10 Characteristics of Servant Leadership

Dedicated to being Virginia’s premier Christ-centered Liberal Arts College, preparing innovative learners and transformational leaders to impact a changing world, Bluefield College offers a challenging academic and co-curricular experience within a climate of diverse Christian tradition. Bluefield College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate, baccalaureate, and masters degrees.

Christian liberal arts, Liberal artsBluefield College is an inclusive Christ-centered learning community developing transformational servant leaders. The College prepares students for an enjoyable and meaningful life – one grounded in faith, adaptable to a changing global environment, and given to caring for and serving others.

Bluefield College seeks to provide students a broad knowledge base in the sciences and liberal arts, competency in oral and written communication, evidence of the skills and disposition for critical thinking, an appreciation for the student’s aesthetic environment, evidence of creative behaviors, and a willingness to make healthy lifestyle choices, within the context of an understanding of the biblical narrative and having the ability to express the interrelationship between personal faith and disciple-specific knowledge, the ongoing emergence of virtue and a sense of calling, and the interconnectedness of all knowledge.

The College holds three goals for Undergraduate student achievement: 65% of Bluefield College Undergraduate students will graduate within 150% of normal enrollment length; Overall Fall to Fall Retention Rates at Bluefield College will exceed 73%; and overall job placement and continuing education rates will exceed 70%.

Because of our liberal arts education, we want our students to be well-rounded. This not only happens inside the classroom, but outside, as well. Bluefield College, as her mission states, seeks to transform servant leaders.


Servant leadership is being servant first, letting the natural feeling to serve others come first, and then through conscious choice bringing one to aspire to lead. This manifests itself in that the servant leader makes sure that other people’s highest needs are being served. (Robert Greenleaf's Ten Characteristics of Servant Leaders)

These characteristics are:

  • Listening—A servant leader puts the emphasis upon listening effectively to others.
  • Empathy—A servant leader needs to understand others' feelings and perspectives.
  • Healing—A servant leader helps foster each person's emotional and spiritual health and wholeness.
  • Awareness—A servant leader understands his or her own values and feelings, strengths and weaknesses.
  • Persuasion—A servant leader influences others through their persuasiveness.
  • Conceptualization—A servant leader needs to integrate present realities and future possibilities.
  • Foresight—A servant leader needs to have a well-developed sense of intuition about how the past, present, and future are connected.
  • Stewardship—A servant leader is a steward who holds an organization's resources in trust for the greater good.
  • Commitment to the growth of others—A servant leader is responsible for serving the needs of others.

Christians identify Jesus Christ as the model servant leader. Christ shared that he came not to be served but to serve. In addition to living a life exhibited by the fruits of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, a servant leader is humble and allows his/her words and deeds to speak for themselves. Ultimately, a servant leader desires to live a life of significance and to make a difference in the lives of others. (David Olive)

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