Original Research

Christian Leadership as a trans-disciplinary field of study

Volker Kessler, Louise Kretzschmar
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 36, No 1 | a1334 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v36i1.1334 | © 2015 Volker Kessler, Louise Kretzschmar | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 February 2014 | Published: 15 April 2015

About the author(s)

Volker Kessler, Akademie f
Louise Kretzschmar, Department of Philosophy, Practical and Systematic Theology, University of South Africa,, South Africa


The focus of this article is on Christian Leadership as a theological and academic field of study, rather than on the praxis of Christian leadership. We define Christian Leadership and note the varying ecclesial, theological and social contexts within which research in the field of Christian Leadership is conducted. We discuss some trends and areas of interest that emerge from within African and European contexts, especially those of South Africa and Germany. In the article, we show how research in Christian Leadership is linked to other disciplines, both theological and non-theological. Finally, we identify key areas of research and methodological issues relevant to the field of Christian Leadership, particularly in relation to the disciplines of Practical Theology and Theological Ethics. We give special credit to Schleiermacher who defined Practical Theology as the ‘theory of church leadership’.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Christian leadership is understood as a trans-disciplinary field of study that draws on both theological and other disciplines (such as Management Sciences, Psychology and Sociology). Christian leadership can be pursued as a distinct discipline or a trans-disciplinary field of study, but it cannot be pursued in isolation.


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