The conceptualization and perception of servant leadership in Christian higher education
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Christian education--Study and teaching (Higher)
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This dissertation examined the conceptualization and perception of servant leadership among Christian institutions of higher education. The current crisis in leadership was explored, in particular in Christian higher education. In addition, focus was given to the relevance of servant leadership as a viable model for leadership in Christian higher education. Servant leadership was examined from three perspectives: theology, education, and leadership. Significant literature on servant leadership was reviewed. Particular attention was given to servant leadership in a Christian context. Focus was also placed on the contributions of Robert Greenleaf. A conceptualization of servant leadership was identified through an examination of the characteristics of servant leadership. The methodological design of the study, including the development of the instrumentation, the "Servant Leadership Questionnaire" was described, as was the field test of the instrument. The population, sample, and procedures used for the gathering of data were explained. A detailed analysis of the research findings was provided. The analysis included a review of mean responses and correlation of data using six scales of servant leadership: acceptance, encouragement, relationship, credibility, vision, and influence. The conceptualization of servant leadership was found to be consistent among faculty, administrators, and students in selected institutions of Christian higher education on most scales of servant leadership. Significant correlation was found between faculty and student conceptualizations on the relationship and influence scales. Statistically significant correlations between conceptualizations and observed perceptions of servant leadership were found among faculty and administrators on all six scales of servant leadership and on two scales for students. Suggestions for improvements of the research design were offered. Implications and applications derived from the study included seventeen standards for a model of servant leadership. Suggestions were made for integrating servant leadership into curriculum and academic programs, as well as the potential for development of centers for servant leadership--all focused on the development of servant leaders. Recommendations for further study included modifications in demographics, as well as qualitative and longitudinal adaptations.