Original Research

Character formation and leadership development: A symbiotic bond for the practice of theological education

Vhumani Magezi, Walter Madimutsa
Theologia Viatorum | Vol 47, No 1 | a206 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/tv.v47i1.206 | © 2023 Vhumani Magezi, Walter Madimutsa | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 June 2023 | Published: 15 November 2023

About the author(s)

Vhumani Magezi, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society (URT), Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Walter Madimutsa, Unit for Reformational Theology and the Development of the South African Society (URT), Faculty of Theology, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between character formation and leadership development. It focuses on three research questions: Firstly, why is character formation an important dimension in leader development? Secondly, how is leader development related to character formation in the practice of theological education? Thirdly, what model of theological education develops leaders of character who can function effectively in the public square? The study uses a literature review to explain key concepts, ‘character formation’, ‘leadership development’ and ‘theological education’ and explores their relationship in the practice of theological education. It was established that character formation and leader development have a solid interlocking relationship. Without sound character formation and leader development models, it is not possible to produce effective leaders for the church. We need transformational and visionary leaders to engage with the task of producing effective leaders of character who can engage church and community in the public square. The study proposes the Character Formation cum Leadership Development Model (CFLD) model of theological education, which borrows essential elements from the Athens Model and the Leader Development Model. The CFLD model is the most appropriate option for theological educators to adopt in to engage with the task of producing and developing leader and character-sensitive Christian workers. The study concludes that character formation and leadership development have a symbiotic bond in the practice of theological education.

Contribution: The study contributes to our understanding of theological education as ministerial character formation and how leadership development is interwoven with and interdependent on character. The symbiotic relationship between character formation and leadership development has significant implications for the practice of theological education and how Christian leaders are prepared for the work of ministry in the church.


Keywords

character; character formation; leadership; leadership development; leader development; theological education; character and leadership development.

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 3: Good health and well-being

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