Leadership Development Program

Leadership is the single greatest influence on the health and growth of organisations, including churches. Click here for more about why leadership matters.

Leading churches well can be difficult, but the good news is that leadership can be developed over time. Christ College now has developed a tailor-made Leadership Development Program that can help you. We have offered this program to our under-graduate and graduate students since 2013, including several candidates for ordination. In 2015, we began offering the program to post-graduate students, including pastors serving in regional areas. The program can be completed as part of an ACT Diploma of Ministry, a Graduate Diploma of Divinity, as a Graduate Certificate in Ministry, or as part of a longer ACT award (see further the application forms below).

The Christ College Leadership Development Program:

  • is designed especially for pastoral leaders in PCNSW churches;
  • has clear biblical and theological foundations
  • draws on the best of contemporary leadership and organisational theory;
  • uses a range of adult education learning strategies;
  • involves the design and implementation of a large year-long church-based project designed to further Jesus’ disciple-making agenda;
  • is scheduled entirely in intensive format (mostly outside the semester);
  • creates opportunities to develop stronger relationships with our best church leaders, a mentor, and the leaders and ordinary members of your church.

Applications close 30 June.

Who is Dr Jonathan Pratt?

The LDP is taught by Dr. Jonathan Pratt, Director of the Centre for Pastoral Leadership. 

He serves as a pastoral leader in Hornsby Presbyterian Church and is also a director of Gospel Groundwork.

For more information about Jonathan,view his staff profile here.

Hear from some LDP students


"Leading a congregation takes more than just teaching and preaching the gospel, it also takes wisdom to plan, organize and mobilize a congregation towards maturity and mission. The LDP lays the Biblical foundation to pastoral leadership that’s grounded in a commitment to the gospel and the tools necessary for planning, organizing and mobilizing a congregation towards maturity and mission."

Eugene Hor, Lead English Pastor, Gracepoint Presbyterian Church

"In ministry we often have to hit the road running. The problem is that many will hit the road already limping. The LDP provides a much needed opportunity for pastors and leaders to shape their thinking, inform their spiritual formation and rejuvenate their life patterns towards resiliency in ministry."

Valerie Ling, Clinical Psychologist

"I started in parish ministry in the days when it was ‘sink or swim’ and some of us really struggled. I wish the Leadership Development Program had been available when I was training! I urge you to grab this opportunity."

Kevin Murray, NSW Moderator and National Director APWM

"Many other courses focus on equipping pastors for the pulpit. The LDP focuses on equipping pastors for the rest of the week. It has given me a more biblical and effective approach to shepherding God’s people and a wide range of skills and tools."

Paul Hutchens, Pastor at Soul Church in Hobart, Completed LDP 2015

"We all have the responsibility to lead. However, it’s one responsibility we often feel unprepared for. The LDP provides a unique opportunity to grow and develop as a leader, engage with relevant leadership skills and concepts, and work out your shape and gifting as a leader."

Jeremy Tan, PCNSW Church Planter in South Sydney, Completed LDP 2015

"The Leadership Development Program was exactly what I was looking for as a minister who’s been out of college for a few years. There are countless issues that threaten the growth of churches in Sydney and perhaps no factor more underestimated than sound leadership. The LDP combines the best of contemporary theory and Biblical principles (within our Reformed heritage!) and applies it broadly and practically to ministry ‘on the ground’. To risk a spoiler, I’ve learnt that when it comes to leadership, Jesus really is ‘best practice’! So far I have gained a deeper and nuanced understanding of different models of leadership, and increased in my self awareness and therefore how to think of, lead and serve others better. The retreats and intensives are strong, intimate learning communities that are not obtrusive to the full time Pastor’s calendar, but instead enhance it. The LDP is a terrific program to deepen and develop an area sorely needed in our churches. I highly endorse it."

Dan Au, Associate Minister at Cornerstone Presbyterian Community Church in Homebush Bay, LDP 2015 Intake

"The leadership development program has helped me enormously as I seek to minister to my congregation. It required me to run a project that involved leading positive change and promoting everyday discipleship. This is an excellent practical application for the theory we studied, and has had wider positive implications for my church…My church leaders can see the tangible benefits of this kind of ministry because of the LDP project I implemented, and they are now also developing a new ministry plan for next year to ensure the emphasis on ‘every member ministry’ will continue into the future. The benefits of doing the LDP for myself and my church can’t be overstated. It has given me the skills I need to lead positive change and promote a ‘Christ for all of life’ agenda in the church which have had a significant positive impact on the way we do ministry at Burwood Presbyterian."

David Hawken, Youth Pastor at Burwood Presbyterian Church, LDP 2014 Intake

"Having served extensively in my previous church as an elder and member of several ministry teams, I came to college with many good experiences behind me. The LDP gave me a framework to reflect on these leadership experiences and make concrete plans to improve my skill and effectiveness in leadership. The LDP is a great addition to practical ministry training and theological development because it allows the opportunity to enhance the ministry gifts and skills I already had."

David Hayes, Candidate for Ministry, LDP 2014 Intake

Where is Christ College?

1 Clarence St Burwood NSW.
Parking and transport: Limited 2 hour ticketed parking is available in the surrounding streets. Free unlimited parking can be found a few blocks from the college. Please do not park at Burwood RSL Club as Club parking is for Club patrons only.
Burwood Train Station is about a 7 minute walk from the college.