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Dissertation Abstract

Pastoral Selection Process in African-American Baptist High-Risk Churches: A Case Study

Leroy Gilbert
Regent University

This study examined how African-American Baptist high-risk churches in the District of Columbia and vicinity included or excluded eight factors identified through the review of the literature that organizations should consider in the selection process before the selection of a leader. The factors explored in this research were the composition of the pastoral selection committee, the criteria for selection of a pastor, the highest priority for selecting a pastor, the use of external consultants in the selection process, and the churches' readiness to change. The final factors examined were the inclusion or exclusion of an organizational cultural analysis, organizational needs assessment, and evaluative instruments during the pastoral selection process. This research investigated four churches that fit LaRue's (1996a) definition of high-risk churches, churches that have forced out two or more of their pastors. The case study approach was used to gather, analyze, and interpret data collected through interviews with stakeholders who had been involved in the pastoral selection process of the participating churches. The results of the study identified possible flaws in the pastoral selection process of high-risk African-American Baptist churches that may perpetuate the forced exits or resignations of pastors.