Patterns of Shared Leadership in the Apostolic Fathers
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Fathers of the church
Apostolic Fathers (Early Christian Collection)
Church history--Primitive and early church, ca. 30-600
While the cumulative history of the early church paints a trajectory towards a strict form of vertical, hierarchical leadership, at least five patterns of shared leadership emerge throughout the Apostolic Fathers that make the case for the presence of a form, proto or otherwise, of shared leadership in the early church. In light of the literature base, the study presents shared leadership in terms of nine seminal aspects. With these seminal aspects as a foundation, the study employs a directed content analysis and a structured matrix to analyze Michael W. Holmes' Apostolic Fathers, 3rd ed. for five patterns of shared leadership. By exposing five patterns of shared leadership that emerge in the corpus of the Apostolic Fathers the study extends the field of shared leadership through the in-depth analysis of an organization's historical practices and expands the modern church's understanding of the roots of its leadership practices and structures.