School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Counselor Education and Supervision (PhD)
Joy M. Mwendwa
COVID-19, Korean immigrant church leaders, leadership development, burnout
Seo, Jinwon, "The Impact of COVID-19 on Leadership Development and Burnout among Korean Immigrant Church Leaders in the United States: A Phenomenological Study" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4736.
The global outbreak and pandemic of COVID-19 is an unprecedented event that causes many people to experience psychological, spiritual, and social health crises as well as physical crisis. There is limited empirical research existed on the influence of COVID-19 on church leaders, particularly within the Korean immigrant community. A phenomenological approach was adopted, utilizing semi-structured individual interviews with Korean immigrant church leaders to explore their lived experiences during the pandemic. The findings revealed three primary themes: change, support, and burnout. Korean immigrant church leaders demonstrated balanced leadership development in guiding, providing, and protecting roles, but also experienced exhaustion due to increased workloads and reduced interaction with congregants. Some leaders reported a decline in personal accomplishment, indicative of burnout. The study highlights the need for increased social support and efforts to address the challenges faced by immigrant church leaders and congregants during crises, emphasizing the role of counseling professionals in advocating for their well-being. This study provided strong implications for social change, recommendations for actions, and future areas of research.