Imagery of Regent people and campus

Doctoral Project Abstract

Learning to Lead in a Global Village: A Leadership Development Curriculum for 21st Century Chinese Global Leaders

Jim Backstrom
Regent University

The ascendancy of China to its current status of a major world player, and its potential status as a super-power, raises the stakes for Americans and Chinese to learn how to understand each other and work together. "Learning to Lead in a Global Village" is an interactive, hands-on leadership development course designed primarily for Mainland Chinese university level students and graduates wanting to work cross-culturally in business, education, government, or ministry. While specifically designed for a Western instructor training Asians leadership students, the curriculum provides a framework for necessary understanding, attitudes and skills in building a bi-cultural leadership team if taught primarily to either Chinese or American students, or a mixture. The goal of the course is to provide culturally adaptive, values-based, biblically-informed, transformational leadership that is so needed in facing the challenges of the 21st Century.

China's worldview and values are both varied and cohesive, producing a society that is alternatively innovative and conservative in its actions, and embracing and reactionary in its interactions with other cultures and forces in the world. Moreover, there runs a deep and understandable pride in Chinese for their cultural heritage and practices. Chinese seeking to lead and work closely with Americans, or others who are not Chinese, need to come to terms with these differences between themselves and others. Westerners who would lead effectively among the Chinese also need to prepare by knowing some of the major themes Chinese history, culture, and current political realities, and be prepared for differences in how leadership is understood. Americans may well find it quite difficult to put aside their own superpower ethnocentrism in order to come to understanding and acceptance with another even more complex, layered and historically grounded superpower ethnocentrism. This course cuts both ways in helping each party face these deep culturally related issues. It then points both to the truths and commands of the Bible, especially the leadership model of Jesus, as the firm foundation to critique both Western and Eastern leadership models, and build leadership that are truly normative and trans-cultural.


For more information regarding this project please contact