Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Gary Bredfeldt


church organizational culture, executive coaching, church leadership, organizational culture, coaching, church leadership development, leadership coaching, church management, leadership, Christian coaching


Leadership Studies | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


The trajectory of the seminary training curriculum has evolved pedagogically at projecting adequate church leadership education and hands-on development. However, empirical research reveals that the seminary struggles with preparing generations of church leaders for modern church responsibilities including executive leadership, tactical performance, administration, and church organizational culture (Crowson, 2021; Costin, 2008). Hicks (2012), as cited by Smith (2017) states, “Recent studies have begun to explore the need for management training for pastors” (p. 2). Graduates as well as current church leaders report feeling ill-equipped for the increasing duties for today’s church culture. This qualitative, phenomenological study evaluated mid-to-senior level Christian leaders’ perceptions of executive coaching's impact on church organizational culture. Four research questions were utilized to guide this study: 1) What are Christian church leaders’ perceptions of how executive coaching impacts leadership effectiveness? 2) How do Christian church leaders perceive how executive coaching improves church managerial performance? 3) What are church leaders’ perceptions of how executive coaching improves congregational relationships? 4) How do Christian church leaders’ perceive how executive coaching influences administrative skillsets? Fourteen Christian leaders participated in virtual interviews using an expert coach-vetted questionnaire. The researcher discovered that leadership coaching impacts church organizational culture through new skillsets and personal growth integrated into their leadership. Church leaders perceive that leadership coaching significantly influenced leadership effectiveness, managerial performance, and administrative skillset with minimal impact on congregational relationship building.