Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Educational Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Erich Baumgartner

Second Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Third Advisor

Juan F. Martinez



This study seeks to discover intercultural relationships in organizational transformation during the transition of Hispanic Baptist Theological School, a non- degree-granting institution to Baptist University of the Americas, a degree-granting accredited theological university in light of its 62-year history. Furthermore, it asks whether or not the transformation has made BUA more effective in light of its mission.


An exploratory, qualitative single-case study method with a contextual orientation was used to analyze how a complex and integrated system was transformed. I conducted seven group interviews with students, staff, faculty, alumni, trustees, donors, and denominational representatives and six individual interviews with accreditation and certification representatives, and former presidents. Data from these interviews were analyzed for thematic issues and related to the research questions. Institutional artifacts and denominational records were used to develop a historical context for the study.


The study demonstrated that the transformation of BUA from a non-degreegranting institution to a degree-granting accredited institution improved the effectiveness of the school’s mission. The mission is the formation, from the Hispanic context, of cross-cultural Christian leaders and shed light on the impact of intercultural relationships.


Leaders are interpreters of the history and context of the organizations they lead. My reading of the history and context of BUA shaped my leadership and shaped me as a leader at BUA. The story of BUA among multiple narratives calls forth a certain understanding of ministry relationships that have shaped the school since its earliest days. This understanding and interpretation of BUA’s history and the relationships that developed over time continue to impact the school’s mission today. Additional investigation and research in the areas of enhancing institutional support, developing leaders, strengthening Baptist identity and impact, and developing a theology of change merit serious consideration.

Subject Area

Baptist University of the Américas; Hispanic Baptist Theological School; Organizational change--Cross-cultural studies


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