Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Jeffrey Davis


Grit, Christian Leadership, Pastoral Leadership, Biblical Personality


Christianity | Leadership Studies | Religion


The purpose of this mixed methods study was to understand the attribute of grit in current Sothern Baptist Convention (SBC) lead pastors in Alabama. Having first been coined as a separate attribute in 2007, there was much still to learn about grit and its qualities. This study attempted to research the impact of grit in Christian ministry. Grit was coined by Duckworth, Peterson, Matthews, & Kelly (2007) and is defined as the perseverance and passion for long term goals and the attainment of those goals. In this mixed-method study, grit was examined in lead pastors of SBC churches in Alabama with an in position tenure of eight years or more. Data was collected first by utilizing the Grit-S Survey from A. Duckworth (2016). Thereafter, qualitative data was collected in the form of video conference and phone interviews detailing past experiences of the research subjects. Finally, a correlation was attempted between the research subjects and a close subordinate for each member, utilizing the same research instruments. The data suggests grit to be a key attribute for goal achievement in ministry leadership. Results of the 90 lead pastors studied highlight that grit is highly possessed by those in ministry leadership with average grit scores of 3.86 on a 5.0 scale. Grit was also suggested to be learned throughout life and that one of the most significant factors in grit development was having a calling from God on one’s life.