Resources for Leadership Philosophy

Faith changes the nature of leadership. What distinguishes Christian leadership from other forms of leadership is its purpose -- to cultivate thriving communities that bear witness to the reign of God.

Our resources, while not exhaustive, will allow you to explore this topic more fully. The foundational resources are important for the development of transformative leaders. The formational resources are of a different sort. These are meant to spark your imagination by introducing you to stories and ideas that have surprising insight into the practice of Christian leadership.

Foundational Resources

  • After Virtue by Alasdair MacIntyre – The philosophical underpinning of narrative, tradition, practices and virtues in Christian character and leadership
  • Church Leadership by Lovett Weems – Presents leadership as a function of vision, team, culture and integrity
  • Faith As a Way of Life by Christian Scharen – Highlights how faith is a way for all areas of life and can provide a vision for pastoral leadership
  • The Franciscan Leader translated by Philip O'Mara – A classic text traditionally attributed to St. Bonaventure that outlines six practices for leadership in a Christian community following St. Francis’ vision of a six-winged seraph
  • God’s Potters by Jackson Carroll – A comprehensive look at research describing the leadership of Protestant and Catholic pastors
  • God's Ambassadors by E. Brooks Holifield – Outlines the history of how clergy in America became who and what they are today while arguing that clergy continue to retain the same authority today as they had in earlier periods
  • Good to Great by Jim Collins – Explores how 11 companies succeeded and the traits that they shared
  • Leadership and Spirit by Russ Moxley – Helps a leader tap into his or her own spirit and the spirit of those around her
  • Leadership Can Be Taught by Sharon Daloz Parks – Unfolds Ronald Heifetz’s classroom strategy of “case in point” for teaching and developing leaders
  • Leadership Without Easy Answers by Ronald Heifetz – Explores the distinction between technical problems and adaptive challenges. (For further reflection, see videos of Ronald Heifetz on The nature of adaptive leadership, Leadership, adaptability, thriving and What’s Christian about Christian leadership? )
  • Leading Minds by Howard Gardner – Opens a new view on leaders as storytellers, while telling the story of several exceptional leaders
  • Leading Quietly by Joseph Badaracco – Focuses our attention on the quiet leaders in the middle of an organization who are essential for its success
  • Leading with the Heart by Mike Krzyzewski – Leadership lessons from one of the greatest college basketball coaches. (For further reflection, see videos of Mike Krzyzewski: How can all of us together be one? and What’s Christian about Christian leadership? )
  • Resurrecting Excellence by L. Gregory Jones and Kevin Armstrong – Seeks to answer the question: What does excellence look like in the church and ministry? (For further reflection, see F&L content by L. Gregory Jones and Kevin Armstrong.)
  • Transformational Ministry by Michael Jinkins – Situates leadership in the church in the way of the cross. (For further reflection, see F&L content by Michael Jinkins.)
  • Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden – Outlines Wooden’s “Pyramid of Success,” which summarizes what he learned about leadership while coaching at UCLA

Formational Resources