Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Shirley A. Freed

Second Advisor

Loretta B. Johns

Third Advisor

Delyse Steyn


Problem. The history of education shows tensions between its means and ends. Tensions became more apparent in contemporary Christian educational institutions. The Leadership Program (LP) of Andrews University was developed as an alternative and innovative means of delivering graduate education with a defined mission. It is job-embedded-theory and practice are united in the participants' workplaces, where they show their competency in 20 areas. It stresses the importance of the individuality of the participant in the development of a teaching/learning community. Yet, the dialectical relationship of the LP's ends and means has not been systematically studied in light of its Christian identity.

Method. This qualitative study interpreted philosophically the responses of graduates and faculty of the Leadership Program to three online interviews about their perception of the program's essential ideas/critical components/means in connection with its outcomes/ends/mission statement. Their responses and metaphors were coded and clustered into major themes related to means and ends.

Results. Participants perceived six major critical components (means) of the program--job-embedded, community support, faculty issues, individualized nature, competency-based, and academic credibility--and six major outcomes (ends)--professionals able to implement change, competent professionals, empowered leaders, network of professionals, integrated people, and scholars able to think critically--which provided two paradoxes: theory-practice and individuality-community. Participants perceived the connections of the two paradoxes, although they diverged on the mission statement and its connection with today's great issues, thus revealing a lack of emphasis on the social ethical/spiritual dimension of the program.

Conclusions. Critical reflection in the pedagogy of praxis at the intersection of the two paradoxes establishes the ideal equilibrium through which the LP can cope with the dialectics of means and ends, and the unity between its epistemological, ontological, and ethical dimensions.

Subject Area

Leadership, Organizational effectiveness, Andrews University. School of Education. Leadership Program Leadership


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