School of Education


Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)


Michelle Barthlow


School Climate, Christian Education, Teacher-Administrator Perceptions


Education | Educational Leadership


School climate has been researched for the past 100 years. However, there is a lack of school climate research focused on perceptual differences between school leaders and teachers. It is important to evaluate stakeholder differences, as principals are tasked with forming the climate of the school and teachers are responsible for relaying that climate to students. Furthermore, there is a lack of school climate studies conducted in private Christian schools. Christian school leaders need school climate data to help sustain and improve Christian education. The purpose of this causal comparative study is to evaluate perceptual differences between administrators and teachers in Christian schools in the southeast region of the United States. The participants were chosen from a convenience sample of high school teachers and administrators from Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) member schools in the southeast region of the United States (N=50 teachers and N=50 administrators). The participants received an email requesting them to complete a survey by clicking on the survey link and responding to the questions. Data was collected from participants’ responses to the revised School-Level Environment Questionnaire (r-SLEQ). Multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) was used to determine if perceptual differences exist between teachers and administrators. The data analysis produced three significant findings. There were statistically significant differences in the overall school climate domain, the decision-making domain, and the school resources domain. This study reveals the specific areas in which Christian school educators should focus their attention in order to improve their school climate. Recommendations for further research include replicating this study in additional Christian school regions to increase generalizability.