Date of Award

Spring 6-2015

Document Type


Primary Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Camp

Secondary Advisor

Dr. Melinda Thompson

Committee Reader

Dr. Carson Reed


This doctor of ministry thesis presents the results of a project intended to train leaders in principles of character-based leadership. I applied five principles drawn from Proverbs to the current situation of the Ulysses Church of Christ. The principles included community development, integrity, listening, ministering to the marginalized, and shepherding. I intentionally focused this character-based leadership training more on theological principles found in Proverbs than on skill development or leadership theories from the social sciences. I paid some attention to skill development and incorporated some principles from the social sciences, particularly psychology, but I placed greater emphasis on learning what God desires for spiritual leadership based on Proverbs.

I used five training sessions to teach principles of leadership and two sessions for evaluation. The five teaching sessions consisted of classroom instruction in the principles from Proverbs mentioned above. I gave assignments each week to be completed before the next meeting. Three assignments involved going to visit members of the congregation who were not part of the participant group (assignments for sessions on community building, listening, and shepherding); two activities engaged members of the participant group in conversing about their experiences and perspectives (assignments for sessions on integrity and ministering to the marginalized). The participant group consisted of nine men and seven women, all but one serving as leaders in the church.

Several important themes emerged, including the need for more active engagement of leaders with members, the need for more visitation and listening, and the need to prepare for and/or prevent discord in the body. The project elicited positive attitudes from the participants and prepared them for active ministry functions. The community building and reconciliation that occurred during the course of the project makes evident the significance of the intervention.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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