Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gabriel Etzel


Christian Leadership, Leadership, Field Theory, Leader Environment


Christianity | Leadership Studies | Religion


The purpose of this descriptive quantitative study was to determine and then evaluate perceptions of Christian seminary students with recent ministry related leadership experience on the environmental factors and forces, both internal and external, that either enable or constrain the efforts of the modern Christian leader. Christian leadership study, much like general leadership study tends to focus directly upon the leader, thus ignoring the potential impact of environmental variables upon resultant leadership. For this knowledge gap to be properly investigated a new instrument, based upon work by Dr. David Dockery, was developed, refined, and utilized to investigate the perception of the impact regarding 14 environmental variables, both positive and negative. The study sample was drawn directly from a major Christian university, specifically drawing from online students. The developed computer-based Likert scale instrument was hosted via Qualtrics and subsequent data analysis was conducted utilizing IBM SPSS 26. While the developed instrument, the Christian Leader Environmental Variable Inventory, or CLEVI, was evaluated favorably, continued refinement and additional studies will be required to establish a firmer sense of instrument validity. Overall, the study still managed to reveal unique perceptions of Christian leaders regarding the impact of their environment upon leadership efforts, thus establishing itself as a viable component for future research.