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Young Adult Christian Leadership Formation for a Post-Christian Australian Context

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    • Publication Information:
      Digital Commons @ Fuller
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      Digital Commons @ Fuller (Fuller Theological Seminary)
    • Abstract:
      Stirling Theological College has always been an institution adapting to the challenges of forming people for leadership, mission and ministry. Birthed as a training college for Churches of Christ in Australia, Stirling has had a fruitful history of training people for leadership, most particularly for local church congregations. In light of traditional models of training, this project proposes an innovative framework of leadership formation, that equips young people to lead in the diverse settings of everyday life and work, rather than simply for dedicated ecclesial contexts. This project develops a University accredited formation program to assist young adults to reimagine Christian leadership beyond vocational ministry, and participate in collective, formative, Kingdom-based practices in order to bring about positive social change. Part One of this paper discusses the history of Stirling Theological College with a focus on leadership formation. Following this is an outline of the challenges of forming emerging generations in credible Christian leadership and the resulting implications. The second part of this project provides a theological foundation for leadership formation, which begins with a review of relevant literature on leadership character, spiritual formation and future leadership trajectories. Two biblical studies on leadership, one from the Pastoral Epistles and one based on the characteristics of the Kingdom of God are also included. Key principles derived from both studies are then applied in a new vision for leadership formation that integrates academic resources, formative practices and theological reflection. The third part of this project outlines the practical dimensions of creating a new unit of study, for young adults, focused on Christian leadership formation. This includes implementing academic resources and numerous practical elements. Finally there is an evaluation of the pilot project, concluding with reflections on the value of the work and the inspiring and transformative potential of such a program.
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