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Publication Date

Summer 6-8-2017


The thesis of this project is that intentional and explicit wisdom development in Christian leaders needs cultivated using current leadership development approaches. Like other nations, the Israelites valued wisdom. In the Old Testament, hokhmahi is used to identify the insight into the nature of things obscured by complexity and uncertainty. Israel’s wisdom is exegeted by Jesus Christ. The nature of things can now only be properly understood in him. This dissertation argues that the nurture of wisdom among Christian leaders is a much-needed addition to their development.

Leadership development is determined by what leadership is. The first part of this dissertation considers the contemporary understanding of leadership. The Christian understanding of leadership and how it compares with the general understanding of leadership is then considered. Lastly, observations is made on the role of wisdom in leadership.

In the second part, the current research on wisdom is considered. Furthermore, biblical wisdom is compared to the general understanding of wisdom. Drawing from observations from the first part about what makes good leaders, reasons why acquiring wisdom may help leaders to become better leaders are explained. Leaders must make good judgments in a context of chaos and uncertainty, balancing the demands of the self and the environment, between personal, interpersonal and interpersonal interests, between the present and the distant future, between the good and right for the individual and that of the whole, and between results and values. Wisdom will enable a leader to better meet these challenges.

Although knowledge can be directly transferred and its reception and acquisition tested, the nature of wisdom and the task of Christian leadership defies the direct teaching of wisdom. Hence, in the final section, an analysis takes place regarding models for wisdom nurturing and how these can help shape similar processes for the development of Christian leaders.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Augsburger, David

Document Type





leadership, wisdom, leadership development




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November 2018

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Christianity Commons