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Dissertation Abstract

The Impact of Leadership Development Training Experiences on the Development on Senior Pastor's Effectiveness as Leaders of Member Churches in an American, Evangelical Denomination

Tim Drake
Regent University

How leaders develop and the impact they have on organizational effectiveness is a subject of considerable review. Leaders impact organizational performance. Leaders develop through experience and formal training. While it seems intuitive that the more training a leader undergoes, the greater the positive impact he or she will have on an organization, further evidence is needed for validation. Senior Pastors serving churches, in an evangelical denomination, across the United States were asked to reconstruct three years of Leadership Development Experiences and training. The pastors were selected randomly from published denominational records based on the age and size of the church and the length of the pastor's service to that church. The types of experiences reported included self-studies, personal reading, and seminar attendance and higher education courses. These experiences were then compared to growth trends of the churches, measured from church attendance and annual income. Data for the church's attendance and income performance were taken form the audited annual reports published by the denomination. The results of the study were mixed. The evidence indicated by the data analysis indicates that no significant relationship exits between the number of denominational and public seminars undertaken by pastors and the church's attendance and income. The data analysis does indicate a positive relationship between the church's budget for pastoral development and attendance and income. A second positive relationship was established between higher education classes attended by pastors and the attendance and income performance of the church. Thus, it seems likely that formal learning experiences have some effect on leadership development.