Dr. Jack Barentsen

Leadership Lessons from Paul: Leadership as Bridging Diversity
October 13, 2012
Dr. Jack Barentsen, Dr. Peter Heinckiens



In the emergence of leadership research and training much of the focus has been on the traits and characteristics of the leader in particular. Nowadays we see a growing interest to move from this isolated approach towards an integration of traditional leadership studies with social identity studies.

In his prize winning promotion research Jack Barentsen analyzed five documents of religious communication finding evidence of leadership emergence, maintenance and succession, utilizing a state-of-the-art leadership model from the social identity theory.The five documents are the letters that the Apostle Paul wrote in the first century to the churches he founded in Corinth and Ephesus that functioned as hub churches for further expansion in their hinterland. Through various strategies of persuasion, Paul attempted to structure the social identity and participation of individual group members, and to initiate and correct leadership development, in order to bring long-term stability and cohesion to these organizations in their cultural environment.

Jack will present this model and demonstrate Paul’s leadership in this setting. In dialogue with Peter Heinckiens all the participants of the breakfast will be challenged to actively engage and attune one’s view on leadership.


Jack Barentsen studied physics, philosophy and theology in the US, where he met Pat Vandevere, a US citizen with work experience (education) in South America. After marriage in 1985, they moved to the Nether- lands in 1988 as pastor and church planter. Working with new church plants provided ample opportunity to learn about leadership development, as well as about leadership crises. Leadership questions loomed increasingly larger as Jack started teaching at the ETF. Thus, it seemed a natural fit to study leadership development in the New Testament through the lens of modern leadership theory, rather than through traditional theological categories. Currently, Jack explores how to complement this research by investigating cur- rent practice in religious leadership as assistant professor of Practical Theology and steering committee me ber of ILE.

Peter Heinckiens has a wide experience in different industries: he has been leading strategic change projects in an international banking context, in government, in manufacturing, in telecom, and in logistics. He is currently Vice President Customer Advisory and EMEA Head of Innovation at SAP. He is author of three books, is a frequently invited speaker at international conferences, and lectures at several universities. He holds a PhD in Applied Sciences, a Masters in Electrical Engineering, followed the Advanced Management Pro- gram at IMD (Switzerland), and has been nominated Fellow of the University of Leuven (Belgium). Peter is conducting research on continuous business innovation – how companies can build structural capabilities that will allow them to become innovation leaders.

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