Healing Leadership Trauma: Finding Emotional Health and Helping Others Flourish, By Nicholas Rowe, PhD and Sheila Wise Rowe. MEd

Healing Leadership Trauma

Finding Emotional Health and Helping Others Flourish

by Nicholas Rowe, PhD and Sheila Wise Rowe. MEd

Healing Leadership Trauma
  • Length: 196 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.5 in
  • Published: November 19, 2024
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: A1041
  • ISBN: 9781514010419

*affiliate partner

Countless books are designed to help leaders to become better leaders. But most resources neglect the underlying emotional struggles of both emerging and established leaders, who are often isolated and suffering in silence. Leadership professor Nicholas Rowe and counselor Sheila Wise Rowe offer their expertise in helping leaders process painful and traumatic experiences. Trauma contributes to how we lead others in either empowering or dysfunctional ways. Understanding how these experiences formed us is the beginning of the path to healing.

Woven throughout each chapter are five themes—invitation, attachment, remembrance, healing, and reconnection. Healing Leadership Trauma lays out the emotional challenges of leadership and offers encouragement, prayer, and therapeutic tools to help leaders face their pain and begin to heal.

"Leadership is often a lonely endeavor, but no one needs to lead alone. Leadership is often a burdensome responsibility, but that burden can be shared. Nicholas Rowe and Sheila Wise Rowe offer themselves as guides to leaders who are navigating the weight of leadership. They offer practical insights and practices that you can participate in as you navigate your past, present, and future as a leader—and more importantly, as a human being made for relationship in God's image."

Raymond Chang, president of the Asian American Christian Collaborative and executive director of the TENx10 Collaboration, Fuller Theological Seminary

"Nicholas Rowe and Sheila Wise Rowe have delved into the core of leadership trauma leaving no stones unturned. With an intentional weaving together from a pastoral, psychological, and personal perspective, they guide the reader-leader to areas easily skimmed over or bypassed altogether. Their thoroughness in explaining the science grants the reader a deep sense of understanding that can disarm and dispel the adverse effects of lifelong emotional baggage. Undergirded and guided by Scripture, prayer, and practical exercises, leaders will experience a spiritual, relational, emotional, and physical refreshening with every turn of the page."

Monique Gadson, licensed professional counselor and host of And the Church Said podcast

"Leaders carry deep hurts both from their own lives and from the rigors of ministry. Ignoring these hurts is not an option: a church with hurting leaders is a hurting church. Nicholas Rowe and Sheila Wise Rowe's book is a lifeline to help hurting leaders heal, sharing professional expertise and biblical wisdom to point us toward the God who can meet our deepest, unspoken needs and map out a pathway to hope."

Bronwyn Lea, pastor and author of Beyond Awkward Side Hugs

"Every leader should take a moment to pause and acknowledge what is motivating how they lead. Being aware of our own motivations can help reduce the places we lack awareness so we can serve others out of our own growth and healing. This fantastic book by Nicholas Rowe and Sheila Wise Rowe allows us all the space and guided direction to do just that."

Heather Thompson Day, associate professor of communication at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, and author of It's Not Your Turn and I'll See You Tomorrow

"The church needs this book. Nicholas Rowe and Sheila Wise Rowe offer a timely, insightful, and practical cross-discipline resource for Christian leaders. This learned and Spirit-filled pair name the elephant in the sanctuary. Our leaders are often deeply wounded while seeking to serve others. Without shame, but with necessary accountability, Rowe and Wise Rowe help Christian leaders to better understand themselves and their wounds so that they might heal and serve from a place of health and wholeness."

Christina Edmondson, practitioner, educator, coauthor of Faithful Antiracism

"There's a dirty little secret in our world: leaders are in triage. The complexities of our ever-connected, often-critical, less-forgiving world is that we are seeing unprecedented resignations in leaders. We're in a leadership emergency. Nicholas Rowe and Sheila Wise Rowe, with the compassion, skill, and wisdom of first responders, offer this thoughtful and practical volume as a salve to heal the wounds and a defibrillator to revive the heart. Pick this first-aid kit up if you want to heal and be revived in your leadership."

Rasool Berry, teaching pastor at the Bridge Church, Brooklyn, New York

"Leaders are shaped by various intersections of trauma that are rarely spoken of together in one place. The insight Nicholas Rowe and Sheila Wise Rowe offer given their expertise and experiences is a gift to leaders who want to stay healthy while leading in hard places. This book helps us name what we encounter as leaders and accompanies us in our path toward healing."

Sandra María Van Opstal, pastor and author of The Next Worship


1. The Heart of the Matter
2. Our Relational God
3. The Roots of Detachment
4. The Pull of Temptation
5. The Myth of Self-Sufficiency
6. Healing the Harmed Heart
7. Gender Trauma
8. Racial and Ethnic Trauma
9. The Path of Forgiveness
10. The Heart of Restored Relationships
11. The Necessity of Rest
12. Finding Purpose Again



You May Also Like

Nicholas Rowe

Nicholas Rowe (PhD, Boston College) is a historian and the Hansen Associate Professor of Leadership at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He has over thirty years' experience in senior leadership roles in higher education and nonprofit organizations and is a consultant in cross-ethnic reconciliation and conflict resolution in the United States and South Africa. Nicholas also provides spiritual direction for individuals and reconciling communities. He and his wife, Sheila Wise Rowe, live in Boston and have a daughter, son, daughter-in-law, and grandchild.

Sheila Wise Rowe

Sheila Wise Rowe, the author of Healing Racial Trauma, holds a master's degree in counseling psychology. She has ministered to abuse and trauma survivors in the United States for over twenty-five years and in Johannesburg, South Africa, for a decade. Sheila also taught counseling and trauma-related courses. She and her family live in the Boston area, where she is a writer, speaker, and spiritual director.