Date of Conferral
As more seminary student-practitioners seek non-pastoral leadership roles in faith-based
and secular organizations, the complexities of the roles demand leadership competencies beyond traditional religious study. Limited research assessing leadership competencies in seminary contexts raises uncertainty about whether leadership preparation needs are addressed adequately in seminary. This quantitative study focused on whether or not student self-assessed adequacy of preparation is related to, affected by, or influenced by self-assessed leadership competencies, individually or in the aggregate. The theoretical foundation joined Evers, Rush, and Berdrow's learner-centered theory that urges student input on competency development needs and Boyatzis's leadership competency theory that frames a triadic model of competencies: knowledge, skills, and practices. Multiple regression evaluated relationships between these factors and class level as predictors of adequacy of preparation (the dependent variable). Respondents (n = 94) from a census in 8 graduate schools completed a web-based survey of pre-validated instruments: Bases of Competence (BOC), Administrative Competency Dimensions (ACD), and Leadership Practices Inventory (LPI-self). Regression analysis indicated that leadership practices was a significant predictor. Class level, knowledge, and skills did not predict preparation. Rather, score comparisons revealed that students differentiated knowledge and skill competencies to show student-rated gaps in preparation. This research may lead to positive social change by increasing student awareness of their own preparation needs using evaluation tools to enhance leadership role readiness while in seminary. In turn, prepared students in leader roles can effect positive social change in staff relations and productivity while working in a positive work climate.
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