Contemporary discussions about leadership not only explore what it means and how it works but also the place of faith and religious conviction among leaders.

The search for leaders and the understanding of what defines leadership in business, political, public and religious life is not a modern phenomenon but has re-emerged as a compelling issue in society.

Students conduct research and develop practical skills in exercising leadership as a person of faith.

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The module explores and analyses ways in which theology and spirituality underpin and challenge an understanding of leadership within and outside faith-based contexts. It encourages critical reflection on how leadership and management within the changing nature of contemporary society can be informed by insights from spiritual and theological traditions, especially Christianity, and be related to a theological view of faith, vocation, the Church and its mission. The connection between spirituality, theology and leadership is explored to reflect how these perspectives are integral to a Christian understanding of leadership. Different leadership models, secular and religious, are critically examined. Participants are encouraged to become confident in handling disciplines and methodologies that can inform an understanding of Christian approaches to leadership, including reflection on their contexts and preferred leadership styles.  Students are introduced to relevant academic disciplines that are essential for study at level 7 as part of their induction to the programme.

 

The module is a methodological and hermeneutical study of how reflective practice can underpin and challenge an understanding of leadership.  It will introduce students to contemporary models of reflective practice both in the educational, theological and business worlds and encourage reflection on how these models inform and critique one another.  The module will provide practice in a variety of methods so that students can select and design their own model which they will be able to apply in their back home situations.  At the conclusion of this module, students will gain the skills and confidence to use reflective practice as a research method for their own work.

This module critically examines theoretical and practical aspects of change and conflict through a number of disciplines, especially theology, ecology, psychology and complexity theory. Issues of discerning authentic from inauthentic change will be raised. Lessons from the natural world introduce organizations as living systems, with particular examination of the significance of decay and disturbance. Psychological insights examine differing reactions to change, with special reference to the leader’s role in co-creating a secure environment from which exploration can occur. Emergence and self-organisation are studied alongside Newtonian concepts of control. The various strands are brought together to provide a holistic view of the origins and potentially transforming role of conflict. Throughout, students are encouraged to apply the concepts to their own situations, both to increase shared learning and provide practical insights for their own practice.

 

The module will use both theoretical presentations and experiential methods to introduce students to an understanding and working knowledge of unconscious processes, with special reference to their understanding of organisational life and their practice as leaders.  There will be an examination of how contemporary understandings of the unconscious have been understood wiithin a religious and faith perspective.  The module will provide understanding in the light of peer and staff feedback in case studies from students own experience.

 

This module will make a methodological/hermeneutical/theological study of the potential impact of Christian approaches to leadership on and within secular institutions at a time when religion is being marginalized and faith is under attack. It will encourage reflection on the current place of the Christian faith in the public square and will evaluate existing and emerging models of engagement between Christianity and the prevailing secular and pluralist culture of contemporary society, in e.g. business, education, and politics through the framework of business ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR). The connection between personal faith and leadership in different workplace contexts, including organisations run by or on behalf of the Church, will be explored to enable participants to analyse their own leadership practice and the ethical issues that they may face.   Potential areas of conflict, both internal and external, will be examined to illustrate this. How far should a leader’s personal faith influence the development of the ethos that may be felt to be desirable? An integral part of the module will be opportunities for reflection by the participants on their own experience of the relationship between the leadership of a secular organisation, values and personal faith.

The module will make a methodological and hermeneutical study of contemporary management strategies for using feedback to develop and evaluate personal development plans in a variety of both faith based and secular contexts.  There will be a critical study of the significance of emotional and spiritual intelligence theories for the development of self-awareness and management of self in a leadership context.  There will be an opportunity to use one or more online questionnaires, such as Strengthfinder, and evaluate their usefulness.  The module will provide an opportunity for students to design a feedback mechanism and personal development plan that they can test out in their context and assess.

 

This module examines contemporary images and models of organisations, bringing multi-disciplinary critical insights into the emergence of organisational culture. The role of the leader is examined, especially through questions of power and authority and comparisons made between different approaches to ecclesiology and church organisation. Systems theory is used to examine organisations, including congregations: students are encouraged to reflect on their own situation and experience in the light of this. Contemporary approaches to organisational culture and organizational development (OD) are examined. The possibility of churches as learning organisations is examined, with students being encouraged to reflect on the practical implications of this. Differing methodological approaches to ethics are examined, with particular reference to alternative models for explaining and sustaining corporate values.

This module encourages engagement with a hermeneutical approach grounded in the Holy Trinity, which is examined through a number of traditions. Biblical examples of ministry and working together are critiqued through the disciplines of sociology, psychology and organisational studies and implications drawn for an understanding of the various forms of authorised ministry and the role of the laity. A focus on relationships highlights both the significance of followership and the importance of internal and external boundaries: the latter are examined from the perspective of ecosystems. Students are encouraged to understand themselves and each other better through the use of teamwork profiling instruments and models. This leads to consideration of particular models of collaborative ministry in different traditions and the wider applicability of learning in the public square.