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Doctoral Project Abstract

Developing Biblically Principled Leaders for the 21st Century

Robert W. Bruton
Regent University

It is not surprising that in many third world countries and in the Central and Eastern European countries that are struggling with the residual effects of 50 years of communist domination, the paradigm of leadership that has been internalized by the vast majority of leaders in virtually every facet of society is very authoritarian. That, coupled with a minimal understanding of free market principles by the current generation of senior leaders is making it extremely difficult for many of these countries to make substantial economic and social gains now that they must compete in the global economy. The rising generation of leaders has a much better grasp of free market principles, but they too will internalize the authoritarian leadership model, with all of its moral, ethical and functional weaknesses, unless they are given an alternative. The objective of these 16 seminar modules is three fold: first, to present a program to train English speaking, indigenous, Christian teachers in biblical principles of leadership so that they are empowered to begin to use them in their own leadership practices and to present this alternative leadership paradigm to the rising leaders of their own nation. The second objective is t o encourage leaders to explore both scripture and scholarly leadership literature to facilitate leadership development. The third objective is to expose leaders to biblical leadership principles from the history of Christianity as well as from contemporary scholarly work in leadership, where some principles that are consistent with the biblical model can also be found.

Each seminar module consists of a PowerPoint presentation on the topic, a handout of key ideas and recommended further readings and a set of discussion questions. After an introductory session, the program begins with a focus on the internal life of a leader and progress through direct, organizational and strategic leadership concepts. Each seminar is designed to be a thought provoking stimulus for further discussion, reading and research by the participants, as well as to present biblical principles and, when appropriate, current leadership thought pertinent to the leadership topic of the seminar. The series includes a plan to help recipients of this training begin to internalize the biblical paradigm and to develop habits and methods of using it. It also includes a conceptual plan for creating a leadership development program within an organization. When presented in its entirety in English, this is approximately 32-40 hours of instructional material, depending upon the degree of interaction and discussion with the recipients. Working with a translator will approximately double the time required to present the material.

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