Top 10 Books on Emotional Intelligence for Pastors and Other Christian Leaders

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When readers sign up for my weekly blog, one of the things I send them right away is a link to my article listing seven books on emotional intelligence. It’s time to update; I have listed below the top ten books I recommend to clergy on the topic of emotional intelligence. You will find a mix of primary sources, influential best-sellers, and books with some degree of specific application to clergy. I offer these suggestions simply to help you find good resources if you're looking for them.
Dr. Jeannie Miller-Clarkson

p.s. I'm using a affiliate links, so if you choose to buy a book on Amazon, I will get a small commission to help pay for the website. If you make a purchase, thanks!


Emotional Intelligence 2.0
Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves

My #1 pick: easy to read with real-life application stories. Includes a free personal assessment.

Emotional Intelligence: Why it Can Matter More than IQ
Daniel Goleman

Goleman popularized the concept of Emotional Intelligence when this book hit the New York Times best seller list back in 1995 and it remained there for a year and a half. It's still in the top 1500 best selling books on Amazon today!

The Emotionally Intelligent Manager: How to Develop and Use the Four Key Emotional Skills of Leadership
David R. Caruso and Peter Salovey

Peter Salovey, a Social Psychologist and President of Yale University, along with John D. Mayer, authored several of the field's seminal papers. Mayer and Salovey originally coined the term "emotional intelligence". This book, co-written with David Caruso, another Yale Psychologist, provides insight into practical applications of EI in the business world.

The Emotional Intelligence of Jesus: Relational Smarts for Religious Leaders
Roy M. Oswald and Arland Jacobson

Roy M. Oswald and Arland Jacobson of the Alban Institue highlight show how Jesus embodied the characteristics of emotional intelligence  in the remarkable ways he related to a diverse array of people. It also offers practical applications for leaders today. 

Developing Emotionally Mature Leaders: How Emotional Intelligence Can Help Transform Your Ministry
Aubrey Maphurs

Theoretically and scientifically sound. A good read for anyone wanting to understand the concepts. It makes application to ministry situations  but I feel it could go further in terms of application.

Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: It's Impossible to be Spiritually Mature While Remaining Emotionally Immature
Peter Scazzero

Scazzero's topic - emotional health - relates to the concept of emotional intelligence although the two are not the same. I appreciate the book for raising the issue of emotions in the church world. 

Thank God for the Feedback: Using Feedback to Fuel Your Personal, Professional and Spiritual Growth
Shiela Heen

Great book! It’s not a treatise on Emotional Intelligence but an outstanding tool to help clergy or other Christian leaders develop the critical skill of processing feedback. Designed for use as a companion resource to Thanks for the Feedback: the Science and Art of Receiving Feedback Well (Stone & Heen, 2014) in a small group setting. This workbook provides an 8-session study exploring the biblical truths behind the practical tools and facilitates discussion for turning even the most frustrating feedback into opportunities to drive your own personal, professional and spiritual growth.

Emotional Intelligence for Religious Leaders
John Lee West, Roy M. Oswald and Nadyne Guzman

This more prescriptive book draws on the latest research in business, psychology, and theology to offer information and tools to increase emotional intelligence. I welcome the focus on practical application!

Emotional Intelligence and the Church
Rupert Hayles

Full disclosure: A friend recommended this book and I’ve only skimmed it, However, I plan to buy and so far it looks good! According to the cover material, “The reader will learn how to manage stress, control impulses, improve adaptability, develop interpersonal skills, and be emotionally healthy.”

#10 Coming Soon!

The publisher is not quite ready yet for pre-ordering but I can’t wait to add my own book to the list around October 1, 2019!

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