Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Ministry (DMin)


Ken Nehrbass


Leadership, Development, Program, Shepherding, Pastor, Staff, Leader, Church, Ministry


Leadership Studies


As leadership demands grow, churches need a way to develop more effective leaders. Many pastors have received limited training in how to develop leaders and may not be aware of stakeholders’ expectations for leadership development. This thesis project reveals the importance of intentional leadership development of those who have answered the calling to work in the local church. The researcher believes the current shortage of lay leaders as well as consistent burnout rates among staff and volunteers can be altered with the correct plan and people in place. The researcher conducted open ended semi-structured interviews for those currently working in full-time church leadership capacity to gain knowledge about what would be helpful in their development. The responses should help those in high-level leadership positions understand what people are craving from their leaders. The central finding from this study was that if stakeholders are involved in developing a useful Leadership Development Plan (LDP), they recommend one that strengthens relationships, develops more leaders, grows individuals, and aligns the team with the mission of the church.