Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Randy J. Siebold

Second Advisor

Erich Baumgartner

Third Advisor

Larry D. Burton



The Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists administration was concerned about its effectiveness as an evangelistic organization due to changes in societal norms. They felt a need for a paradigm shift to keep ministry relevant to its membership and to find new methods to reach people for Christ. There was an intentional focus on developing a model for effective ministry by equipping pastors and educators with new and different skills for the purpose of effecting personal and organizational transformation. For change to occur, it was decided to put in place a support system for leaders utilizing co-active coaching as the delivery mechanism for equipping and reeducation its key leaders.

The Florida Conference has been intentional about developing leaders of transformation. To effect change, and to properly equip and re-educate its leaders, workshops and seminars introduce leaders to a process or system of support called “Leadership Training.” A framework for these trainings is the executive coaching model, known as Co-Active Coaching, and referred to as “Peer Coaching” in the Florida Conference due to its uniqueness of training and delivery. Through the Leadership Training process, leaders are taught skills to move them toward confidence in their leadership ability, to make them accountable to themselves for their dreams and vision, and to allow them the vulnerability to engage in the coaching process. Considerable investment of time and financial resources are provided to ensure the success of these leadership workshops and seminars, and exposure to the perceived benefits of coaching and being coached. To date, there has been no study to see if the coaching initiative in the Florida Conference is producing the desired outcome of restoration and transformation of its ministry and education leaders.


The research design chosen for this study followed the outline and protocols written by Bloomberg, Volpe, and Creswell. This study was based on a phenomenological approach, utilizing narrative inquiry through semi-structured interviews, in a face-to-face setting at a location chosen by the participant. These methods were chosen because the participants have all shared similar leadership training and coaching experiences in the Florida Conference. The sample size was eleven education leaders. A constructivist approach was used to allow for flexible guidelines, interpretation, and inquiry that may be influenced by the researcher.

In addition, this study utilized a hermeneutic phenomenological approach because it provided a clear method to understand the participants lived experiences and an endeavor to describe meaning to that lived experience as it relates to the broader context of their personal and professional lives. Also, the multi-case-study research method was chosen because it simplifies and brings understanding to an issue, it is focused, it has a time frame and boundaries, it can extend the experience, and it can add strength to what is already known from previous research.


The study revealed that participants recognized the importance of peer coaching, perceived coaching as a safe space for personal discovery combining theory and practice, identified some drawbacks of the coaching training process, experienced significant benefits to the coaching training experience, and unexpectedly found the visioning exercise and subsequent core values assignment having a major impact on their relationships during their tenure as leaders.


The study affirmed the intended outcomes of the peer coaching training. The model is easily replicated and transferable. Outcomes are optimized by a prior knowledge of coaching skills and theory. Some modalities of coaching should be continued for leaders wanting to affect personal and professional transformation. Coaching skills can be used in both professional and personal interactions. Tertiary institutions should consider offering courses that support coaching skills. Peer coaching can serve as a framework for leadership development and support.

Subject Area

Mentoring in education; Leadership; Florida Conference of Seventh-day Adventists