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Title: Leadership and oversight in British Methodism : whither episcope?
Author: Maunder, Stephen John
ISNI:       0000 0004 5357 6126
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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The dissertation has at its heart the key question of whether the current form of episcope - i.e. leadership and oversight structures - within British Methodism continue to be appropriate in the contemporary church, or whether the Church is held by past models which are no longer effective. This question is explored through three distinct sections: • historical research examines the origins of leadership structures within Methodism in Britain. These structures are compared with those which developed contemporaneously in the United States, and which were different in form. This section then traces the development of British Methodism’s leadership structures up to the present day, notes changes which have taken place, and the debates over episcopacy. •Empirical research forms the second part of the thesis. Quantative research utilising congregational questionnaires are used to explore the views of lay Methodists on issues relating to leadership, such as their knowledge of those in positions of leadership within the Church, their views regarding the influence of structures upon their worshipping lives at local church level, and the possibility of episcopacy being introduced. A qualitative approach is used in detailed interviews carried out with Methodist presbyters in key leadership roles. The interviews are wide-ranging in their exploration of current models of leadership, including areas where significant change might be desirable. • Proposals for change from a range of sources are then considered. These include the views of contemporary writers on Methodism, and different modes of church leadership in other denominations as well as within the newly formed Methodist Church in the Gambia. It is argued that history and context are key elements within the formation of church leadership, and critical when change is considered. The research leads into a final section which offers proposals for the development of leadership within contemporary British Methodism both at local (Circuit), and national (Connexional) level. These proposals include consideration being given to the possible introduction of an episcopate as a means of offering an improved system of leadership for the Methodist people.
Supervisor: McGrath, Alister Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.The.Min.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available