Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gary J. Bredfeldt


Christian formation, Christian leadership, discipleship, servant leadership, shared leadership, transformational leadership


Educational Leadership | Leadership Studies


This quantitative correlational study explored the intersection of Christians in leadership positions who are not in full-time ministerial positions and the transformational nature of discipleship. It focused on determining if a correlation exists between a marketplace Christian leader’s involvement in a discipleship relationship and exhibiting characteristics of servant, transformational, or shared leadership in the marketplace. It did this by examining the concept of discipleship as currently practiced in today’s environment, comparing it with similar terms and practices prevalent in the literature, such as spiritual formation, mentoring, and coaching. It also reviewed three specific leadership styles, arguing that servant, transformational, and shared leadership, as described by Greenleaf (2002), Bass and Riggio (2006), and Pearce and Conger (2003), respectively, are those that Jesus exhibited during his ministry. Further, it evaluated the concept of the marketplace in scripture, arguing that the marketplace is a valid place for ministry and Christian leadership. Building on work done by Atherton (2014), Beckwith (2016b), Brown (2017), Bunkowske (2019), Davis (2014), Ellis (2020), and others, this project found there was a statistically significant correlation between being in a discipleship relationship and exhibiting servant leadership and elements of transformational leadership for marketplace Christian leaders.