Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Female African American Ordained Ministers in the Southern Baptist Convention: A Phenomenological Study
by Thomas, Moses Alonza, Ed.D., University of La Verne, 2020, 173; 27830642
Abstract (Summary)

Purpose. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to delve into the lived experiences of African American female ministers and describe their journey toward the role of an ordained minister in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

Methodology. A phenomenological design was used to delve into the lived experiences of African American female Southern Baptist ministers. The researcher interviewed a purposeful sampling of 5 African American female ministers who are currently presiding over or have previously presided over a Southern Baptist congregation. Patton’s (2015) steps in the phenomenological analysis including epoche, phenomenological reduction, bracketing, textural portrayal, and structural synthesis were used to analyze the data. Lincoln and Guba’s (1985) alternative constructs of credibility, transferability, dependability, and confirmability were used to establish validity and reliability.

Finding. Transcripts were reviewed several times to uncover over 24 compelling statements from the interviews. Eleven formulated meanings were constructed from the compelling statements, and 5 themes emerged. The 5 themes were explained and backed up with all the compelling statements from the interviews. Finally, the essence of the ministering experience received by ministers was described.

Conclusions. The results of the study support the key themes as areas of practice of the SBC that were impacted by the lived experiences of African American female ministers. The key themes included began spiritual journey early; encountered obstacles, barriers, and biases; established a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Bible; experienced mentorship, education, and missionary work; and offered wise advice for a new African American female minister.

Recommendations. Leadership coaching can assist principals with the rapidly changing demands of the position. Future research should be conducted while ministers are in the preordination or licensure phase of becoming a minister, could study the effects of negative resistance that African American female ministers experience while ascending to the leadership role of senior pastor, study and compare members’ and nonmembers’ lived experiences of being an African American female minister, compare the pros and cons of attending an accredited college or university to study theology or attend another formal religious program. The findings and interpretation of this phenomenological study add to the essence of the lived experiences shared by the 5 African American female ministers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Fox, Shari
Commitee: Petersen, Tina, Bevan, Craig WA
School: University of La Verne
Department: LaFetra College of Education
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 81/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Gender studies, Clergy
Keywords: African American, Black feminism, Critical race theory, Female ministers, Intersectionality, Southern Baptist
Publication Number: 27830642
ISBN: 9798641784366
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