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Spiritual and Self Leadership

The spiritual environment of Christian ministry and personal level of resources influence personal wellbeing and professional effectiveness.  In this unit, participants will: engage current research on the causes of ministry burnout; be introduced to the patterns and indicators of ‘at risk’ practice; explore ways of integrating healthy practices for sustainable ministry. A core focus upon healthy personal, spiritual practices will engage different models in ways that respect cultural and theological diversity.

Lecturer: Refer to Timetable
Offered: Refer to Timetable
Also offered online as DA9717S

Postgraduate: Level 9 elective

Discipline: DA Mission and Ministry

Approx. two years of leadership experience.

Learning Outcomes: 

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

  1. Describe and illustrate contextually the symptoms, patterns and causes of ministry burnout.
  2. Articulate the practices and boundaries required for a healthy personal life amid the demands of ministry.
  3. Articulate the challenges of spiritual and interpersonal dynamics in the ministry environment.
  4. Describe a variety of spiritual practices and identify those appropriate both to themselves and to the context of their ministry.
  5. Theologically reflect on case-studies in leadership settings and integrate the learning within their context.


Book Review (1500 words) 25%
Interview and report (1500 words) 25%
Essay (3000 words) 50%

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Barton, R.H. Sacred Rhythms: Arranging our Lives for Spiritual Transformation. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2006.

Benner, D.G. Desiring God’s Will: Aligning our Hearts with the Heart of God. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2005.

Blackerby, H. & R. Blackerby. Spiritual Leadership: Moving People onto God’s Agenda. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2011.

Foster, R.J. Celebration of Discipline. New York: Harper San Francisco, 1978.

Greenman, J.P. Life in the Spirit: Spiritual Formation in Theological Perspective. Downers Grove: Intervarsity Press, 2010.

Roberts, R.C. Emotions: An Essay in Aid of Moral Psychology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007.

Roberts, R.C. Spirituality and Human Emotion. Michigan: Eerdmans, 1983.

Sailers, D.E. The Soul in Paraphrase: Prayer and Religious Affections. New York: Seabury Press, 1980.

Smith, J.K.A. You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit. Grand Rapids: Michigan: Brazos Press, 2016.

Willard, D. The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives. New York: Harper Collins, 1988.