It’s that time of the year when I cull my bookshelf. Nine bookcases of books at the office and four at home is more than I need. I’ll put some volumes out on a small table in the hallway for students to take. I’ll fondly wish for them a good loving home (the books, not the students). Like most who have

spent years in teaching I’ve seen the subjects on the bookcases change over time as former interests wane and new curiosities, research interests and passions emerge. It didn’t take long into my tenure as dean that I noticed the shelf that grew the most had to do with educational leadership.

While the learning curve in the dean’s office tends to be satisfied by a different kind of learning than is found “in the classroom,” (on the job, mentoring, on-demand learning, problem-solving, self management, etc.) the wisdom and practical knowledge found in books can be helpful. So, what are the resources that can be helpful to a new theological dean whose current library has little to offer in the way of understanding and doing the work of academic leader? Below is a “starter library” for a new dean who needs a “crash course” on how to understand the nature of theological education and how do the work of an educational administrator.

On Theological Education

Aleshire, Daniel. Earthern Vessels (Wm. B. Eerdmans)
Banks, Robert. Reenvisioning Theological Education (Wm. B. Eerdmans)
Bass, Dorothy and Craig Dykstra. For Life Abundant (Wm. B. Eerdmans)
Cannell, Linda. Theological Education Matters (Booksurge)
Carroll, Jackson W. God’s Potters (Wm. B. Eerdmans)
Farley, Edward. Theologia (Wipf & Stock)
Foster, Charles, et al. Educating Clergy (Jossey-Bass)
Jones, Gregory L. Resurrecting Excellence (Wm. B. Eerdmans)
Kelsey, David. Between Athens and Berlin (Wipf & Stock)
Kelsey, David. To Understand God Truly (Westminster John Knox)

On Curriculum and Assessment

Drummond, Sarah. Holy Clarity: The Practice of Planning and Evaluating (Alban)
Dylan, William. Embedded Formative Assessment (Solution Tree)
Glatthorn, Alan A. et al. Curriculum Leadership (Sage)
Kramer, Gary L. Higher Education Assessment (Rowan & Littlefield)
Suskie, Linda. Assessing Student Learning: A Common Sense Guide (Anker)
Wiggins, Grant and Jay McTigh, Understanding by Design (Pearson)

On Academic Leadership

Bergquist, William H. Engaging the Six Cultures of the Academy (Jossey-Bass)
Billman, Kathleen and Bruce Birch (eds.). C(h)AOS Theory (Wm. B. Eerdmans)
Blankensteing, M. et al. Sustaining Professional Learning Communities (Corwin)
Buller, Jeffrey. The Essential Academic Dean (Jossey-Bass)
Cialdini, Robert B. Influence (HarperCollins)
Davis, James R.  Learning to Lead: A Handbook for Postsecondary Administrators (Rowen & Littlefield)
Fisher, Robert and William Ury. Getting to Yes (Penguin)
Kouzes, James M. The Jossey-Bass Administrator’s Guide to Exemplary Leadership (Jossey-Bass)
Laufgraben, Jodi Levine. Sustaining and Improving Learning Communities (Jossey-Bass)
Lucas, Ann. Leading Academic Change (Jossey-Bass)
Roper, Susan and Terrance Deal. Peak perfomance for Deans and Chairs (Rowan & Littlefield)
Ury, William. Getting Past No (Bantam)


Lastly, three journals that provide excellent resources for the theological school dean:
Teaching Theology & Religion (Wabash Center)
Theological Education (ATS)
The Academic Leader (Magna)

What resources are on your dean’s bookshelf that you have found helpful?