Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Higher Education Administration PhD

First Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Second Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Third Advisor

Skip Bell


Problem Statement

The two major issues addressed in this study are the professional relationship that exists between the educators in K-10 schools and pastors who serve the churches that host the schools and the professional roles that each serves in the school. The roles and organizational expectations for each may impact the health of their professional relationship. The purpose of this study was to examine the leadership role expectations of pastors and educators in the K-10 school system o f the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.


A survey instrument was administered to all K-10 teachers and principals in the Georgia-Cumberland Conference of Seventh-day Adventists at an annual educator’s convention under the supervision of a proctor. Pastors o f the conference responded to the survey at a pastor’s convention also supervised by a proctor. This study targeted all 143 pastors and 191 educators of the Georgia-Cumberland Conference. One hundred eight pastors and 105 educators completed the survey.


The perceptions of pastors and educators were measured in four role dimensions- Faith Leader, Instructional Leader, Communicator, and Administrator. Significant differences were reported for items in all four of the role dimensions. Significant group difference was determined to exist in Faith Leader and Instructional Leader dimensions. Overall educators and pastors experienced statistically significant difference in tension resulting from role conflict. Pastors and educators reported their relational behavior to be of higher quality toward their professional counterpart than their counterpart reported for them. A significant negative correlation was found to exist between role tension and the quality of relationship in all four role dimensions.


The data in this research project suggest that there is need for clarification for pastors and educators regarding their roles and professional relationships. Research on role conflict and ambiguity support the need for effort on the part o f organizations and by educators and pastors to clarify roles as a means of enhancing mission effectiveness. Efforts could include clarification of policies, professional training, administrative awareness on denominational and local level, continuing education that focuses on role clarity and relationships, and creation of an environment encouraging dialog between pastors and educators.

Subject Area

Clergy--Professional relationships, Elementary school teachers--Professional relationships, High school teachers--Professional relationships, Seventh-day Adventist elementary school teachers--Professional relationships, Seventh-day Adventist high school teachers--Professional relationships, Educators--Professional relationships.

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