Date of Conferral







John Schmidt


While many studies showed evidence of the use of learning organization theory in a variety of venues, these theories have been studied in a limited capacity in church settings. This research attempted to substantiate the presence of learning organization principles in churches experiencing growth, and to refine a tool to measure these characteristics in churches. Relationships and strengths of association between and among 3 learning organization principles of leadership, job structure and systems, and performance and development, and degrees of growth defined as negative, plateau, and positive growth were examined in a sample of Nazarene churches via a revised survey completed by senior pastors. Pre and post survey analyses were employed, resulting in stronger reliability and validity outcomes for the instrument and contributing to a significant gap in the literature. Correlation, multiple regression, and ANOVA methods were used to assess relationships between the 3 learning organization principles and 3 levels of church growth. Outcomes did not show significant substantiation of these relationships, except for slightly higher evidence of leadership in the positive growth group. This study adds to the scientific knowledge of church growth via the creation of a new survey instrument for church use. The promotion of social responsibility and professional application of knowledge to church venues is an important tenet of this study, and lends valuable insight and knowledge for church leadership to engage in strategies that lead to social change.