Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Robert Van Engen


Nonvocational, Ministry Leader, Volunteer, Exemplary Leadership


Christianity | Leadership Studies | Religion


The purpose of this quantitative study was to determine how nonvocational (unpaid) ministry leaders demonstrated exemplary leadership practices while ministering in predominantly Black Southeastern Connecticut churches. The study also showed how much theological training nonvocational ministry leaders received. Volunteer leadership is a critical resource for the church. Purposive nonprobability sampling produced a sample from an unknown population of nonvocational ministry leaders serving predominantly Black Southeastern Connecticut churches. Surveys distribution was via U.S. mail to pastors at 20 churches identified from e-mail distribution lists and social media posts. Sixty-eight participants completed the survey, which incorporated a demographic questionnaire and the Leadership Practices Inventory. Researchers use the Leadership Practices Inventory to measure 5 leadership practices: model the way, inspire a shared vision, challenge the process, enable others to act, and encourage the heart. Exploratory data analysis and descriptive statistics showed that most nonvocational leaders demonstrated encourage the heart leadership (M = 8.78), with challenge the process the least reported (M = 7.98). Spearman’s correlations measured the correlations between theological training (years of experience and education) and leadership practices. The findings showed significant, inverse correlations between years of experience on challenge the process and enable others to act. None of the Spearman’s correlations was significant between level of education and leadership practices.