From test to testimony: A narrative study of the influence of crucible experience on senior pastoral leadership

by Jolley, Joann M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 225 pages; 3601962


Abstract: The purpose of the qualitative, narrative study was to examine the influence of crucible experience on the leadership of senior pastors. Research has shown that a crucible was defined as a test or trial, which transformed individuals by providing them with a sense of purpose, inspiration, and identity, which called into question who the individuals really were and what they deemed to be important to them. The literature review was based on the theoretical framework of adult development, leadership, and experiential learning theories. The research participants were 11 male senior pastors of megachurches in the continental United States, who were willing to share a personal or professional experience in the form of a narrative via a one-time, individual interview. The research methods used were narrative, thematic, and metaphor analysis. Based on the analysis of the data, as a result of the crucible experience, the participants experienced changes in their engagement in self-awareness, receptivity to assistance, perception of crucibles, and level of transparency. In addition, after emerging from the crucible experiences, the participants noted the purpose of their leadership was to share their testimonies. The research study enhanced the literature surrounding the importance of life experiences or events on the development of leaders. Examining the influence of crucible experience on individuals' leadership can be of value to organizational leaders as they progress through their developmental journeys as leaders.

AdviserLinda J. Terry
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsClergy; Behavioral psychology; Management
Publication Number3601962

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