Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gary Bredfeldt


African leadership, Pentecostalism, African Christianity, Autocratic leadership, Shared leadership, West Africa


Christianity | Educational Leadership


The purpose of this grounded theory study was to determine whether autocratic leadership theory best explains the nature of leadership in the West African Pentecostal/Charismatic Denomination (PCD) across West Africa and to compare the current leadership practices within the PCD to a biblical and theological framework. Since Africa is the fastest growing Christian continent in the world, it is important to give careful attention to matters arising within the church leadership. The researcher believes that this study helped shed light on leadership challenges within African Christianity, Christian education, and most importantly within the Pentecostal/Charismatic denomination. It also provides information that will advance the literature base within African Christianity as it relates to PCD. Based on the findings, the results suggests that autocratic leadership is the primary leadership structure within most PCD churches in the region. Seventy percent of the survey participants selected single structure leadership as the leadership style in their local church while the remaining thirty percent of the participants selected shared leadership. The majority, 70%, of the participants who perceived their church was governed by a group of individuals, are also of the opinion that single structure leadership is still presently practiced in their local church and that one single individual has the autonomous power to make key decisions. The findings revealed three types of leadership structure within PCD churches in West Africa.