15.1 Dissertation Notices

Chen A. S. (2021). The transformational leadership of the Apostle Paul: A socio-rhetorical analysis of Philippians 1. PhD, Regent University. ProQuest Information & Learning, AAI28085778.

This study examined the Apostle Paul’s transformational leadership in the first chapter of Philippians. The exegetical process showed that the leadership practices Paul demonstrated in Philippians 1:1–30 support the components of transformational leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Regarding transformational leadership from a Christian perspective, as an example of a transformational leader, Paul equipped the Philippians for continually proclaiming the good news of Christ with the goal of developing spiritual maturity and a deeper relationship with Christ. In addition to identifying the lessons that can be learned about transformational leadership from a Christian perspective, findings showed several ways of combating pseudo-transformational leadership. Paul demonstrated and modeled the way to combat pseudo-transformational leadership from a Christian perspective by (a) calling servant leadership; (b) showing individual consideration, especially encouraging followers to grow agape love with knowledge; (c) not seeking one’s own interests, but seeking others’ interests; and (d) raising the level of moral values of suffering for the sake of Christ.

Ellis, Z. C. (2021). Shared leadership as faithful Christian praxis. PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary, Center for Advanced Theological Study. ProQuest Information & Learning, AAI27836564.

Shared leadership is an important emerging leadership praxis. Empirical studies on shared leadership in businesses, education, and non-profits suggest that shared leadership tends to be more effective, producing increased team member satisfaction and commitment. However, little research has been done on how shared leadership is practiced in a congregational setting. This dissertation analyzes existing literature and provides a guiding definition shared leadership. Next, it examines the leadership praxis of important figures in Wesleyan history through the founding of the Church of the Nazarene, highlighting their shared leadership praxes while wrestling with their autocratic tendencies. A theological view of shared leadership is then presented, arguing that shared leadership is a faithful practice that facilitates increased participation in the perichoretic life of God. Finally, this dissertation uses multiple case studies to explore the praxis of shared leadership in six congregations in the Church of the Nazarene. The conclusion presents six positive options that current or aspiring practitioners of shared leadership might consider as they seek to more faithfully and effectively practice shared leadership in their own context.

Kim, D. (2021). The Rediscovery of Resident Aliens—The Virtuous Leadership of Shaping God’s Faithful People: Implications for the Korean Churches of the 21st Century. DMin, Duke University. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 28418920.

This thesis presents the ecclesiology of Resident Aliens as an alternative to overcome the crisis of the Korean church and focuses on the ways to establish a Christian community through “virtuous leadership.” This thesis posits that the crisis situations facing 21st century Korean churches are a result of a culture of quantitative growthism, secularization, an increase in “dones” (Ga-naan saints or group),” “nones,” and a decline in credibility. This thesis compares and analyzes solutions to those crises and various ecclesiology proposed during the 20th century and demonstrates why the community-centered and countercultural church model shown in Resident Aliens is still biblically viable, relevant, and balanced. Furthermore, this thesis recognizes that the essence of the crisis of the church is not the lack of outreach to the world but of Christians who are not sufficiently equipped with virtues. Therefore, this thesis suggests ways to shape God’s faithful people through virtuous leadership.

Lewis, H. L. (2021). Tend my sheep: A phenomenology exploring generation Z’s understanding of and experience with Christian clergy leadership. PhD, Drake University. ProQuest Information & Learning, AAI28261202.

The Christian church has long functioned as an integral institution in American culture. In recent years, however, societal trust in the church has declined. Issues surrounding Christian clergy are frequently associated with this downturn. Consequently, it is crucial to consider how unique generational cohorts experience the Christian church, particularly how they interact with the leadership of Christian clergy. This phenomenological study aimed to describe the lived experiences of Generation Z (Gen Z) in the Christian church. Specific focus was given to how young adults perceive and experience the work and leadership of congregational clergy. This study was designed and conducted using Leader-Member Exchange (LMX) theory as the conceptual framework. Through a series of interviews with 10 Gen Z young adults, aged 18-to-23- year-old, who are participants in the Christian church, four central themes emerged, including: the duality of the pastoral role; treatment of young adults as outsiders in the church; the positive perception participants hold for their pastors; and that young adults’ engagement in the church is influenced by a variety of factors.

Reinhardt, D. E. (2021). The impact of servant leadership and Christcentered followership on the problem of police brutality against minorities. PhD, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 28322146.

This dissertation proposes that a law enforcement leadership model predicated on Christ-centered followership with a biblically based shepherding framework enhanced by servant leadership can shape individual officers and the police subculture. The purpose of this dissertation is to construct a new model of leadership and guiding ethics for law enforcement that impacts the problem of police brutality against racial minorities. Core principles and a leadership framework are drawn from Christcentered followership for the law enforcement context, and servant leadership characteristics are integrated into the framework to enhance the model. As a result of the synthesis, the servant and shepherd model emerges as an applicable construct for law enforcement leaders to address the pattern of social distance, dehumanization, and power abuse that plagues police leadership and the overall police subculture. When coupled with a Christian deontological ethic, the new leadership model can transform the police subculture and organically support a philosophy and methodology of policing that promotes harmony, peace, and human flourishing in minority-communities.

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