Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Micheal Pardue


Leadership, Discrimination, Secular Environment, Stress, Anxiety


Christianity | Leadership Studies


The pressures of African American Christian women (AACW) who function as leaders in a secular environment are unknown. This qualitative phenomenological study aimed to explore the experiences of AACW who lead in a secular environment in Eastern North Carolina under pressures such as stress and anxiety. Data received from conducting this qualitative study will reveal the perspectives of six AACW who function as leaders in a secular environment. It will reveal the causes for their pressures, their ways of coping with those issues, and their thoughts on ways to lessen stress while serving as an African American Christian (AAC) leader in a secular environment. The driving force behind this study is explained by Bell (2004), who stated that the average life expectancy of a Black woman is seventy years, whereas that of a Black man is sixty years, and that of a White woman is seventy-nine years. Black women's life expectancy has declined due to cancer and heart disease (Bell, 2004). The decline in life expectancy due to illnesses and other health issues emphasizes how vital it is for African American women to preserve their health and well-being. According to Wiley (2020), when poverty and a potentially unhealthy environment are present, both physical and mental illness can be crippling (Wiley, 2020). Therefore, it is essential to identify the root causes of stress and anxiety. According to the findings of this research study, AACW who function as leaders in a secular environment are leading under stress and/or anxiety due to working in a secular environment, their race, their age, their gender, Black men, and personal reasons.