Awarding Institution

Andrews University (Avondale)

Date of Award


Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (Theology) MA(Theol)


Arts & Theology


Ministry and Theology

First Advisor

Dr. Kerry Hortop


Problem: Respect for an authoritarian style of leadership in the church has diminished. Due to societal and cultural changes church members are seeking greater participation in the decision making processes in the church. It was the purpose of this project to investigate the response of the pastor and church board toward education in principles determining participative leadership, and assess commitment to implementation of such a leadership style in the church.

Method: A series of four seminars was conducted in which Biblical and organisational determinants of participative leadership were discussed. There were twenty members on the board, although not all attended regularly. Shifts in perception were measured by instruments conducted at the beginning and end of the seminar series.

Results: Although the group was small, measurement indicated that the seminar series successfully increased perception of the nature of participative leadership, its advantages, its basis in the New Testament, and the relationship of various organisational principles to successful participative leadership in the church.

The commitment to implementation of a participative style of leadership was high at the conclusion of the series.

Conclusion: The project demonstrated the viability of an educative process in motivating the church board toward acceptance of its leadership role in the church. Board members can be educated to maximise the contribution of every church member in the decision-making processes of the church.


Dissertation: Project Report (M.A.)

Andrews University, School of Graduate Studies, Avondale Campus, 1985.

Published with permission from Andrews University.

Staff and students of Avondale College may access a print copy of this thesis from Avondale College Library (262.1 OI4)