*With Fear and Trembling: Leadership in the New Testament and Today


Spring 2020
Tues, Thur

Throughout history, many Christian leaders have inflicted tremendous pain on others, discredited their work, and even ruined their own lives by failing to heed biblical messages about leadership or by failing to respond wisely to social and cultural forces that complicate Christian leadership. In this course, we will examine New Testament passages that address the topic of leadership, exploring how they can inform and transform both our self-perceptions as leaders and the ways in which we lead others. Also, by considering contemporary case studies, we will practice confronting the complex problems of actual leadership with a biblically-informed imagination.


  • Understand the social contexts within which early Christian leaders operated;
  • Be critical of common leadership ideals both in the New Testament period and today;
  • Develop informed positions with regard to important issues pertaining to leadership.


  • Move beyond idealized portrayals in order to perceive early Christian leaders as historical people navigating complex and uncertain issues;
  • Be self-critical with respect to matters of personal power and/or weakness;
  • Develop a theological perspective in which leadership is a response to divine initiative.


  • Be able to carefully exegete New Testament passages related to leadership;
  • Be able to assess contemporary leadership in the light of the New Testament.