School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Kenneth R. Tierce


Christian School Leadership Practices, Spiritual Nurture, Christian Faith, Christian Nurture, Christian Spirituality, Spirituality


Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this phenomenological study was to understand how Christian school leader practices impact the creation of a school environment where spiritual nurture can occur in students. Through criteria sampling from an open web search of ACSI Christian schools in Pennsylvania, selected participants were elementary and upper school principals, an assistant administrator, heads of school, and an assistant head of school. As one of the largest Christian education associations rooted in a biblical worldview, ACSI has developed the Christian School Leadership Framework (CSLF) which describes important competencies and behaviors for administrators and/or leaders of Christian schools. The theoretical framework that guided this study was Bartsch’s (2006) major practices of spiritual leadership. Christian school leadership practices perceived by school leaders to create an environment where spiritual nurture can occur was the phenomenon of the study. For data collection, I used interviews, documents, and one focus group session. Based on Creswell’s (2014) data analysis spiral, phenomenological analysis included memoing and coding of interviews, document analysis, and a focus group. The themes generated from the data collection and analysis were used to develop a thick description of the phenomenon. In support of Bartsch’s (2006) spiritual leadership framework, findings show Christian school leaders in ACSI affiliated schools in Pennsylvania perceive their leadership practices, theological beliefs, and leading and developing the spirituality of others impacts the creation of an environment where spiritual nurture can occur.