Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Jeffrey Davis


Christian, Education, Leader, Gospel, Zeal Phenomenon


Christianity | Educational Leadership | Religion


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to investigate and reveal the perceived experiences that enhanced Gospel zeal in Christian educational leaders in ministry. Scholarly studies reflect that contemporary ministry trends affect Christian educational leaders' longevities (Barna, 2020a) but do not address effects on Gospel zeal. The researcher cites Ryle (1880, Chapter One, Para. 2) regarding the Gospel zeal phenomenon, “Zeal in Christianity is a burning desire to please God, to do His will, and to advance His glory in the world in every possible way. It is a desire, which is not natural to men or women. It is a desire which the Spirit puts in the heart of every believer when they are converted to Christ, however, a desire which some believers feel so much more strongly than others that they alone deserve to be called ‘zealous’ men and women.” The theory which guided this study is The ERG theory by Clayton Alderfer (1969) that refers to, “existence, relatedness, and growth” as the Christian educational leader considers the phenomenon of Gospel zeal to fulfill the Great Commission. The results of interviews with nine participants who were currently pastoring for 20 years have a good reputation, are passionate about the Gospel and what Christians believe God is communicating in the Bible, are exemplars in ministry, and are 60 years of age or older, could help Christian educational leaders consider how their perceived experiences enhance Gospel zeal. The researcher sought to reveal how the Christian educational leader transforming to be more Christ-like could better sustain joyful and zealous relationships with God and humankind as life-long disciplers of the Gospel.