Scott Cormode

Director of Innovation and Hugh De Pree Professor of Leadership Development School of Theology

Contact Information
BS, University of California, San Diego
MDiv, Fuller Theological Seminary
PhD, Yale University

Biographical Information

In September 2015, Scott Cormode was named Director of Innovation, a position created in order to better coordinate the entrepreneurial efforts of Fuller’s Centers, Institutes and Initiatives. Cormode served as academic dean from Fall 2013 to 2015, after serving on the faculty at Fuller since 2006 as the Hugh De Pree Associate Professor of Leadership Development. This faculty chair was established by the family of the late Hugh De Pree, an accomplished leader and brother of longtime Fuller board member Max De Pree, in order to further develop leadership training programs within the School of Theology and the De Pree Leadership Center. Cormode brought significant leadership and teaching experience to this position, as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) who served for the previous decade as George Butler Associate Professor of Church Administration and Finance at Claremont School of Theology. Cormode also served at Claremont as associate dean for institutional research, chair of the Curriculum Committee, chair of the Accreditation Team, and principal writer of the Long Range Planning Committee.

Functioning as a leader of leaders, Cormode founded in 1998 the Academy of Religious Leadership, an organization for professors who teach leadership in seminaries, and created the Journal of Religious Leadership, for which he also acts as editor, in 2001. His articles on leadership, organization, and technology have appeared as well in Christian Century, Theological Education, and Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion. His most recent book, Making Spiritual Sense: Theological Interpretation as Christian Leadership, was published by Abingdon Press in 2006. He has served as convener for numerous leadership conferences, presented dozens of papers, chaired various boards, and led training events. He maintains a series of case studies and other resources on, a website for developing Christian leaders.

Courses Taught

  • CF565: Empowering the People of God
  • GM522: Leadership in Context
  • GM539: Religious Fund-Raising
  • IS500: Touchstone
  • LD515: Presbyterian Polity, History, and Leadership
  • PM514: Missional Churches and Leadership
  • PM543: Ministry Transition

Areas of Expertise, Research, Writing, and Teaching

Leadership and leadership development, organizational administration, the use of technology


  • “The Ecology of Vocation,” Journal of Religious Leadership 11:2 (Fall 2012) 81-156 (with five co-authors).
  • “Cultivating Missional Leaders: Mental Models and the Ecology of Vocation,” in The Missional Church and Leadership Formation: Helping Congregations Develop Leadership Capacity, ed. Craig Van Gelder (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2009).
  • Making Spiritual Sense: Christian Leaders as Spiritual Interpreters (Nashville: Abingdon, 2006).
  • Founding Editor, Journal of Religious Leadership (2002–2006).
  • (a website for developing Christian leaders, ongoing).
  • “Constructing Faithful Action: Inculcating a Method for Reflective Ministry,” Journal of Religious Leadership 3:1,2 (Spring/Fall 2004) 221-276.
  • “Multi-Layered Leadership,” Journal of Religious Leadership 1:2 (Fall 2002) 69-104.
  • “Editorial Standards,” Journal of Religious Leadership 1:1 (Spring 2002).
  • “Almond Springs,” (multi-episode casebook located at
  • “A Reader on Leadership,” (virtual reader located at
  • “Cultivating Leadership,” Christian Century (February 7-14, 2001).
  • “Engaging Students,” Christian Century (February 7-14, 2001).
  • “How to Become a Better Leader,” Circuit Rider (November-December 2000) 20-22.
  • Convener, Special Issue on Churches and the Internet, Theology, News & Notes (Fall 2000).
  • “So How Can the Internet Make Me a Better Leader or a More Faithful Servant?” Theology, News & Notes (Fall 2000).
  • “Using Computers in Theological Education: Rules of Thumb,” Theological Education (Autumn 1999) 101-116.
  • “Institutions and the Story of American Religion: A Sketch of a Synthesis” in Sacred Companies: Organizational Aspects of Religion and Religious Aspects of Organizations (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) 62-78, with Harry S. Stout.
  • “Does Institutional Isomorphism Imply Secularization? Churches and Secular Voluntary Associations in the Turn-of-the-Century City,” in Sacred Companies: Organizational Aspects of Religion and Religious Aspects of Organizations (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998) 116-131.
  • Panelist, “Life and Faith 101: Teaching Students To Take Stewardship into the World,” In Trust (Autumn 1997) 8-11, by Melinda R. Heppe.
  • Major Contributor, Catalog of Theological Statements of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assemblies (1935-1996) (Louisville, KY: Theology and Worship, Christian Faith and Life, Congregational Ministries Division, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 1996).
  • “Religion and the Nonprofit Sector: A Review Essay” in Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 23, no. 2 (Summer 1994) 171-181.
  • “Does Institutional Isomorphism Imply Secularization? Churches and Secular Voluntary Associations in the Turn-of-the-Century City,” PONPO Working Paper #196, Program on Non-Profit Organizations, Yale University, December 1993.
  • “Review of The Way of the Cross Leads Home: The Domestication of Early Methodism, by A. Gregory Schneider,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 32, no. 4 (Dec 1993) 426.
  • “A Financial History of Congregations since World War II,” in The Organizational Revolution: Presbyterians and American Denominationalism, ed. Milton J. Coalter, John M. Mulder and Louis B. Weeks (Louisville: Westminster/John Knox Press, 1992).
  • “The Influence of Hellenistic Judaism on the Concepts of God and the Church in First Clement,” Studia Biblica et Theologica 17, no. 2 (October 1989).

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