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Online · School of Divinity · Christian Leadership & Church Ministries

Biblical Foundations of Leadership

  • CG
  • Section 8WK
  • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020
  • Modified 01/13/2020

Course Description

This course explores the topic of leadership from a biblical and theological perspective. Essential biblical principles bearing on the purpose and character of leadership will be examined. Instances of leadership in the Old and New Testaments will be analyzed within their biblical context, and in terms of contemporary understanding of leadership, with a special focus on the leadership of Jesus Christ as seen in the New Testament.





Outstanding leadership is important if organizations are to succeed. This course examines the leadership examples found in the Bible and teaches the student how to model his/her personal leadership skills after biblical characters and principles.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Investigate the biblical foundations for a biblical leader.
  2. Evaluate or propose strategies for incorporating Jesus’ style of mentorship into ministry.
  3. Examine the philosophical underpinnings for leaders and leadership of Kingdom leadership
  4. Compare and contrast the biblical models of leadership with secular models of leadership.

Course Resources

Required Resources

The resources below are provided in the course at no cost to the student.

Blanchard, Ken & Hodges, Phil. Lead Like Jesus. Nashville, TN.: Thomas Nelson, 2008.

Forrest, Ben K. & Chet Roden (Eds.). Biblical Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2017.

Howell, Don N., Jr. Servants of the Servant: A Biblical Theology of Leadership. Eugene, OR: WIPF & Stock Publishers, 2003.

Malphurs, Aubrey. Being Leaders: The Nature of Authentic Christian Leadership. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House Co., 2003.

Malphurs, Aubrey. Advanced Strategic Planning: A 21st-Century Model for Church &

Ministry Leaders. 3rd Edition. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 2013.

Disclaimer: The above resources provide information consistent with the latest research regarding the subject area. Liberty University does not necessarily endorse specific personal, religious, philosophical, or political positions found in these resources.

Additional Materials for Learning

  1. Computer with basic audio/video output equipment
  2. Internet access (broadband recommended)
  3. Blackboard recommended browsers
  4. Microsoft Word
  5. School of Divinity Writing Guide:

Course Assignments

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will submit a 300-word thread to the question posed. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 3 other classmates’ threads (minimum). Each reply must be 100 words.

Mentor Interviews

Using a list of questions, the student will interview 2 Christian ministry leaders who have mentoring relationships (currently in practice). The student will then create a 5-page report. Confirmations: The student must submit the name and email addresses of the interviewees as well as the time and place for each interview. Report: The student will create a 5 page report comparing and contrasting the 2 mentor interviews. The report must be in the style format pertaining to the student’s degree program

Leadership Audit Analysis

The student will submit a 9-page analysis pertaining to the various leadership audits stemming from the Malphurs textbook reading assignments. Each paper must contain a title page, 1-page introduction, 7 page review of the student’s audit scores, and a 1-page conclusion describing 2 action points stemming from the analysis and a bibliography/reference page. The analysis must be in the style format pertaining to the student’s degree program.

Biblical Leadership Theme Reports

The student will submit two (2) 5-page reports pertaining to the major leadership themes stemming from the Forrest/Roden textbook reading assignments. Each paper must contain a title page, 1-page introduction, 3 page summary analyses of major leadership themes, 1-page conclusion and bibliography/reference page. The report must be in the style format pertaining to the student’s degree program

Leadership Development Plan

The student will create a 12-page (with a minimum of 10 footnotes/citations) ministry plan that will explain the process for developing Biblical grounded, healthy, growing, multiplying leaders. Your plan must include a title page, 1-page introduction, 10 pages covering the five essential areas below, 1-page conclusion and a bibliography/reference page. The five areas are:

1. The Biblical passages for leader/ leadership (Theology).

2. The Biblical principles related to leader/ leadership (Philosophy).

3. Examination of different leadership styles for individual leaders and leadership at the organizational level. (Methods and Models)

4. How to create a healthy ministry/work environment that equips people and leaders to explore/ successfully accomplish the mission and new initiatives. (Culture)

5. Your plan, written in the first person, of how you are going to develop people and leaders who fulfill and serve the organizational mission where God has planted you . (Missional connection)

Course Grading

Course Requirements Checklist


Discussion Board Forums (3 at 100 pts ea)


Mentor Interviews






Leadership Audit Analysis


Biblical Leadership Theme Reports (2 at 100 pts ea)


Leadership Development Plan





Late Assignment Policy

Course Assignments, including discussion boards, exams, and other graded assignments, should be submitted on time.

If the student is unable to complete an assignment on time, then he or she must contact the instructor immediately by email.

Assignments that are submitted after the due date without prior approval from the instructor will receive the following deductions:

  1. Late assignments submitted within one week after the due date will receive up to a 10% deduction.
  2. Assignments submitted more than one week and less than 2 weeks late will receive up to a 20% deduction.
  3. Assignments submitted two weeks late or after the final date of the course will not be accepted outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.
  4. Group projects, including group discussion board threads and/or replies, and assignments will not be accepted after the due date outside of special circumstances (e.g. death in the family, significant personal health issues), which will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis by the instructor.

Disability Assistance

Students with a disability and those with medical conditions associated with pregnancy may contact Liberty University’s Online Office of Disability Accommodation Support (ODAS) at [email protected] for accommodations.  Such accommodations require appropriate documentation of your condition.   For more information about ODAS and the accommodations process, including how to request an accommodation, please visit Requests for accommodations not related to disabilities or pregnancy must be directed to the Registrar’s Office, which generally handles medical needs support.

If you have a complaint related to disability discrimination or an accommodation that was not provided, you may contact ODAS or the Office of Equity and Compliance by phone at (434) 592-4999 or by email at [email protected].  Click to see a full copy of Liberty’s Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy or the Student Disability Grievance Policy and Procedures.

Course Attendance

In an effort to comply with U.S. Department of Education policies, attendance is measured by physical class attendance or any submission of a required assignment within the enrollment dates of the course (such as examinations, written papers or projects, any discussion board posts, etc.) or initiating any communication with one’s professor regarding an academic subject. More information regarding the attendance policy can be found in the Academic Course Catalogs. Regular attendance in online courses is expected throughout the length of the term. Students who do not attend within the first week of a sub-term by submitting a required academic assignment (such as the Course Requirements Checklist, an examination, written paper or project, discussion board post, or other academic activity) will be dropped from the course. Students who wish to re-engage in the course are encouraged to contact Academic Advising to discuss their enrollment options. Students who begin an online course, but at some point in the semester cease attending, and do not provide official notification to withdraw, will be assigned a grade of “FN” (Failure for Non-Attendance). Students wishing to withdraw from courses after the official start date should familiarize themselves with the withdrawal policy.

Grading Scale

A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D D- F
940-1010 920-939 900-919 860-899 840-859 820-839 780-819 760-779 740-759 700-739 680-699 679 and below

For courses with a Pass/NP final grade, please refer to the Course Grading section of this syllabus for the assignment requirements and/or point value required to earn a Passing final grade.

Add/Drop Policy

The full policy statement and procedures are published in the Policy Directory.

Honor Code

Liberty University comprises a network of students, Alumni, faculty, staff and supporters that together form a Christian community based upon the truth of the Bible. This truth defines our foundational principles, from our Doctrinal Statement to the Code of Honor. These principles irrevocably align Liberty University’s operational procedures with the long tradition of university culture, which remains distinctively Christian, designed to preserve and advance truth. Our desire is to create a safe, comfortable environment within our community of learning, and we extend our academic and spiritual resources to all of our students with the goal of fostering academic maturity, spiritual growth and character development.

Communities are predicated on shared values and goals. The Code of Honor, an expression of the values from which our Doctrinal Statement was born, defines the fundamental principles by which our community exists. At the core of this code lie two essential concepts: a belief in the significance of all individuals, and a reliance on the existence of objective truth.

While we acknowledge that some may disagree with various elements of the Code of Honor, we maintain the expectation that our students will commit to respect and uphold the Code while enrolled at Liberty University.

Adherence to the principles and concepts established within facilitates the success of our students and strengthens the Liberty community.

The Code of Honor can be viewed in its entirety at


LEAD 510


Blanchard, Ken & Hodges, Phil. Lead Like Jesus (2008)

Forrest, Biblical Leadership (2017)

Howell, Servants of the Servant (2003).

Malphurs, Being Leaders (2003).

Malphurs, Advanced Strategic Planning (2013)


Reading & Study




Forrest, Introduction

Howell: Introduction, chs. 1–2, Part 6

Blanchard Introduction, ch 1

Malphurs (2013): ch 3

1 presentation

Course Requirements Checklist

Class Introductions




Forrest, chs 1-10

Howell: chs. 3–10

Malphurs (2003): ch. 1-2

1 presentation

DB Forum 1

Mentor Interviews—Confirmations






Forrest, OT, chs 11-19

Blanchard ch. 2

Malphurs( 2003): ch. 3-4

2 presentations

Biblical Leadership Themes of the OT



Howell: chs. 14–23

Blanchard ch 3

Malphurs (2003): ch. 5-6

1 presentation

DB Forum 2

Mentor Interviews—Report







Blanchard, ch 4

Malphurs (2003): ch. 7-8

Malphurs (2013): ch 4-5

1 presentation

Leadership Audit Analysis



Blanchard, ch 5

Forrest, NT chs 20–Epilogue

Malphurs (2013): ch 6-7

2 presentations

Biblical Leadership Themes of the NT




Blanchard chs 6-7

2 presentations

Leadership Development Plan



1 presentation


DB Forum 3







DB = Discussion Board


NOTE: Each course module/week begins on Monday morning at 12:00 a.m. (ET) and ends on Sunday night at 11:59 p.m. (ET). The final module/week ends at 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday.