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Duke University

Church Administration Theology and Time Management

Duke University via Coursera


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As church pastors and leaders, how should you manage Christian church administration? Shouldn’t Christian theology matter in church administration? If so, how? At the same time, how should you utilize management principles and techniques to make your church a more faithful church, rather than turning it into a secular enterprise? In this Duke Divinity+ non-credit course for church pastors and leaders, you will learn the importance of approaching church administration theologically. More specifically, you will engage church admin as church practices whose theological goals are discipleship, formation, witness, and worship. As such, church administration should be a critically important component of pastoral leadership and competence. Given such a theological understanding of church administration, we will draw upon and appropriate management excellence and know-how to serve as tools for these theological goals. As the first course in the Duke Divinity+ Church Administration Specialization series, this course will focus on developing a theology of church administration and then applying it to time management—a huge, ongoing challenge for pastors and church leaders alike–in such a way as to reshape classic time management principles and practices into a robust Christian stewardship of time.


  • Church Admin as Church Practices
    • What’s distinctive about church administration? We will examine this crucial question by establishing why theology should matter in church admin. First, we will introduce the course by delineating our overall theological approach to church administration, namely, appropriating management tools as a means to achieving theological ends of church admin. Then, we will draw upon Stanley Hauerwas’s insights on Christian ethics to unpack why church admin constitutes church practices and what this means for its theological goals and stewardship. Closer to home, you’ll poll people in your church to discover their perceptions of “theology” and “church administration.” In doing so, you will better appreciate why Hauerwas’s critiques and insights are relevant for your church. Lastly, we’ll take some time to make sure you have a clear picture of how this course works and where it fits in the Church Administration Specialization.
  • Church Admin as Pastoral Leadership
    • How important should church admin be to your pastoral role and leadership? To address this question, we will begin by looking at the wisdom of the early church to glean what characterized effective church leadership. We will then examine why church admin is critical to pastoral leadership and competence and, therefore, why it’s crucial for your pastoral credibility, trust, and authority. As an important course assignment, you will identify your key pastoral priorities as the basis for a clear, shared understanding with your church leadership team.
  • Time Management to Time Stewardship
    • Given the theological foundations of church admin from Weeks 1 and 2, we turn to a concrete application of your time management. Time is one of the most precious resources we have, and in particular for pastors (and lay leaders), time management perennially ranks as a top ministry challenge. This week, you will learn key time management principles, a theology of time stewardship, and how these principles can be used as a tool for stewardship of time. Correlatively, you will examine how you actually spend your time and develop a plan to better steward the time God has given you.
  • Delegation and Meeting Stewardship
    • Now that you’ve developed a plan to steward your time according to your theological convictions and your pastoral priorities, the challenge is to follow through and align your schedule with the intentions expressed in your plan. This week, you’ll develop the skills you’ll need to get and stay on track by exploring the power of “no,” the art of delegation, and principles of meeting stewardship.

Taught by

Rae Cho


4.8 rating at Coursera based on 18 ratings

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