-3 Explain the development of authority and structures from the early church (New Testament) until modern times.

Continuing Education

CED-1 Develop the mind of Christ through growing closer to God, studying God’s Word, the needs of the cultural context, and ways to help others grow spiritually.


EVA-4 Demonstrate how to communicate evangelistically and to be engaged with and equip others in personal and congregational evangelism.


LEA-1 Identify how Christ was a leader and demonstrate ways to apply this leadership in students’ lives.

LEA-4 Explain how the Biblical description of the body of Christ relates to teams; how a Wesleyan perspective of spiritual gifts and the fruit of the Spirit impact the function of a team, the role of VMOST for a team, impact of social media, and historical examples of teams.

LEA-6 Demonstrate that the students are mentoring someone now.

LEA-7 Explain the benefits of mentoring from a Biblical and Theological perspective, the goals and purpose, the selection process for mentoring (prayer, issues such as gender and age); and the difference between formal and informal mentoring. Explain the role of evaluating / accountability in the mentoring relationship and the difference between a friend and a mentor.

LEA-8 Demonstrate how to identify tasks as opportunities for team development. Develop and articulate a strategy for team creation, team endurance and team termination.

LEA-9 Identify and explain the essence of effective communication, variety of ways our communication can be misunderstood, and how this impairs good communication, currently and historically, and the impact of emotion on communication.

LEA-10 Explain how it is important for Christian leaders to correct and reprove in love as taught in the Bible when someone does wrong even when it goes against their local culture.


MIN-2 Explain the essence of Christian ministry and how the Biblical theology of the stewardship and the Body of Christ applies to ministry activities, how ministry has changed through history.

Personal Spiritual Development (Holiness)

HOL-3 List and explain the top ten character traits a pastor should have as it relates to pastoral ministry.


PRA-1 Model the prayers of Christ and His relationship to the Father through a strong passion for a life of prayer shown by devoting time to prayer and keeping a prayer journal, including a list of lost people for whom God has made them responsible.


PRE-5 Describe the key themes and methods of Jesus’ teaching, how this affected people, how they responded to his ministry, and how this can be applied to preaching today.

Content 34%
Competency 42%
Character 17%
Context  7%

Course Textbooks

Berkley, James D. Leadership Handbook of Management and Administration. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1997.

Bowling, John C. Grace-Full Leadership: Understanding the Heart of a Christian Leader. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2000.

Fairbanks, E. LeBron. Leading Decisively! Leading Faithfully!: Reflections and Markers. Boardserve LLC, 2016.

Gunter, Nina G., and Gay Leonard. Holy Leadership in a Hectic World. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2009. 

McKenna, David L. Wesleyan Leadership in Troubled Times: Confronting the Culture, Challenging the Church. Kansas City: Beacon Hill Press, 2002.

Tidball, Derek. Ministry by the Book: New Testament Patterns for Pastoral leadership. Nottingham, England: Apollos, 2008.

Other resources:

Bell, Skip. Servants and Friends: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. Andrews University Press, 2014.

Blackaby, Henry & Richard. Spiritual Leadership: moving people onto God’s agenda. Nashville, TN: Holmann, 2011.

Howell, Don N. Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership Paperback. Wipf and Stock, 2003.

Maddix, Mark, and Diane Leclerc, eds. Pastoral Practices: A Wesleyan Paradigm. Beacon Hill Press.

Northouse, Peter G. Leadership Theory and Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE, 1997.

Stevens, Marty. Leadership Roles of the Old Testament: King, Prophet, Priest, Sage. Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2012.

Stowe, Eugene L. The Ministry of Shepherding: A Study of Pastoral Practice. Available at www.whdl.org.

Course Requirements

  1. The local school’s attendance policy should be placed here.
  2. Bible Reading and Prayer Journal: Students should read through the Bible as designated in the Master Plan for Bible Reading in the Course of Study. For this course, students will read Isaiah 14 – 48 and Colossians 1 – 2 Thessalonians 3. Those who are married should do some or all of the reading with his or her spouse and/or family. As part of the Scripture reading for each week, students will keep a journal. In this journal, answer these personal questions, “How does God speak to me or my family today through His word? How does this reading help me to love others?” Entries should be made at least weekly for semester courses or daily for intensives. Each entry should be at least one paragraph of 200 words.

(Outcomes ACC-1, CED-1, PRA-1)

  1. Reflection on Worship: Write a one-page (or present orally) a reflection on a worship service that you are actively involved in (your local church) and analyze the reason why things are done as they are. What are the theological reasons being expressed? Identify three things for which you can recognize a sound biblical and theological basis. Note what role the pastor had in the worship. Recommend three changes that could considered with theological rationales for the change.

(Outcomes ADM-1, ADM-2, LEA-9)

  1. Theology of Shepherding: Work in a small group to discuss and determine the role of the pastor from a Biblical and theological perspective. Determine how your context and community influences pastoral ministry. Find scripture passages as the basis for your theology. Groups may work over several weeks to develop this theology. Present your insights to the whole class.

(Outcomes CN-2, CN-3, CN-6, CP-6, ACC-2, ADM-3, LEA-1, LEA-8, LEA-10, MIN-2, PRE-5)

  1. Semester Project: Identify one individual within a congregation with whom you are involved and create a discipleship program that will develop his or her understanding of body ministry, leading to empowering him or her for an active ministry role. (The focus here is simply the process not the actual ministry. E.g. a hospital visit may be the context but the project would be identifying the person, designing a discipleship program that identifies and develops gifts, activating the ministry, and reporting on its effectiveness.) Final grade will be given based on the written report and, if possible, an interview with the individual mentored by the student.

(Outcomes CP-7, CP-8, CP-10, EVA-4, LEA-4, LEA-6, LEA-7)

  1. Self-Care Plan: Create a 10-week self-development plan designed to address areas of self-care and spiritual development for yourself and/or the leaders in your church.

(Outcomes CH-1, HOL-3)

Course Evaluation

Journal                                                10 %

Reflection on Worship                         20 %

Theology of Shepherding                   15 %

Semester Project                                35 %

Self-Care Plan                                    20 %

Grading Policy

A         90-100%

B         80-89%

C         70-79%

D         60-69%

45-59%           (Passable for the certificate level and toward the requirements for being ordained in the Church of the Nazarene)

If a student marks a final grade lower than 45% he or she must take the course again for credit at the diploma level

Course Outline

  1. Leadership in the OT (Moses): Servant of Yahweh
  2. Leadership in the OT (Kings of Israel): Obedience and spiritual life
  3. Leadership in the OT (Nehemiah): Vision casting and practical expression
  4. Perspectives on leadership (leadership theories) – looking through a variety of lens (Exploring the options )
  5. Perspectives on leadership (leadership theories) – continued
  6. Models in Matthew – modelling wisdom and holding steady
  7. Models in Mark – people with a message
  8. Models in Luke – being sent, God’s calling
  9. Leadership in the early church (Acts) – community formation
  10. Leadership and Church Planting (Paul)
  11. Leadership and the Infant Church (Paul)
  12. Leadership and the maturing Church (Paul) Spiritual giftedness
  13. Leadership and the Aging Church (Paul)
  14. Insights from Hebrews and James – modelling and mentoring
  15. Insights Peter & John
    1. Empowering others to service
    2. Ministry of encouragement-
  16. Strengths in Leadership
  17. Leadership Character
  18. Dysfunction in Leadership
  19. Leadership Accountability
  20. Leadership and Management