Date of Award


Degree Name

EdD Doctor of Education

Dissertation Committee

Joseph C. Rost, PhD, Director; Edward Kujawa Jr., PhD; Judith Corbin, EdD


academics, administrators, Delphi study, evangelical institutions of higher education, lay leaders, Leadership studies, leadership training, ministerial students, pastors


There exists a growing sense within evangelicalism in the United States, that more and better leaders are needed in local congregations. Traditionally, seminaries, graduate and undergraduate schools have prepared pastors to fulfill these roles and satisfy church expectations. The majority of pastoral preparation is theological in nature, augmented by ministerial skill courses. The hypothesis of this research was that little has been done in the area of leadership development and that an optimum program is needed to serve as a model. The intent of this research was twofold. First, the researcher needed to determine to what extent pastoral preparation programs implemented leadership courses and leader training opportunities. Descriptions from 141 pastoral preparation programs from accredited evangelical institutions of higher education were reviewed from catalogs. These programs were rated according to five categories. Three programs received blue ribbon status as emphasizing leadership training, and three programs received status as supporting leadership. Clearly, leadership training for pastors is very limited and often nonexistent in many evangelical institutions according to this study. The second phase of the research involved developing an optimum pastoral leadership training program by an expert panel via the Delphi method. Twenty experts representing four stakeholder groups--pastors, lay leaders, administrators, and academics--participated in three Delphi rounds including an initial interview and two subsequent surveys. The emergent programs developed by the experts represented optimum training structures for undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs. Each program included diagnostic recommendations, core courses, and internship guidelines.

Document Type

Dissertation: Open Access