DMin 310 Organizational Culture & Frameworks

Course Level:

DMin 310 Organizational Culture & Frameworks
Dr. John Fast February 8, 10, 12, & 22, 24, 26
10AM-12PM (Manila Time)

Course Description

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to several concepts including organizational culture, congregational culture, leader ship culture, and most importantly changes in culture. We will spend quite a bit of time I'm looking at how cultural change comes about in organizations. Of course there are those who say culture cannot be changed. Will consider that as well.

The course has twelve lessons which we’ll cover in our sessions, two per evening. Here are the titles of the lessons:

    1. What Is Culture?
    2. Organizational Culture
    3. Organizations Create Cultures.
    4. Why Organizations Create Cultures
    5. Organizational Values Are Rooted In Beliefs
    6. How Organizations Relate To Outside Cultures.
    7. Reading An Organization’s Culture.
    8. How To Read A Leader’s Culture
    9. Founders Create Cultures.
    10. Leaders Renovate Cultures.
    11. Turnaround Leaders.
    12. How Turnaround Leaders Renovate Culture.

About the Professor:

My name is John Fast. I am currently living in Vancouver, Canada. From 1983 until 1995 I lived in the Philippines where my wife Arlene and I were involved in church planting and pastoral training. After that we went to Vietnam where we stayed from 1996 until 2015. In Vietnam we were involved in a Business as Mission (BAM) project, church planting and pastoral training.

Now in Vancouver we are retired but still very interested in the church in both Vietnam and the Philippines. So, I was very pleased when my son Michael asked me to teach this course on congregational culture. Along with my many experiences in churches I’ve also had time to reflect on the inner workings of congregations. In 1990 I wrote a Masters Thesis on the difficulties experienced by a foreign missionary organization in its dealings with a Filipino church organization. Then in 1995 I completed a PhD at the University of the Philippines on the growth of culture in a business organization in the Philippines. My dissertation was on the development of an organizational culture in a new business organization.

II. Student Assignments

A. Readings

1. Class Notes
Students will be asked to read the class notes that follow in this document and also some other work. These notes are available at the link below.
2. Books
Read a total of 250 pages from one or more of the books listed in III A Resources. All of these books can be found in Scribd [ ]. If you open a one month introductory membership in Scribd you should be able to access the books for free. After each reading please write a summary of what it was all about (75-100 words each).

B. Videos

View again the videos (see list below) on the concepts covered in the course. After watching the videos please write a summary of what these concepts are all about (50 words each). We will also watch most or all of these videos during class sessions.

C. Project

1. Read a congregation’s culture
Students will form groups of two or three to work on a cultural analysis of any church they are familiar with. Use the cultural analysis frameworks presented in the course for this assignment. Students may prepare:
- a written version of this analysis or
- they can record their findings in a video.
- as part of this project the students should refer to any relevant appendices which are found on page 62 of these notes.


2. Read the culture of an Amish congregation.
You can form groups of three to work on a cultural analysis of the video Breaking the Silence. [].
- You can prepare a written version of this analysis or
- You can record your findings in a video.
As part of this project the students should refer to any relevant appendices which are found on page 62 of these notes.

III. Assignment Deadlines

1. Readings
Notes - please try to read these note between the session they cover and before the following session.
Books - I’d like to have these readings completed by the end of March. But keep in mind if you are using a free SCRIBD account it lasts only a month.

2. Videos
Please watch and report on these videos by the end of March as well.

3. Project
Due to the nature of this project I’d like you to finish it by the end of April but just let me know if you need more time.


A. Books:

B. Videos

C. Internet Sites