Project Documents

Date of Award

2010

Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

School

Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary

Program

Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Trevor O'Reggio

Second Advisor

Stanley E. Patterson

Third Advisor

Richard Sylvester

Abstract

Problem. The Ontario Conference is growing rapidly, from 10, 970 in 1980 to its current membership of 29,174 in September 2010. The exponential growth has placed increased demands and challenges on the conference leaders. From a constituency of primarily black West Indians and white Canadians this conference is now multi-cultural and multiethnic in its composition. Membership growth and diversity has added to the complexity of the decision-making process. Consequently, it may be expedient for the executive officers of the conference to tap into the expertise of selected departmental directors to access additional support for conference administration.

Methodology. This study explores use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) instrument to determine the personality types, personal preferences and skills of current departmental directors of the Ontario Conference. It also investigates how the personal attributes revealed by the MBTI could be invested to help conference administrators meet the challenging and diverse administrative needs of the rapidly expanding conference. The MBTI instrument is used to identify basic preferences in each of four areas of opposing and preferred methods for receiving information and making decisions. The opposing pairs of preferences studied are: Extraversion/Introversion, Sensing/Intuition, Thinking/Feeling, Judging/Perceiving. Study results are used to determine each director’s capacity to support administrators to minimize disruption of services to the established church body, while meeting the additional demands of rapid church growth.

Results. The MBTI instrument highlights the directors’ personality strengths and preferences in different areas of responsibility, and their preferred style of dealing with leadership issues. Some directors are shown to be action-oriented individuals who have a special capacity for dealing with crisis. Others demonstrate the ability to critically analyze complex problems, generate creative solutions, and think globally and strategically. Still others demonstrate personality types suited to building relationships; they enjoy interpersonal interaction and excel at problem solving assignments. Although, the MBTI instrument identifies natural leadership strengths, problem solving capabilities, project management skills, and natural mentorship skills among the participating directors, their elected positions do not consistently provide opportunity to use or further develop these skills.

Conclusion. The directors’ personality types, personal preferences and skills, demonstrated by the MBTI instrument, could be effectively employed in leadership positions within the Ontario Conference. Although the directors’ performance in their respective elected positions meet expectations, study results show that each has additional valuable skills, commensurate with the needs of the rapidly growing Conference. Administrators could tap into the directors’ personality types, personal preferences, additional skills, knowledge and experience as a source of complementary resources to support the effective running of the conference. The MBTI assessment tool could be incorporated into the continuing human resources needs assessment process. By encouraging employees to participate in MBTI personality type assessments, administrators can identify areas for staff professional development that would be beneficial both to individual staff members and to the organization. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instrument is a valuable tool for making more strategic staff placements to optimize efficiency and job satisfaction.

Subject Area

Personality assessment, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Church management--Canada, Christian leadership--Canada, Christian leadership--Seventh-day Adventists

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