School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Ellen Black


leadership, succession, transition


Education | Educational Leadership | Higher Education


The purpose of this case study was to explore the leadership succession and transition that occurred at Liberty University from founder to the second-generation leader in 2007. In order to gather knowledge about the key stakeholders, this qualitative case study was conducted, and this researcher utilized interviews and focus group interviews with individuals who had a firsthand account of the leadership succession. Also, documents related to the succession were analyzed. The information obtained from these data collection methods were analyzed and categorized by themes related to leadership succession. The results from this case study revealed a specific method and process of succession chosen by the university and its founder. It was clear that the founder of the university had engaged in intentional and specific mentoring and training of his successor. The findings revealed that the familial status of the two leaders resulted in an additional layer of mentoring and commitment. Also, it was found that there was a period of success for the institution, which was due in part to a seamless transition of leadership.