14.2 Dissertation Notices

Penna, H. L. (2020). (In)Effective Communication Strategies among Church Leadership: Assessing the Influence of Communication Channels on Effective Communication between Church Leadership and Their Members during the Coronavirus Shutdown. MA, Baylor University. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 28027190.

The Coronavirus shutdown forced many churches to move from in-person services to a purely online platform. This study looks into churchesā€™ communicative strategies during the Coronavirus shutdown to communicate with their members and reach their. This study analyzes the effect of limited communication channels on church communication. Data was collected through interviews with 21 staff members and leaders at various Christian churches. This study used qualitative methods and network sampling to find and interview participants. All data was coded using thematic analysis, generated from the components of Channel Expansion Theory, to analyze trends among interviews. This paper provides a discussion of effective church communication that offers insight into both the scholarly field of communication and practical strategies.

Parker, H. (2019). Leadership of Heart and Mind: Examining the Mind and Skill Sets of Student Sustainability Leadership. PhD, University of Southern Maine. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 13861238.

The study sought to answer three central research questions: What motivates students to become sustainability leaders in higher education settings? How do student sustainability leaders describe their role and effectiveness as leaders and collaborate with or compare to university personnel responsible for moving the institution’s sustainability goals forward? What leadership qualities and skills have student sustainability leaders used to transform complex higher education cultures? The participants demonstrated a motivation to model, inspire and facilitate decision-making that recognizes the interdependence and interconnectivity of human and nonhuman systems, expressed a personal or spiritual connection to nature, and spoke of their desire to benefit present and future systems. These findings suggest that providing experiential, problembased learning and peer and supervisory mentoring, as part of sustainability education, is of high value and that the shared skillset can build learning outcomes, experiences, and assessments. This study also suggests that higher education institutions reexamine their priorities, policies, and practices across the entirety of their systems to ensure that sustainability is part of the fabric of their culture and model sustainability as a priority that cuts across disciplines silos.

Scott, E. C. (2020). Millennials Living Online from Pews to Posts in Austin, Texas: A Qualitative Descriptive Study. EdD, Grand Canyon University. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 28150187.

The purpose of this qualitative descriptive design study was to explore how Christian millennials experienced networked religion on Facebook for shaping values and beliefs. The three research questions focused on how churched millennials engaged on Facebook for shaping values and beliefs and the spiritual meaning ascribed to the various forms of engagement. Also, the study explored how millennials perceived legitimate authority online. The research questions were answered by employing the purposive snowball sampling technique to select participants, conducting semi-structured interviews with 15 Christian churched millennials in Austin, Texas, and collecting data from participantā€™s journals. Seven thematic categories emerged (a) experiencing religion on Facebook versus offline, (b) expressing religious identity on Facebook, (c) functioning as a networked community, (d) inspiring meaning and purpose, (e) interacting with others on Facebook, (f) perceptions about legitimate religious authority, and (g) religious influence. The results showed millennials experienced divine encounters as they exchanged information between social networks and community sources on Facebook. These encounters shaped values and beliefs and resulted in relational and spiritual meanings that supported spiritual growth. Participants recognized the changing role of clergy as the primary authority for answering religious questions.

Danquah, C. J. (2020). Leadership Imagery: Developing People with the Right Passion, Attitudes, and Knowledge for Effective Christian Leadership. DMin, Asbury Theological Seminary. ProQuest Dissertations  Publishing, 28027304.

This project aims to suggest ways of improving Christian leadership succession within the Methodist Church, Ghana (MCG). Training nextgeneration leaders should not be an afterthought. This project focuses on a developmental strategy for young people that equips them with the right passion, attitudes, and knowledge for Christian leadership. The study examined the practice of Christian leadership and concluded that it requires sound biblical and theological understanding. The statement of the projectā€™s problem, purpose, rationale, and relevant literature were considered to establish appropriate biblical and theological foundations that will ensure an effective approach in raising Christian leaders. The project considered the history of Christian leadership by observing the execution of Godā€™s plan in times past through young people’s development. The research methodology of the nature, purpose, and participants regarding criteria, ministry context, data collection, and analysis are considered. The project’s evidence is then reviewed with respect to the preand post-test of the participantsā€™ aptitudes. Finally, the significant findings are discussed to ascertain the implication for ministry. Unexpected observations are shared, and recommendations are provided for further study.

Williams, D. R. (2019). Phenomenological Study of Encouragement as a Protective Factor for New Christian Pastors. EdD, Grand Canyon University. ProQuest  Dissertations Publishing, 13903419.

The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of encouragement as a protective factor for newly appointed Christian pastors in the United States during the first year of their pastoral appointment. The sample for this study was eight new Christian pastors from diverse denominations. The overarching research question that guided this study asked: What are the lived experiences of encouragement as a protective factor for newly appointed Christian pastors during their first year of pastoral appointment? Eight themes emerged: (a) new Christian pastors acknowledge their calling from God as a major source of encouragement, (b) need encouragement to ameliorate emotional vulnerability, (c) need encouragement to persevere when confronting problems, (d) credit encouragement for instilling confidence to pursue potential, (e) describe components of successful encouragement messages, (f) rely on their encouragement networks, (g) deem self-encouragement vital for thriving in their new roles, and (h) value encouragement when combined with organizational support. The findings in this research affirmed that for new Christian pastors, the foci, effectiveness, and atmosphere of encouragement could be described by three encouraging elements; who encourages, what is said in the encouragement messages, and when the encouragement encounters occur.

Agbarakwe, C. O. (2020). Courageous Followership Behavior and Leadership Styles Among Christian Lay Leaders in Nigeria. EdD, Grand Canyon University. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 28257114.

Leadership entails leading and following. However, unlike leaders, not much has been studied about followers, and the question of whether how people follow determines how they lead had not been conclusively established. Specifically, it was unknown if the five dimensions of courageous followership behavior predict transformational and transactional leadership styles. A convenience sampling method was used to collect data from the target population of Christian lay leaders in Nigeria. The final sample contained 114 participants. The study was based on the courageous followership theory, the followership theory, and the full range of leadership models. The researcher used multiple linear regression analysis to address two research questions that examined whether the five dimensions of courageous followership behavior predict transformational and transactional leadership styles. The overall courageous followership model was also statistically significant in predicting transactional leadership F(5, 108) = 4.06, p = .002, and accounted for 15.8% of the variance in the transactional leadership score. However, only four courageous followership behavior dimensions significantly predicted transformational leadership style, and two dimensions of courageous followership behavior significantly predicted the transactional leadership style of Christian lay leaders in Nigeria.

Leave a Reply