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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Coming out of the Christian closet: God-centered Christian spiritual leadership in education
by Moseley, Lyle J., Ed.D., Rowan University, 2008, 261; 3311384
Abstract (Summary)

Many leaders ascribe to various leadership theories. Grounded in conventional wisdom, these theories assist leaders in aligning their practices to a theoretical framework that enables them to lead with a degree of cognitive consistency. However, in a crisis, many of these leaders default to leadership strategies and styles that are at the core of their being. For those who embrace Christianity, oftentimes God-centered Christian spiritual leadership (GCCSL) is that default strategy.

In the current state of educational affairs, GCCSL is viewed as being impractical and removed from pragmatic educational leadership. Conventional educational leadership dismisses GCCSL as being the domain of religious fanatics who want to impose their religious beliefs on others, without regard for the rights of the individual. This in turn causes the GCCSL to practice a form of "closet Christianity."

Despite the fact that I identified with being a relationship motivated, transformational servant leader, I knew that at the core of my being, my Christian beliefs formed the foundation of my leadership. This foundational belief was not acknowledged in traditional leadership circles, in fact, those leaders, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., that clearly practiced GCCSL by way of their vocation, were labeled charismatic, social justice, or transforming leaders. (Carson, Couto as cited in Wren, 1995).

The entire notion led me to want to uncover some of the practices of GCCSL in education, in an attempt to legitimize the practices of GCCSL, which will enable them to feel more comfortable with their GCCSL. I felt this type of research would be best done through autoethnography. My autoethnography will uncover some answers to the following questions: (1) Why God-centered Christian spiritual leadership, as opposed to Christian leadership? (2) What does God-centered Christian spiritual leadership look like? (3) Has God-centered Christian spiritual leadership made a difference in me and those around me?

These research questions will be explored primarily through a review of the literature, my personal biography and my journal entries. The journal entries will be coded and conclusions used to empower practitioners of God-centered Christian spiritual leadership to come out of the Christian closet.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Sernak, Kathleen S.
Commitee: Coaxum, James, Wilbur, Catherine
School: Rowan University
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- New Jersey
Source: DAI-A 69/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religion, School administration, Religious education
Keywords: Christian, God-centered, God-centered Christian spiritual educational leadership, Leadership, Spiritual leadership
Publication Number: 3311384
ISBN: 978-0-549-62887-3
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