Book Review Instructions

If you are reading an important book that helps you improve as a leader, chances are that our readers might benefit from it, too. Our problem is that there are so many good books that we just don’t have the capacity to keep up with all of them. We need your help! For this reason, the Journal of Applied Christian Leadership is offering you an opportunity to share your book review with other Christian leaders.

What kinds of books are we interested in? In short, any appropriate book that might be of interest to Christian leaders. It may be published by a religious or secular publisher and treat a religious or nonreligious topic. It does not necessarily have to address a spiritual agenda if you can make a case why some Christian leaders should read it and show that it is based on substantial research or data.

What does a book review look like? There are several formats suitable for our publication:

Book notes: A short book note of 100-350 words capturing the main idea and showing why it is important for Christian leaders. Maybe even a graphic summary of a key idea would work.

Book reviews: A full book review that carefully introduces the reader to the purpose of the book, the author’s development of the theme, the different parts, evaluating the main ideas, noticing special features, and ending with a recommendation how the book could be used or benefit Christian leaders.

Book essays: This longer review essay takes the main idea of a book and develops it into a reflective discussion addressing a key issue with which leaders have to grapple.

Keep in mind that typically the book featured should not be older than a year (in some cases we may consider a book older than that).

If you are interested in reviewing books for the journal, contact the Book Review Editor, Stanley Patterson, by email at As you prepare the review please keep the following guidelines in mind:

  • Standard book reviews should be no longer than 300-450 words although, depending on the book being reviewed, they may be longer occasionally. Book reviewers should discuss the length of the review with the Book Reviews Editor before writing. All book reviews should be prepared and submitted according to the general Guidelines for Authors of this journal.
  • The following information should be given about the book at the start of each review:Book Title, Author/Editor Name, Publisher, Year of Publication, ISBN: 000-0-00-000000-0, Number of Pages, Price.
    • Example: Leadership in organizations. By Yukl, G. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2008* (7th ed.). ISBN: 978-0-13-242431-8, xix, 628 pp., hardback [or paper], $144.00. Reviewed by Henry Goodson. (*Note: Please be careful to give the publication date indicated by the Library of Congress rather than the author’s copyright date.)
  • A book review should be a balanced and accurate description of the book, based on evidence and examples and not on subjective likes or dislikes of the reviewer. In addition, the review should include a fair assessment of the content with constructive comments about the strength and weaknesses of the book.
  • Reviewers should also indicate the intended audience for the book and why Christian leaders would find it useful. Other aspects that may be part of a review are:
    • The main ideas and objectives of the book
    • How well these objectives have been accomplished
    • The context of thought or events that prompted the book
    • The author’s expertise and position
    • The soundness of methods and information sources used
    • The style of the author
    • How the book relates to the larger field of leadership or a specific leadership issue (give references of authors indicated)
    • Value of a reprinting/new edition
    • Details of a series the book is a part of or of the conference the book is related to
  • When referring to a particular page in the book indicate the page number in parenthesis, (e.g., p. 51). If the book is a collection of articles or papers written by different authors, do not get lost in detailing each author and chapter. Instead evaluate the main themes of the book and the unifying or diverging perspectives present.
  • Double space your writing, using Times New Romans, 12 point font, and a 1-inch margin all around the page. Use italics instead of bold or underline, especially in bibliographic references. Electronic submission in Word format is preferred. Following the book review, please include a brief biographical note that indicates your full name, title, position, institution, organization, or school (with location) where you are serving, and any information about previous experience and/or nationality if pertinent to the review. Please include this reference even if you are a frequent reviewer writing for the journal.

You will receive an electronic copy of the issue in which your review is published. Thank you for your contribution.

Erich Baumgartner, Editor
Journal of Applied Christian Leadership

Stan Patterson, Book Review Editor
Christian Leadership Center