Last Updated: Sep 15, 2015
Church Administration and Leadership is a broad field encompassing many more focused topics. This guide provides some beginning resources for examining personnel, church management, and leadership.
Both religion and business databases may have something to offer to your study of church administration and leadership. Below are a few helpful places to look.
- ATLA Religion Database
ATLA Religion Database is good starting place for resources on church administration. Try the subject headings "church administration", "leadership", "leadership, religious", "church maintenance and repair", etc. Click on the "Indexes" link along the top left of the database and select "Subjects All" from the dropdown menu that results to find additional subject headings to use.
- ABI/Inform Complete
Helpful for finding some articles related specifically to the church and many more related to particular aspects of leadership and administration across fields. Try "church administration", "administration", "personnel", and "leadership". After completing a search, you can limit results to type of publication (scholarly journals, trade publications, magazines), as well as other fields like location, people mentioned, etc.
- Business Source Complete
This database uses the familiar EBSCO interface to connect you to a number of scholarly articles. Try "clergy", "religious organizations", "organizational behavior", "teams in the workplace", "leadership", etc.
The specific sub-categories that comprise the elements of good church leadership and administration have their own subject headings, but the subjects below will pull up a number of general works on this topic:
Administration in the Small Membership Church
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOK STACKS: BV652 .T97 2007
This slim book (102 pages) contains chapters on managing time, appointments, and records; managing and leading worship planning; mapping a congregation's ministry vision; managing volunteers; facilities management; financial and reporting management; and specific United Methodist denominational concerns including preparing for charge conference and managing multi-point charges.
Leadership Handbook of Management and Administration
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOKSTACKS: BV652 .L385 2007
This volume includes sections on personal management, transitions, leadership, supervision of paid staff and volunteers, management, and finances.
How to Manage an Effective Religious Organization
Call Number: Theology Book Stacks: HD31 .S316 2011
Publication Date: 2011-07-15
Provides a brief overview of characteristics and practices of effective church organizations, including hiring a new religious leader, evaluating staff, developing meaningful by-laws, fundraising, grant writing, working with volunteers, and suggestions for additional reading.
Transforming Congregations for the Future
Call Number: THEOLOGY BOOKSTACKS: BV601.8 .M42 1994
In this work, Mead summarizes research on mainline church membership and discusses the need to develop new ways of building and supporting religious congregations.
Managing the Non-Profit Organization
Call Number: Theology Book Stacks: HD62.6 .D78 1990 (and other locations)
Publication Date: 1990-10-01
Beginning with the premise that non-profit organizations, more than anything else, are about "changed human beings", this guide begins with organizational mission and moves to discussion of performance, management, people, and self-development. Interviews with non-profit managers in various sectors (education, seminary education, health and human services) round out the discussion of principles.
The Minister's MBA
Call Number: Theology Book Stacks: HD31 .B23 2006
Publication Date: 2006-09-01
Written as if one were completing a two-year MBA program, this book walks ministers through considerations of operational mission, human resources, accounting, and strategy. While churches do not have the same mission as for-profit businesses, this volume provides one method of thinking through church considerations from a business perspective.
- Alban Institute
Publishes books and articles related to all aspects of church life, as well as the journal Congregations. Also provides consulting assistance to churches.
- Congregational Resource Guide
Developed and maintained by the Alban Institute, this site provides book recommendations, audio programs, articles, and resources on all aspects of church leadership and administration.
- National Association of Church Business Administration Resource Pages
Search here for additional recommendations for resources on topics including Financial, Technology, Human Resources, Buildings & Property, and more.
- General Council on Finance and Church Administration of The United Methodist Church
Resources related to apportionments, certification programs, and general accountability of the financial plan of the United Methodist Church.