Leadership, Religious

The Impact of a Staff Performance Management System on Performance Outcomes and Employee Commitment in a Private, Christian, Higher Education Institution

Janis Lynn Ryder D.Min.
This thesis explored performance management in a private, Christian, Canadian, higher education institution. A Model for Effective Performance Management was developed which served as a framework for a participatory action research project that piloted a staff performance review process and tool aimed at improving employee performance and organizational commitment of university staff employees. Seven university departments were part of the pilot project which included participating in supervisor training, testing a new performance review process and tool, and providing post-pilot feedback.
Post-pilot online survey results and interviews with leaders demonstrated a higher rate of completed performance reviews, increased competency and comfort level of supervisors/appraisers to lead performance review conversations, and increased employee commitment and performance resulting from the performance review experience.
There are opportunities for HR professionals, churches, and para-church organizations to use and benefit from this research and the Model for Effective Performance Management.


Samuel Lapsley Pendergrast D.Min.
In Utica Presbytery we have eleven Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) serving twelve congregations out of thirty in the presbytery. I interviewed twelve CREs who are currently serving or who have served as pastors to learn about their experience and how they evaluate their work, training, and relationship with colleagues in the presbytery. The interview results were categorized, then the group of CREs discussed the results. We developed recommendations for the presbytery in a variety of areas. In the report I interpret the results in light of pastoral theology and the history of ordination. Questions for further study emerge concerning the difference between seminary-trained pastors and commissioned elders, presbytery mission strategy for using CREs, and contextual theological education.


Joseph Nehemiah D.Min.
With the growth of the church in North Africa comes the need to train pastors and leaders. This project defines a biblically-rooted, contextually- and culturally-appropriate framework for training believers from Muslim background (BMB) leaders in an Arab context. The framework uses adult education (andragogy) principles from Bloom, Knowles, and Kolb that contribute to deep learning. Principles are evaluated using Hofstede's Arabic cluster cultural dimensions (Power Distance Index, Uncertainty Avoidance Index, Collectivism) and GLOBE leadership traits. This project defines cultural and contextual educational principles that put the design and implementation of developing and training leaders into the hands of BMB leaders.

The author believes it is important to hear from local leaders. The coalescence of cultural educational principles with the practical experience of local leaders allows for a practical educational framework. North African leaders were interviewed to discover how God developed them as leaders. The results reveal the importance of character, teaching, practical experience, and community with a mentor playing a significant role. The author suggests cultural and contextual principles and models to deliver training in non-traditional and non-formal ways.

Discovery and integration: A framework of spiritual formation for the leadership team of via faith community, Winston-Salem, NC

Linda Marie Jones
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord-who is the Spirit-makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinth, 3:17-18, NLT )

The process of spiritual formation can be seen throughout all of scripture; men and women, growing in faith, learning to truly love God, themselves and God's people. There is something so special to be on this journey of faith with a loving, laughing, growing group of Christians as we learn to be mature, committed, faith-filled people of God. This project endeavored to take the leaders of Via Faith Community through a five week spiritual formation process, hoping to create a higher functioning, more spiritually mature leadership team. Utilizing prayer, Lectio Divina, sermons, Bible studies, and assessments of personality, spiritual gifts, leadership and conflict style in a weekly workshop session and worship service, the hearts and minds of the leadership team were awakened, as they discovered and integrated the biblical and theological principles of humanity, created in God's image and given unique personalities, abilities, experiences, and spiritual gifts through the work of the Holy Spirit, in order to effectively join God in the work of the Kingdom of God.


Jack DeVere Olsen D.Min.
The purpose of this project is to make existing leaders equipping leaders of emerging leaders in the men’s ministry of Cornerstone Evangelical Free Church in Casper, Wyoming. The first goal toward fulfilling that purpose is to be transformed from a trained servant or service-providing clergyman to an equipping leader or a training pastor. The second goal is to create and implement a plan for developing leaders. The third goal is to introduce and encourage leadership development by mentoring in our men’s ministry.

The first goal was approached through writing a revised job description, and keeping a diary of time spent in leadership development. The second goal involved developing a leadership development curriculum focusing on leadership concepts, character and competency. Nehemiah was chosen for study as the Biblical example of a godly leader. Leading a small group was selected as the ministry for developing competency. Mentoring was the method for implementing the curriculum. Three mentors each selected one mentoree to train and develop. The third goal involved developing a series of teaching lessons on leadership development through mentoring. These lessons were presented at our monthly men’s breakfasts.

The proposed mentoring process revealed that the equipping leaders need precise instructions and accountability for carrying out the mentoring of the emerging leaders. One of the greatest challenges in mentoring is getting men together and establishing the mentoring relationships.


Diego Chuyma D.Min.
Pastors and Christian leaders are supposed to be Christ-like in character as the Scriptures indicate, but this does not always happen. Christ-like character formation is a lifelong process, of course, but specific steps can be taken to engage in this process of transformation. The purpose of this project is to develop, teach, and evaluate a Christian character formation program for pastors and Christian leaders in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. The philosophical, theological, and biblical foundations of Christian character formation are reviewed. A Christ-like character formation program was developed and implemented. A focus group of pastors and Christian leaders was organized to test the effectiveness of this program. Pastors and leaders in this study developed a conviction that Christ-like character formation is possible, their relationship with God deepened, and they were willing to practice spiritual disciplines with the purpose of developing Christ-like character. This study reveals a need for mind renewal, heart transformation, and body subjection under spiritual disciplines to begin developing a Christ-like character.


Steve Posey D.Min.
This Doctor of Ministry Project was designed to discover key leadership principles to serve as the basis for leadership training curriculum for emerging Christian leaders in the Mongolian cultural setting. Furthermore, it sought to discover effective pedagogical principals and methods to be employed in teaching the material to the anticipated participants, adult Mongolian learners.

The methodological research was based on a qualitative methods strategy. Eleven information-rich Mongolian Christian leaders were interviewed using an eight-question ethnographic protocol instrument. Two Mongolian university professors, representatives of the sociological and anthropological sciences, and two expatriate missionaries resident in the country for over ten years and involved in developing leaders were also interviewed using the instrument.

Research also included study of contemporary scholarly leadership literature, both secular and Christian. The research sought to unearth contemporary thinking about leadership’s essence and exercise in the Mongolian culture. Biblical study of representative, Godly leaders in search of the leadership principles that characterize their lives and ministry was undertaken in conjunction with the qualitative and literary research.

The key conclusion of the project research was that in spite of a cultural preponderance of dictatorial leadership, ethnographic respondents, literature, and biblical study indicated that a leadership curriculum for Mongolian Christian leaders should focus on the dynamics of servant leadership, as espoused in the Bible, and it’s practical application in Mongolian society. Pedagogically an adult learner strategy needs to be used in teaching the training curriculum comprised of leadership principles.

Developing a vision-driven leadership strategy for Calvary Baptist Church, New Orleans, Louisiana

Lloyd Beaudoin Waldrep D.Min.
the purpose of the project was to develop a vision-driven leadership strategy for Calvary Baptist Church in New Orleans, Louisiana. The model for this project was the strategy model. The project director compared the demographics of the surrounding community to the demographics of the current leadership. The project director then researched vision-driven leadership strategies and provided a report on best practices. Third, the project director developed a vision-driven leadership strategy. Finally, the project director presented the strategy to deacons and church congregation for approval.

The project sought to expand on the project by Pastor Michael Carney in 2015 which established the vision, mission, and core values of Calvary baptist church. the vision-driven leadership strategy served as a further implementation and development of the vision. The project director served as a strategic leadership team member in 2015 and saw the need to expand the vision into a strategic leadership development strategy.

The project director sought to increase the number of church members involved in leadership while developing and growing the current leaders of the church. the project director believed an intentional strategy would accomplish this for the church.


Joel Alan Dorman D.Min.
The purpose of this DMin project was equipping the people in existing senior leadership positions to cultivate people for potential leadership positions to exercise effective leadership behaviors to contribute to the mission of First Baptist Church of Merced. The qualitative research project required Biblical and contemporary literature study in learning leadership behaviors, transferring leadership behaviors, mentoring, healthy leadership, and recognizing potential in people.
The project utilized a multi-phased approach to methodology. There was a survey and focus group discussion preceding a Leadership Lab involving the people in existing senior leadership positions. The purpose of the first phase was equipping the people in existing senior leadership positions with the skill necessary to equip others.
In the second phase, the people in existing senior leadership positions recruited mentees to cultivate them for effective leadership behaviors in potential leadership positions. A Field Guide was provided for the mentors, and data were recorded through bi-weekly meetings of the researcher with the mentors and Field Guides, Leadership Profiles, focus groups, and formal and informal interviews. The results were evaluated, and modifications for future use were presented.
The researcher concluded the process was successful in producing people who were cultivated with effective leadership behaviors for potential leadership positions by equipping the people in existing senior leadership positions. In order for the process to be undertaken subsequently in this researcher’s congregation, the first Leadership Lab and the book studied during the mentoring phase needed to change. For other congregations to benefit from the process, additional instructions would need to be provided. Even with the needed modifications, the project accomplished all it was designed to accomplish: equipping people in existing senior leadership positions to cultivate people for significant leadership positions.

When prophets speak to kings: Air Force chaplains and the praxis of leadership advisement

Glen E. Harris Jr.
The purpose of this study was to understand how Air Force chaplains advise superior military leaders on religious and ethical matters. Specifically, the qualitative research addressed what informs Air Force chaplains’ understanding of leadership, what Air Force chaplains do as they advise military leaders, what challenges are faced by Air Force chaplains in advising leaders, and how Air Force chaplains evaluate their own effectiveness in advising military leaders.
The findings were, first, that Air Force chaplains develop their understanding of leadership advisement primarily through experience. Some rely on the theological concepts of pastoral identity to buttress their experience, but years of trial and error in the core capability is the dominant path. Furthermore, chaplains rely on a nexus of communication and collaboration with the senior leaders they advise. And they adopt an approach inclusive of both data and relationship, with the latter being paramount. They also see spiritual care and leadership advisement as being two closely interrelated acts of pastoral ministry. Next, the challenges that Air Force chaplains face in advisement involve primarily power differentials and information fidelity. Finally, chaplains evaluate their effectiveness in leadership advisement in terms of building healthy organizational climates and building trust with senior leaders, even while struggling with questions of ineffectiveness and self-doubt.
The study provided three primary conclusions. First, chaplains would benefit from scenario-based coursework early in their careers to jettison the trend of experience-only development in advising leaders. Second, integrating emotional intelligence into the corporate ethos of the Air Force Chaplain Corps synergizes future success in leadership advisement by giving chaplains the boldness and courage to wield a pastoral and yet prophetic voice. Third, for a chaplain to lead a senior leader with advisement that is both on target and on time, they must first be skilled followers or “second chair leaders”.
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