Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


James Zabloski


Succession Planning, Leadership Transitions


Christianity | Leadership Studies | Religion


Far too many organizations fall short of the strategic task of succession planning. The absence of satisfactory solutions in this area stifles the ability of an organization to achieve its mission and vision. Lack of planning in this area also contributes to a negative impact on overall morale, staff performance, and effectiveness as these turnovers ensue. The purpose of this thesis project is to explore the perceived absence of intentional succession planning and leadership transitioning among director and associate director-level leadership positions within the Potomac Conference Corporation of Seventh-day Adventists. In this project, surveys and one-on-one interviews are conducted among employee leaders in the workforce to assess the perception of turnover among these critical positions, along with the perceived implications of these transitions on mission and vision achievement at the local level. Also surveyed are human resources personnel from a sample of surrounding conferences to explore the prevalence or lack of prevalence of strategic succession planning among Seventh-day Adventist Conferences. The desired outcome will be the creation of a succession planning document, supported by precedent literature and scripture, which will aid and assist conference administration and hiring managers in filling vacant roles in. Best practices for strategic succession planning will be followed and referenced. Additional conferences may use this resource in filling vacancies and in achieving their stated missions and visions.