Back to list of units


Pastoral Leadership and Congregational Transformation

This unit helps students develop and explore their theological and practical frameworks for local church leadership. Students will use biblical metaphors to explore how these can guide and inform one’s ministry and mission in modern Australia. Students will be introduced to the dynamics and possibilities of mission-shaped transformation processes in the various social and cultural contexts. These will be examined in light of the diverse nature of Australian churches. Topics will include models of ministry leadership and church community life, strategies for congregational missional renewal, change and conflict management, motivation and empowerment of leaders, spiritual and ethical practices for church and ministry life.

Lecturer: Refer to Timetable
Offered: Refer to Timetable

Undergraduate: Level 2 & 3
Postgraduate: Level 9

Discipline: DP Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies  

Level 2: 2 units in Fields B or C and 1 unit in Field D.
Level 3: 3 units in Fields B or C and 1 unit in Field D.
Level 9: 1 unit in Field D.

Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate their theology of ministry and local church life, including the metaphors that shape the student’s theology and practice
  2. Articulate a process for introducing and managing sustained transformation within a local church community.
  3. Demonstrate an awareness of roles, accountabilities and relationships that exist between ministers and congregations.
  4. Reflect on the experience of others and draw insights that relate to their own situation and practice of ministry.
  5. (Third Level) Identify potential mission engagement opportunities that exist in their own contexts.
  6. (Postgraduate) Integrate pastoral practice along with biblical, theological and spiritual insights with research into contemporary leadership theory.


Undergraduate: Level 2
1 x 2,000 word project report (50%)
1 x 1,000 word reading journal (25%)
1 x 1,000 word reflection paper (25%)

Undergraduate: Level 3
1 x 2,500 word project report (50%)
1 x 1,000 word reading journal (25%)
1 x 1,000 word reflection paper (25%)

Postgraduate: Level 9
1 x 3,000 word case study (50%)
1 x 3,000 word research essay (50%)

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Anderson, R. An Emergent Theology for Emerging Churches, Downers Grove, Ill: IVP, 2006.
Bellamy, J; Black, A; Castle, K.; Hughes, P; Kaldor, P Why Don’t People Go to Church Adelaide: Open Book, 2002.
Becker, Carole Leading Women. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.
Bouma, Garry Australian Soul; Religion and Spirituality in the Twenty First Century, Melbourne: Cambridge University Press, 2006.
Branson, M.L. Memories, Hopes and Conversations, Herndon: Alban, 2004
Brueggemann, W. Ichabod Towards Home: The Journey of God’s Glory. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002.
Cray, G. Mission-shaped Church: Church planting and fresh expressions of church in a changing context. London: Church House Publishing, 2004.
Drane, John The McDonaldisation of the Church: Spirituality, Creativity and the Future of the Church, London: DLT, 2003.
Gibbs, E. Leadership Next, Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2005.
Guder, D.L. (ed.), Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1998.
Guder D.L. The Continuing Conversation of the Church, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2000.
Herrington, Jim; Bonem , Mike; Furr, James Leading Congregational Change A Practical Guide for the Transformational Journey, San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2000.
Hirsch, A. & Frost, M. The Shaping of Things to Come, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers, 2003.
Jagelman, I. Re-engineering the Church; New Models of Governance, Leadership Teams and Succession Planning, Lane Cove: The Jagelman Institute, 2007.
Jamieson, A. A Churchless Faith: Faith Journeys beyond Evangelical, Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches, Wellington, NZ: Phillip Garside Publishing, 2000.
Lott, D.B. (ed) Conflict Management in Congregations, Alban: Albany Institute, 1998.
Mead, L.B. Five Challenges for the Once and Future Church, Washington: Alban, 1996.
Menzies, A. & Phelan, D. Kingdom Communities: Shining the Light of Christ through Faith, Hope and Love. Reservoir Vic: Morning Star Publishing, 2018.
Moynagh, M. Emerging Church.Intro. Oxford: Monarch, 2004.
Murray, S. Post-Christendom: Church and Mission in a Strange New World. Carlisle: Paternoster, 2004.
Nelson, Alan and Appel, Gene How to Change your Church: (without killing it) Nashville: Word, 2000.
Newbigin, L. An Open Secret: An Introduction to the Theology of Mission, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1995.
Paver, J. Theological Reflection and Education for Ministry, London: Ashgate, 2006.
Phillips, D.T. Martin Luther King on Leadership, New York: Warner Books, 1999.
Roxburgh, A.J. The Sky is falling, Eagle: ACI Publishing, 2005.
Roxburgh, A.J. & Romanuk F. The Missional Leader, San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2006
Swinton, J. & Mowat, H. Practical Theology and Qualitative Research, London: SCM, 2006.
Taylor, Steve The Out-of-Bounds Church: Learning to Create a Community of Faith in a Culture of Change, Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010.