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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Leadership in religious context today: Building individual and organizational capacity for listening, learning and leading
by Punnolil, George, Ed.D., Rowan University, 2010, 496; 3418249
Abstract (Summary)

The Church has lost much of her relevance, credibility and impact in the modern world. There is serious leadership crisis in the Church today. Basing on my own Church-experience, I inquire into the leadership’s consistent and continuing failure to be just, compassionate, caring and trusting. I explore the often displayed behavior that is over-protective, anti-learning and self-sealing.

When the Church leadership fails to understand and follow the lessons taught by Jesus and reach up to the moral purpose and living standard set by him, they fail personally and collectively to hear the cry of the wounded humanity. The Church needs to show it understands the flaws of its own internal culture by examining its own conscience, its own practices, and its own reflexes when faced with challenge. The Church has to show not only that she has learned from its failures, but also that she is truly willing to transform herself. I believe that a true willingness to transform herself will come only when the leadership at all levels learn and build the individual and collective capacity for listening, learning and leading.

Through this research study, I advocate a learning program that will hopefully enable and empower the Church leaders (a) to learn how to engage each other and support one another as true leaders that we are called to be, (b) to create structures and systems that are flexible and adaptive, that enable rather than constrain, (c) to develop an organization that is mature enough to rejoice in diversity and complexity, and in which people flourish by working together as a team, (d) to develop stewardship as an organizational ethic and practice, and (e) to create a new leadership team— a change group—a learning community, around where the new values, beliefs and norms could be practiced, expressed and nurtured.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Doolittle, Virginia
Commitee: Gallia, Thomas J., Pillay, Gautam
School: Rowan University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 71/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, Adult education, Religious education
Keywords: Church leadership, Leadership development, Organizational capacity
Publication Number: 3418249
ISBN: 978-1-124-16378-9
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