Leading in Difficult Church Change (Online) TRS5113

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course is offered as professional development for recognised church leaders responding to internal and external pressures for organisational change. It will explore how to interpret and act in church challenges by identifying and evaluating some key tools and frameworks deployed in recent change management practice and leadership studies. Participants will situate these in theological perspective and design strategic interventions for responding to the reality of their own situation. This will include engaging in conscious practices leaders need to navigate difficult culture change in a religious based organisation.


8 x 2 hr lectures, scheduled weekly, plus 4 hrs of seminars joined to 4 of those lecture times (but with a break between).  Delivered as a micro-credential online.

Requirements of Entry

SCQF level 9 (undergraduate degree) or equivalent recognised prior learning at the discretion of the Head of Subject.

Excluded Courses





1200-word portfolio (40%)

2000-word report (60%)

Course Aims

This course aims to

■ Engage participants with interpretive practices, theological perspectives and practical tools for responding to critical challenges in their church organisation.

■ Equip participants to critically assess their own leadership assumptions and orientations and recalibrate their praxis.

■ Increase participants' confidence in navigating organisational uncertainty and expectations of leading change. 

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Analyse a real time change challenge in their church context through evaluation and application of interpretive tools and perspectives from theology, social science and organisational change management.

■ Reflect critically on their personal leadership role and practice in the context of managing church change.

■ Synthesise their own leadership strategy for intervening in an organisational change challenge that is actionable and that takes personal, internal and external context, theological factors, and behavioural factors into consideration.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.