Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gary Bredfeldt


Ministry, Christian Leadership Development, Emerging Leaders, Mentoring, Spiritual Parenting


Christianity | Leadership Studies


Across America, the need exists to identify young, potential Christian leaders who sense a call to ministry, to grow these emerging leaders through spiritual parenting or mentoring, godly relationships, education, training, and ministry experience, and to send out the next generation of ministers to fulfill the Great Commission. The purpose of this mixed-method phenomenological study was to explore and better understand the nature of the discovery, development, and deployment of a call to ministry for emerging leaders who are credentialed ministers with the North Texas District Council of the Assemblies of God and under 40 years of age at the time of the study. In this research, a call to ministry is generally defined as “a general call of some believers to ministry leadership” (Iorg, 2008, p. 19). The theory guiding this study was transcendental phenomenology (Moustakas, 1994) as it finds meaning in the lived experiences of the research participants (Creswell & Creswell, 2018; Creswell & Poth, 2018; Leedy & Ormrod, 2016). Empirical research of this phenomenon was guided by the theory of transcendental phenomenology. This study utilized qualitative and quantitative data gathered through a survey and qualitative data through semi-structured interviews. It employed a purposive sample approach. This study revealed a foundation for better vocational ministry leadership development and retention among emerging leaders.