Lisa R. Berlinger and associates at the Yale Divinity School developed and conducted a religious leadership workshop over an eighteen-month period beginning September 1998. The workshop was aimed at developing leadership and capacity of the leaders of faith based organizations. Berlinger and associates identified the need for integrative approaches to inform the experiences of leaders with philosophical, theological, and theoretical concepts to develop theologies of the practice of leadership in faith based organizations. Additionally, they claimed that the responsibilities facing leaders of faith based organizations cannot be adequately serviced with resources from any one specific discipline or field of study. Instead, leaders of faith based organizations require interdisciplinary approaches combining knowledge of theology, psychology, management, sociology, and social work.
Specifically, Berlinger and associates aimed at: (1) enhancing the faculty of schools of theology, social science, and management to develop cross-disciplinary theories and theologies of leadership, (2) discovering the competencies required by leaders of faith-based organizations in the area of leadership, management, and policy development, and (3) developing leadership theories in organizations by learning from the experiences, practices, and processes of faith based organizations.
The workshop met bi-weekly and was composed of members from the Yale faculty and leaders of several faith based organizations as well as external resource persons. A summer institute was conducted in 1999. While several of the participants benefited individually, the workshop led to curriculum development and revision of current courses at the Yale Divinity School.