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Transformation, Renewal and the Agent of Change

Foundational unit for postgraduate

In a day where an abundance of organisational change strategies are available to church and denominational leaders it is vital that these not be introduced to church life without a critical evaluation of their compatibility with an evangelical ecclesiology. To this end this unit will explore the following issues: Theological Perspectives on Change in Community life;  Group Discernment Processes: Spiritual Discernment and Biblical Reflection;  Modes of Change: Evolutionary, Life Cycle, Revolutionary, Dialectical etc.;  Theoretical Frameworks for Reading Organisational Change (Psychodynamics, charisma & defensiveness; Organisational Cultural Change, Learning Organisations/Systems; New Physics/Chaos Theory; and Postmodern/Political); and Facilitating and Fostering Change (Strategic Planning; Open Space Technology; Action Research; and Appreciative Inquiry.

Learning Outcomes: Upon successful completion of this unit, it is expected that students will be able to:

Describe human responses, resistances and attractions to organizational and church change and its inevitability in a changing socio-cultural context.
Describe various approaches to the management of change.
Evaluate assumptions that underlie various approaches to strategic planning and organisational change.
(level 2) Evaluate change strategies that have been applied in the student’s own organisational experience
(postgraduates) Articulate a theological critique of the various models of change and strategic planning that are presented within the unit

Level one

Book Review 1000 words   25%
Case Study 1000 words   25%
Essay 2000 words   50%

Level two

Book Review 1250 words   25%
Case Study 1250 words   25%
Essay 2500 words   50%


Book Review 1500 words   25%
Case Study 1500 words   25%
Essay 3000 words   50%

Prerequisites: nil

Faculty:  Andrew Menzies


Recommended reading:

* = set texts recommended for purchase

Bate, P. Strategies for Cultural Change. London: Butterworth Heinmann, 1995.
Goleman, D, Boyatzis R, McKee, A. Primal Leadership: Realizing the Power of Emotional Intelligence. Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2000.
Handy, C. The Elephant and the Flea: Reflections of a Reluctant Capitalist, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2003.
Heifetz, R A, & Linsky M. Leadership on the Line: Staying Alive through the Dangers of Leading. Boston:Harvard Business School Press, 2002.
Kotter, J P. Leading Change, Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996.
*Mead, L B. Transforming Congregations for the Future. New York: Alban Institute, 1994.
Owen, H. The Power of Spirit: How Organizations Transform. San Francisco: Berrett Koehler, 2000.
Robinson, AB. Transforming Congregational Culture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2003.
Rogers, E M. Diffusion of Innovations, 4th. Ed. New York: Free Press, 1995.
*Roxburgh, A J. & Romanuk, F. The Missional Leader: Equipping Your Church to Reach a Changing World. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2006.