course is an intensive seminar on church management for clergy
and other church professionals. The focus is on skill
development in leading and working in voluntary church
systems. Major topics include influence skills, long- and
short-range planning, recruiting and motivating volunteers,
organizational evaluation, and decision-making in large and
Day, Time and Dates:
16 – 20, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Adjunct Professor of the Arts of Ministry and Senior
Consultant at the Alban Institute
More information on Professor Leas:
page at Alban Institute
Goals of the course
The participants will review management and leadership theory
in relation to the effective functioning of a local congregation. By
the end of the course they should be able to do an assessment of
their own behavior as leaders and managers in their congregations as
well as that of the congregation’s key lay leaders. They should
also be able to assess the needs of the congregation to develop
appropriate planning and change strategies.
II. Preparation for class
Before the class begins all of the participants in the class
are asked to give one copy of the Congregation Systems Inventory to
at least ten persons who are active leaders of a congregation. These
inventories may be purchased from the Hartford Seminary Bookstore at
$3.00 per copy. Congregation members who are asked to fill out the
inventory should be told that their scores and those of the others
who filled out the inventory will be shared with them after the
class has been completed.
Systems Inventory Score Sheet.*
Participants are asked to bring the completed inventory with
them to class, along with a summary of the scores, entered in the Summary
of CSI Scores sheet accompanying this description.
more information, please read the
from Speed Leas.
documents are in Adobe .pdf format. If you do not have
Adobe Acrobat to open these documents, you may download
it for free from their web site.
Required Reading (All
students wishing to take this course for credit must have read these books and
be able to demonstrate they have a working knowledge of their contents.)
Ronald A. Leadership without Easy Answers. Belknap Press of Harvard
University Press, 1994
Speed B. Discover Your Conflict Management Style. The Alban
George D. and Leas, Speed B. Congregational Systems Inventory
(Manual). The Alban Institute, 1994
George D. and Leas, Speed B. Congregational Systems Inventory
(Workbook). The Alban Institute, 1994 (10 copies)
Reading (Students wishing credit in the course must also demonstrate that
they have read at least two of the following books)
John. Leading Change. Harvard Business School Press, 1996
Danny and Olsen, Charles M. Discerning God’s Will Together.
The Alban Institute, 1997
Charles M. Transforming Church Boards into Communities of
Spiritual Leaders. The Alban Institute, 1995
Roy & Friedrich, Robert Jr. Discerning Your Congregation's
Future. The Alban Institute, 1996
Gilbert. Leading Change in the Congregation. The Alban
Martin The Life
Cycle of a Congregation. The Alban Institute, 1986. Available
for $12.00, download only: http://www.alban.org/BookDetails.asp?ID=862
Participants wishing credit will take part in all of the
class sessions June 16–20, 2003
Participants wishing credit will write a 15-20 page paper on
one of the three subjects below:
Design a process for discerning a congregation’s future or
developing and agreeing upon a spiritual map for a local church.
This paper will develop a realistic plan for a particular
congregation using the themes and concepts used within the course
and/or reading. The paper should include a rationale for why this
system would be suggested to the congregation.
Use the Congregational Systems Inventory to assess a
congregation. Develop a plan for change in this congregation based
on the reading and material presented in class. The paper should
include a rationale for why this system would be suggested to the
Apply a leadership theory discussed in the course to your
work in an organization. Show you understand the theory and its
components and show how it relates to your behavior. Describe your
current leadership behavior in clear, specific, descriptive,
behavioral terms (do not use generalizations or describe your
intentions, rather describe what you did). Give information to
substantiate your descriptions of your behavior, (e.g. “Two board
members expressed appreciation for my written agenda.”). Indicate
where you plan to make changes in your leadership behavior,
describing clearly the specific actions you plan to take to improve.
Grading will be based primarily on the paper written for the
class. If the paper demonstrates that the student has read the
required reading, understood what was presented in class, and is
able to apply it to a congregation, s/he will receive a passing
grade (B-). If the student also presents cogent critiques (is able
to demonstrate strengths and weaknesses) of the reading or material
presented in class, s/he will receive a higher grade.
Attendance will be taken every morning and afternoon of the
class sessions. Students who miss more than one class session will
be marked down 1/3 of a grade for every additional session they
submitted after September 1, 2003 will not receive credit for the
course. Papers should be submitted to Speed
Leas, The Alban Institute, P.O. Box 2250, Boulder Creek, CA 95006.
The participants will learn current theory relevant to
organization management and leadership.
2. The participants
will be able to analyze their own leadership behavior.
3. Through the analysis of their own organizations, the
participants will increase their skill in organization analysis,
change, and planning.
Agenda, Objectives, Attendance requirements, papers, and
||Input: Leadership/Management Overview
||Input: Polarities in Congregational Life
||Input: Systems Analysis
What functions to keep secrets?
functions to limit authority?
functions to confound decision making?
||Small Group Sharing (triads)
||Plenary: Group discussion
||Input: Congregational Systems Inventory
||Small Group Assessment
||Input: Anxiety and Leadership
||Small Group Sharing
||Input: Transformational Leadership, finding the map,
empowering the followers
||Individual time: Developing Spiritual Maps
||Small group sharing spiritual maps
||Penary: Spiritual Maps
||Input: Managerial Leadership
|| Input: Organizational Change Theory
||Input: Discover Your Conflict Management Style
||Small Groups (triads) sharing your scores
||Exercise: Using Conflict Strategies
||Input: Evaluation of Professional Leadership in
Nancy. Carroll, Jackson. Dudley, Carl. McKinney, William. Studying
Congregations a New Handbook. Abingdon,
is a fine collection of essays on congregational assessment. The
best overview of congregational assessment tools currently in
Empowering Church. The Alban Institute, 1989.
a process and structure in a congregation so that it specifically
meets the needs of members as it seeks to be in mission.
William. Sacred Cows Make Gourmet Burgers.Abingdon, 1995
reflections on organizational structure, particularly the material
on permission giving systems.
Merle A. and Mason, Marilyn. Facing
Shame: Families in Recovery. W.W. Norton, 1986.
is a helpful presentation of family systems theory.
The theory section is better than its application which
tends to be rather anecdotal. Fundamental to this book's
thesis is the recognition of the difference between guilt (regret
at violating a personal value) and shame (inner sense of being
diminished as a person).
Edwin H. Generation
to Generation: Family Process in Church and Synagogue. The
Guilford Press, 1985.
important book on systems theory and congregational life.
Provocative change theory, good description of family
systems concepts, excellent understandings of voluntary systems
Ronald. Leadership without Easy Answers. Harvard University
is an important book in the develop of leadership theory. It very
usefully describes the difference between technical (fix that
which one knows how to fix) and adaptive leadership (deal with
change beyond our control). Highly recommended
Management: Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems. HRD
textbook on polarity management. Should be in your library.
John P. A Force for Change: How Leadership Differs From
Management. The Free Press, 1990.
book describes the difference between management and leadership;
points to the value of each and recommends which each style is
Harriet Goldhor. The Dance of Intimacy: A Woman's Guide to
Courageous Acts of Change in Key Relationships. Harper &
self-help book using family systems theory.
Can be used to give to clients or people struggling with
problems in relationships.
Kenneth R. Multiple Staff Ministries. The Westminster Press,
second best text on family systems theory applied to churches,
only Friedman's book is more thorough. Don't let the title mislead.
This is a useful book for any congregational leader, not
just multiple staff situations. This book is now out of print.
Richard Tanner. Managing
on the Edge: How the Smartest Companies Use Conflict to Stay Ahead.
Simon & Schuster, 1990.
book is the foundation for the course George Parsons and Speed
Leas teach on organizational assessment.
It assumes that healthy and strong organizations balance
well tensions in seven different organizational dimensions.
Change: The Argument for Values Based Leadership. Jossey
title says it all.
Peter M. The
Fifth Discipline. Currency, New York: Doubleday, 1990.
helpful description of what gets in the way of
Lists the learning disabilities that organizations exhibit.
Peter M., et al. The
Fifth Discipline Fieldbook. Currency, New York: Doubleday, 1994.
for the library of all consultants and church executives. Very
valuable material on values, visioning, and systems.
Peter L. Healthy
Congregations. The Alban Institute, 1996
a health model to describe systems functioning. Could be a useful
study book in a congregation.
Peter L. How
Your Church Family Works. The Alban Institute, 1993.
little book is a most insightful introduction to systems theory.
Excellent material applying the Christian faith and systems theory
to congregational life.