Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School of Education


Leadership PhD

First Advisor

Erich W. Baumgartner

Second Advisor

Tevni E. Grojales

Third Advisor

Annetta M. Gibson


The Problem

Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) local conference treasurers, or Chief Financial Officers, are trusted by church members to manage the finances of the church and provide financial leadership, yet the denomination does not know how treasurers develop their values and leadership capacity as financial administrators. This study examined how treasurers compare with the leadership values of morality, integrity, and fairness prevalent today in positive forms of leadership theories. It explores SDA treasurer or financial officer self-assessment with the rating that their team members provide, allowing us to know the authenticity of their values as leaders.


This is a census of a population composed of 50 local conference treasurers, leaders, and 148 followers composed of associates in treasury work and academy treasurers. The participants responded to the Authentic Leadership Questionnaire 1.0 online. Their responses allowed us to know how treasurers see themselves, and how their followers see them. The instrument tested both groups in four dimensions: (a) Relational Transparency, (b) Balanced Processing of Opinions, (c) Ethical/Moral Values, and (d) Self-Awareness, and their responses were processed anonymously online by Mind Garden, Inc. The aggregate responses were analyzed in SPSS.


The results indicate that the self-perceptions of the leaders are significantly higher than the perceptions reported by their followers. The follower group of associates in treasury consistently gave lower means (μ) than did the academy treasurers. The role played by the participants in the study (local conference treasurers, associates in treasury, and academy treasurers) was significantly related to the responses they provided. The leaders’ personal characteristics are significantly related to their own self-perception about authentic leadership, and followers’ personal characteristics are also significantly related to how they perceive the authenticity of their leaders. Beta (β) coefficients of treasurers’ personal characteristics indicate that the longer they work for the denomination, the less authentic they are as leaders. The longer followers work for the denomination, the less they believe in their leaders as authentic leaders. The disagreement in the perceptions of leaders and followers may be an indication of a disconnect, possibly a degree of discomfort, distrust, skepticism or dissatisfaction made evident by the lower statistical means of the followers. This erosion of influence points to issues of power, authority, and leadership within the Adventist church structure. Conference treasurers may not be fulfilling their leadership role appropriately.

Subject Area

Chief financial officers--United States, Financial executives--United States, Leadership.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.