Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gary Bredfeldt


Leadership, Servant, Appalachia, Blanchard


Christianity | Leadership Studies | Religion


There is a need for capable leaders within churches to provide interconnected stability for economically challenged regions. The purpose of this multi-case study research was to understand and assess the exposure to the Ken Blanchard servant-leadership model on Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) church congregations located in the three-county area of Buchanan, Tazewell, and Russell in the rural Appalachian Mountains (RAM) region of Southwestern Virginia (SWVA) and select outcome assessment criteria. At this stage of the research, servant-leadership was generally defined as a leader who works for the common good and attempts to empower others in ways that strengthen and transform communities in a sustainable manner. The fostering of trust, respect, and appreciation of diversity are necessary character traits within this model. The theory guiding this study was servant-leadership as defined by Robert K. Greenleaf (1970; 1977; 2002) and Ken Blanchard (2012; 2016) and its ability to impact the perceived attitudes, strategic thinking and application, as well as the perceived benefits for the least privileged of society, as defined by Greenleaf (1970; 1977; 2002). The population of this research was pastors, pastors’ wives, staff, and congregational leaders of SBC churches located within a three-county region in the Appalachian Mountains of SWVA. This research study adhered to a multi-case qualitative methodological design that followed purposive and snowball sampling.