The purpose of this research was to investigate potential
correlations between three selected programs in graduate theological
education, offering increased emphasis on leadership development and
actual leadership formation among their graduates in pastoral ministry.
The three institutions selected for this study were the Biblical Institute for Leadership Development (BILD), Vanguard University (formerly Southern California College), and Dallas Theological Seminary. A list of graduates from each of these institutions between 1994 and 2000 was secured. Those presently serving congregations were requested to give copies of the Leadership Practices Inventory (Observer) to three of their congregational lay leaders.
Graduates of the three institutions were reported as using each of the five leadership practices more frequently than did graduates of Andrews Theological Seminary.
The authors conclude: “Given the correlation between leadership practices and pastoral success, the formation of key leadership practices that prepare a person for success in ministry is an appropriate goal of graduate theological education. The assessment data applied in this third stage, while offering a limited sample, affirms that experimentation with leadership curriculum and delivery in the three institutions studied has translated to greater ministry effectiveness. Graduates of the three examined programs noted as offering unusual leadership development integration into their programs consistently scored higher in the LPI assessment in all five scales after four or more years of ministry. It is our observation that both curriculum revision and church-centered delivery paradigms impact the effectiveness of leadership development in graduate theological education” (pp. 75-76).
“The researchers believe the mission of graduate theological education calls for a paradigm revision that accomplishes integration of theory and practice and theological reflection and leadership skills within a professional learning context inclusive of coaching” (p. 76).