Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; Helen deLaurentis, PhD; William P. Foster, EdD; Fayette B. Veverka, EdD


Catholicism, Christian leadership, Leadership studies, nonordained, religious educators, qualitative


There is an increasing number of nonordained catholic men and women trained for leadership and ministry in the United States. What are the perspectives of these women and men on leadership in the church, the nature and purpose of leadership, and education for leadership? This qualitative study compared transforming leadership with the perspectives on leadership discovered among the 17 participants in the study. The respondents expect to exercise leadership in a church that faces a challenging future. The researcher also outlined those future challenges facing leaders and participants who practice the process of leadership. The author makes prescriptive suggestions on education for leadership based upon the participants' perspectives and the author's theory of leadership. These suggestions include a prominent role for religious educators interested in developing leadership. The author concluded that there is confusion, among the participants, about any shared meaning of leadership. Attention needs to be given to the transformational character of leadership. There is no clear framework, no guide for clear thinking about leadership which these women and men may draw upon for their personal and professional benefit. Leadership studies must be more clear about the nature and purpose of leadership and communicate that understanding in theory and in practice. The study showed a need for substantive change in the way persons understand and practice leadership in order to meet future needs. Finally, restructuring education for leadership in the Christian community is essential if people want transforming leadership. Thirteen recommendations on education for Christian leadership are made in light of the study and in light of the author's perspective on transforming leadership.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access