The TLJ is a double-blind peer-reviewed online open-access journal that analyzes the intersection of Christian faith and leadership. Initially, the journal will produce one volume per year with the goal of at least two volumes per year as approved submissions allow. Volumes will contain approximately 6-8 articles.

The need for the TLJ was born out of several observations.

The church has a sizeable – perhaps larger than any other organization ever - historical, phenomenological , and cultural pool of data to draw from and yet has no established theology of leadership. At one level, this is understandable as the primary commission to the church is steeped in followership. However, it would be anticipated that out of faithful followership, leadership would take its appropriate role. Yet, the church’s understanding of how this occurs seems quite weak. Additionally, when the church thinks of leadership, it often thinks only in terms of ecclesiastical leadership. While obviously critical to the health of the ecclesial organization, this also seems to run counter to a commission that intends its followers to establish themselves as leaders in all aspects of cultural influence including business, arts, education, family, government, and media.

On the other hand, it is the church’s belief that Jesus is the interpretive paradigm to all truth. Thus, a leadership that is divorced from an image of its Savior, even if pragmatically effective, is untenable within a theology of leadership. This does not mean that all leadership theory must be directly associated with Jesus in order to be constructively used by the church. The church has held since the beginning that the image of God is imparted upon all of humanity and as such, even when unaware or in rebellion towards Him, can still display elements of His character, including leadership. Still, the type of leadership that Jesus displayed seems as though it would be divinely different than that which would naturally arise out of the minds and hearts of a sinful humanity. Thus, simply importing pragmatically effective leadership theories into the practice of followers of Jesus may not result in leadership that reflects Him.

It is the editors’ hope that TLJ will fill this void. More than that, it is the editors’ hope that, much like the journal’s logo, theology and leadership will create a spectrum that bleeds into each other. While some articles will be primarily theological in nature, it is theological development that sheds light on leadership. Other articles will be primarily leadership development in nature and yet it is leadership development that sheds light on an understanding of the Christian faith.

This then provides a parameter for the types of submissions that the TLJ will be seeking: research contributing to a Christian understanding of leadership; analysis that contributes to an understanding of leadership in all spheres of cultural influence; scholarly work that uses a variety of methodologies; biblical support drawn from both Old and New Testament; qualitative (including exegetical), quantitative, and mixed-methods submissions are encouraged; from all branches of historic Christian faith.

Vision

The TLJ seeks to be the primary repository and resource for the development of a Christian theology of leadership through rigorous research that addresses practical application.

Broadly Christian: In order to represent the diverse roles that the many parts of Christ’s body hold, TLJ will encourage contributions from the wide spectrum of biblical faith.

Biblically Based: In order to develop a uniquely Christian approach to leadership, TLJ will expect submissions to either provide or base through citation explicit biblical thinking and development.

Research Rigor: In order to provide trustworthy resources, TLJ will hold its authors to the highest research standards through a double blind review process with reviewers who have gained post-graduate expertise in their fields of study.

Functional Resource: In order to be extensively useful, TLJ will expect its authors to write in a manner conducive to college educated readers by defining all technical language and providing practical application examples.

Unique and Creative Expression: In order to accurately represent the innovative leadership of God, TLJ will encourage contributors to submit unique and creative expressions of leadership.

Expansive Application: In order to practice the restoration of creation through Jesus in every corner of the universe, TLJ will encourage submissions that address both ecclesial and non-ecclesial leadership environments that effect all aspects of culture and our world.

Easy Access: In order to be a useful repository for leaders, TLJ will focus efforts on disseminating its information in the simplest and most frugal ways. Whenever possible, access will be free, public, and open. Additionally, TLJ archives its articles with LOCKSS and CLOCKSS.

Theological Framework

Recognizing that all people exist within a worldview, it is important to understand the theological perspective that the Theology of Leadership Journal (TLJ) will hold to. The following four statements are the core and foundation of the journal’s theological views, which will allow writers from all branches of orthodox Christian faith to be contributors.

  • There is one God who is infinitely perfect, existing eternally in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • That Jesus is and has always been fully God, the promised Messianic King, the Son of God come to earth as a servant, in fully human form.
  • By grace alone, through faith in Christ's saving work and not because of any merit on our part, we are accepted by God and receive the Holy Spirit, who renews our hearts while equipping and calling us to good works.[1]
  • Jesus is the Gospel as seen through his work on the cross, where He broke the dominion of sin and evil over us, through His resurrection that raises us to new life, through His ascension that proclaims Him as sovereign God over the universe, and through His return when His ministry will culminate in the renewal of the entire material creation and the resurrection of our bodies.

While the journal is likely to publish articles that disagree with each other, TLJ will not publish articles that undermine these basic tenets of the historic Christian faith. This is not to suggest that Christians and those of other faiths cannot speak deeply and critically on these topics; only that TLJ will not be an archive for those discussions.

 

[1] Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification, Lutheran World Federation and the Catholic Church. 1999.