The purpose of this case study that utilized an inductive qualitative research approach was to uncover desired leadership qualities in a senior pastor. Membership numbers are dwindling for religious organizations as the landscape of the United States becomes more secular. Studies reveal that negative issues with ineffective leadership within these organizations impact congregational health and membership decline. Within the context of leadership’s futility, studies need to be conducted to identify qualifiers of effective leadership in religious organizations, as a lack of research has been conducted concerning religious organizational leaders. Specifically, churches in the Southern Baptist Convention, a conservative conglomerate of Baptist institutions, have little to no information available through studies concerning the leadership qualities of their organizational shepherds. This case study observed a singular Baptist organization that was in the process of finding a new senior leader.

Date of publication

Spring 5-9-2018

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Jerry W. Gilley, Ed.D., Ann Gilley, Ph.D., Paul Roberts, Ed.D., Tony Wolfe, D.Ed.Min.


Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Development