Church Growth and Leadership Dynamics Syllabus
Ohio Valley College Bible Program
Practical Ministry Studies
Class Policies and Syllabus
Course: BIB421, Church Organizational and Leadership Dynamics
Credit hours: 3 hours
Instructor: Robert J. Young
Semester: Fall, 2000
Prerequisites: Bible program admission or permission
Course Assignments Grid (new)
Course Assignments Grid (old)
Systems Chart from Armour and Browning
Study of Church
Study of Elders
Study of Deacons
A Study of the Greek Words for Preaching
A Study of the Work of an Evangelist
- Armour and Browning, Systems-Sensitive Leadership
- Fair, Leadership in the Kingdom
- Church Growth and Leadership packet handouts
This course combines several courses previously offered. BIB421, "Church Leadership," was a study of the qualifications and work of church leaders with some in-service training. BIB422, "Preacher and His Work,"
focused upon the roles, duties, and functions of the preacher. BIB422 has been replaced by the required course BIB225, "Introduction to Ministry Seminar." BIB421 addresses areas formerly covered in 421 and 422. In
addition, the subjects of Church Growth and Evangelism have not been separated, with BIB320 devoted exclusively to Personal Evangelism, and the Church Growth component formerly included in that class now a part
Given the emphasis on systems approaches to understanding groups and organizations and the vast amount of material available to inform organizational dynamics and change, this course focuses on the church as a
dynamic organization of people in need of leadership to reach full potential and power. Biblical principles must inform decisions, yet cultural emphases on empowerment, team-building, and personality may complement and assist the application of those biblical principles. Pragmatic concerns must never be primary, but must be
considered. Church growth is the natural outcome of a healthy church system which is functioning well and is thus capable of reaching out to and assimilating new members.
The student in this course will gain a greater appreciation of the interaction between church leaders with a focus on facilitating a healthy organizational dynamic and understanding the process of organizational change.
[Student expectations are set forth in the catalog. This section clarifies matters addressed therein as they pertain to this class.]
The school attendance policy will be followed. Students whose unexcused absences exceed one week of
class will be dropped. Students dropped are required to meet with the professor and submit their plan for
maintaining attendance in the class before reinstatement. Unexcused absences will lower the student's final grade
up to ½ a grade point for each absence. Excused absences are available only through contact with the instructor
the day class is missed or in advance. Students are responsible for consulting with the instructor when absent. The
student is responsible for obtaining and completing all assignments.
Students must arrive at class on time. (See catalog.) A student who must arrive at class late is expected to
enter class without being disruptive and wait until after class to explain the reason for his or her tardiness. Three
tardies count as one absence for purposes of administering the attendance policy.
Homework must be turned in on time or early. Late work may be turned in one class period late, but will
be penalized up to 10%. Makeup examinations are not available in this class.
Class withdrawal procedures are set forth in the catalog and must be followed. The student must initiate
an official process. Non-attendance does not constitute official withdraw. The student who neither attends nor
drops the class will receive an "F" grade for the semester.
Goals and Objectives
1. The student will understand the biblical qualifications and work of elders, deacons, and preachers.
2. The student will be able to make personal applications in understanding the roles, duties, and functions of the
preacher and other church leaders.
3. The student may expect some exposure to and acquaintance with systems and personality theories.
4. The study will be able to employ systems approaches to understand groups and organizations, and will
understand organizational dynamics and change as applied to the church as a dynamic organization of people in
need of leadership to reach full potential and power.
5. The student will understand the application and use of cultural emphases such as empowerment, team-building,
and personality as they complement and assist the application of biblical leadership principles.
6. The student will gain a greater appreciation of the interaction between church leaders with a focus on
facilitating a healthy organizational dynamic and understanding the process of organizational change.
7. The student will understand church growth as a natural process which occurs as part of a healthy church
8. The student will read broadly enough to develop an initial annotated bibliography of relevant materials in the
OVC library, and to have reasonable awareness of the dynamics of church leadership.
Criteria for Evaluation
The successful student will master all course objectives to some degree. The successful student will
cooperate with the professor in a mutually stimulating and exciting learning experience. Evaluation will be based
upon mastery of these goals and objectives as reflected in class participation, quizzes, homework and examinations.
Course Assignments Grid
1. Due at the end of the 3rd, 6th, 9th, and 12th weeks (Sept. 15, Oct. 6, 27, Nov. 17)--a book report on one of the
books in the bibliography with personal reflection. Students may substitute a book from the recommended list.
Note: If the student is dissatisfied with the grade assigned on written items 2,5, or 6, the student may rewrite the
item and resubmit. Resubmitted items are due within a week after return by the professor.
2. Due November 6, a case study research paper applying at least one of the principles of organizational dynamics
or organizational change covered in this class to the subject of healthy churches and church growth.
3. Mastery of the content of the texts and in class presentations, handouts, and discussion, to be demonstrated on
4. An interview with the preacher or other church leader of a growing church. The church chosen must be
approved by the professor. The content of the interview report will be outlined in class. Interview is due
5. A bibliography (25 item minimum) of relevant materials in the OVC library, due September 29.
200 4 book reports with reflection
200 Case study research report
100 Interview report
200 Mid-term Exam
Grading Scale [% of possible points]
Note: This syllabus is an agreement between the student and the instructor of BIBLE 421. The professor reserves the right to
amend any or all of this syllabus as he deems necessary during the course of the semester, and will promptly notify all students
involved of the changes.
study of church leadership roles
study of evangelist, minister, preacher role
Understanding self, personality theory
Congregation as Organization and System
System approaches to organizational understanding
Understanding groups, and organizations
Organizational culture and dynamics
The nature of change
Leadership and Power
Undergirding Leadership with Biblical principles
Toward a Biblical model of leadership
Team theory, cohesion enhancement
Evaluating with accountability
Study of church leadership roles
Hodge, My Elders
Lewis, Leadership Questions Confronting the Church
Smith, Fallen Shepherds
Taylor, Elder and His Work
Yeakley, Church Leadership and Organization
Study of evangelist, minister, preacher role
Browning, et.al, Education of the Practical Theologian
Hodge, My Preacher
Fletcher, Religious Authenticity in the Clergy
Kennedy, Seven Worlds of the Minister
Oden, Pastoral Theology
Myers, Preacher and His Work
Thielecke, A Little Exercise for Young Theologians
Understanding self, personality theory, interpersonal relationships, communication, leadership styles
Armour & Browning, Systems-Sensitive Leadership
Thomas & Thomas, Bi-Polar
Voges & Braund, Understanding how others misunderstand you
Congregation as Organization and System
Carroll, Dudley, & McKinney, Handbook for Congregational Studies
Conrad, Strategic Organizational Communication
Friedman, Generation to Generation
Parsons and Leas, Understanding your congregation as a system
Organizational culture, dynamics, change
Anderson, Navigating the Winds of Change
Bridges, Managing Transitions
Leadership and Power, Biblical principles, Network Theory, Team theory, Conflict management, Organizing, Evaluating with accountability
Benis & Nanus, Leaders
Covey, Principle-Centered Leadership
Covey, Seven Habits
Ellas, Church Growth Through Groups
Francis and Young, Improving Work Groups
Hendrix, Management for the Christian Leader
Hocker & Wilmot, Interpersonal Conflict
Leas, Moving Your Church Through Conflict
Parker, Team Flayers
Young, Building Cohesion
Planning and Church Growth
Callahan, Twelve Keys
Callahan, Effective Church Leadership
Chandler, Racing Toward 2001
Dale, To Dream Again
Ellas, Clear Choices
Mead, The Once and Future Church
Mead, More Than Numbers
Migliore, Strategic Planning
Saarinin, Life Cycle of a congregation
Wagner, Strategies for Church Growth
Congregational and case studies