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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The adaptive work of Trinitarian leadership: A case study of pastoral transition
by Loyd, Rupert, Jr., Ph.D., Union Institute and University, 2009, 194; 3378293
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation presents a case study analysis of pastoral transitions in two Protestant churches. The dissertation argues that the nature of religious leadership requires leadership theory to be attentive to the church's theological concerns. Therefore, in accordance with case study analysis, a framework for analyzing pastoral transitions, perichoretic adaptive work, is constructed by weaving together theological implications garnered from the doctrine of the Trinity, the unique responsibilities of pastoral leadership, and the principles of adaptive work. In particular, the works of Catherine LaCugna on the doctrine of the Trinity and of Ronald Heifetz on leadership/change theory are used to anchor this framework. Perichoretic adaptive work is then used to analyze two Protestant churches that recently underwent a pastoral transition; through this analysis, perichoretic adaptive work is used to point out pitfalls and successes as well as make recommendations concerning the pastoral succession process.

This research addresses the gap in the study of the specific transition processes involved in leadership succession. It also incorporates a theory of leadership/change into the study of successions. Furthermore, it supplies the integration of leadership/change theory with theology missing from pastoral leadership literature, at the same time presenting a model of theological integration with leadership/change theory that may prove helpful to other theories of leadership.

This study found that an implicit paternalistic, hierarchical form of leadership loosely founded on Biblical themes of shepherding and fatherhood did shape the pastoral transition. As well, a proto-Trinitarian theology was also observed to influence the process. Finally, perichoretic adaptive work shows great promise as a practical theory of leadership/change for Christian pastoral leadership.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Ledbetter, Bernice
School: Union Institute and University
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: DAI-A 70/09, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Management, Theology
Keywords: Adaptive work, Leadership, Leadership succession, Leadership theory, Pastoral leadership, Pastoral transitions, Trinitarian theology
Publication Number: 3378293
ISBN: 978-1-109-41216-1
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