Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Thomas Davis


Haitian leadership, Christian, leader, servant-leadership, church system


Christianity | Educational Leadership


This qualitative phenomenological study assessed potential solid abstract ways to empower Haitian Christian leaders by applying the concept of servant leadership to safeguard a productive church system in the Haitian American Christian community. A phenomenological approach is defined as “A study that attempts to understand people’s perceptions and perspectives relative to a particular situation” (Creswell & Creswell, 2018, p. 119). A phenomenological study seeks to answer the question, “What is it like to experience such and such?” (Creswell & Creswell, 2018, p. 119). Therefore, the phenomenological design was considered to better understand Haitian leaders’ awareness about servant leadership. The findings of this study emphasize that leaders should be compelled to experience self-development. In this way, Owens & Hekman (2012) stated, “Assuming the follower role and putting the follower in the leader/ trainer role” p. 798). Greenleaf (2014) described servant leadership with a question—"Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants?” (p. 21). The “Theory of the Mind” (ToM) theory guided this study. This theory was introduced by Premack and Woodruff (1978), inspired by the work of Jean Piaget (1967), to explore ways of understanding others. Accordingly, Wellman (2002) claimed, ToM has to with “Something more specific to an understanding of persons and minds… An understanding of mental representations (beliefs, knowledge, false beliefs, imaginings)” (p. 180-181).