Narratives of Leadership Anxiety: Constructing a Story-formed Conversation For Managing Pastoral Dynamics.

  • Jack Holland Emmanuel School of Religion


Novels and short stories provide a meaningful context to illustrate the dynamics of pastoral leadership.  Particularly beneficial are narratives that present leaders managing their own anxieties in the togetherness/individuation forces of the system.  Stories draw readers in as they imagine dealing with similar forces.  This presentation discusses these systemic dynamics as portrayed in the haunting short story, “The Secret Sharer” by Joseph Conrad, and the novel, The Damnation of Theron Ware by Harold Frederic.  The paper demonstrates that engaging students of ministry in similar discussions has value in helping them to personally examine and develop their own functioning as leaders.

Author Biography

Jack Holland, Emmanuel School of Religion
Professor of Christian Care and Counseling
Doctor of Ministry Program Director
Emmanuel School of Religion