Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Robert O. Brinkerhoff

Second Advisor

Dr. Ed Kelley

Third Advisor

Dr. Shirley Van Hoeven


The purpose of this study was to formulate a theory of leadership that would be appropriate in the context of Christian organizations. The basic premise of the theory was that in order for Christian organizations to attain higher degrees of excellence they need to account for and work with three principal variables: technical orientation, human orientation and spiritual orientation. The review of literature and expert opinion gathered in the study further substantiated the advisability of organizations in general taking into account the influence of spirituality and performance on the job. The purpose of the theory was to provide the foundation for the development of a conceptual model that could be used in the training and development of leaders in Christian organizations.

The theory of Christian leadership was reviewed by a number of experts in the field and account was taken of their comments and recommendations. A test instrument, the Christian Leadership Discernment Questionnaire, was developed to accompany the theory. There was a twofold purpose to the questionnaire: first, to determine the possibility of quantifying the three orientations and, second, to determine if the theory could discriminate between these orientations.

The expert review resulted in positive support for the concept and development of the theory which was said to show sound and supportable reasoning, conceptual creativity, utility and potential benefit to both Christian and non-Christian organizations. The statistical analysis performed on the data gathered by the questionnaire indicated that the instrument was reliable and valid in discerning spiritual behavior but less reliable in discerning technical and human-related behavior. Under the conditions of the test the conclusion was made that the results provided sufficient evidence to support the overall viability of the theory as a conceptual, instructional and evaluative tool.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access