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Public Policy and Administration


Anne Hacker


Several Ontario communities face challenges requiring harnessing multisectorial partnerships to bring about community transformation. The church has the capacity to contribute to the community transformation needs of its community, but a particular denomination in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) appeared to be unaware of how to fulfil its social mission of community transformation. The purpose of this case study was to understand how members of the clergy perceived the lay leadership vacuum in the denomination and how these perceptions appear to inhibit the denomination's achievement of its social mission. The theoretical framework was Akingbola's strategic nonprofit human resource management theory. A qualitative case study was employed, using semistructured interviews of 10 clergy in the GTA. Data from the interviews were coded and categorized for thematic analysis and constant comparison. Findings indicated a lay leadership vacuum in the studied denomination. Participants concurred that the vacuum was influenced by the perceptions of the clergy, which inhibit the denomination's capacity to address the needs of the community. The results of this study could lead to positive social change through providing an understanding of the obstacles denominations and similar nonprofit organizations may need to overcome to effectively identify, nurture, and deploy their volunteers for the benefit of community transformation.

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