Dallas Campus (Online)
Date of Award
Doctor of Education
Committee Chair or Primary Advisor
Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor
Third Committee Member or Committee Reader
The current representation of women as heads of schools in U.S. independent schools is significantly less than that of men. With little research on independent female heads of schools, particularly in religious school communities, this qualitative study examined the perspectives of female heads of school from the National Christian School Association regarding perceptions and experiences in the leadership role within a conservative Christian school context. This study was framed through social role theory, muted group theory, authentic leadership theory, and emotional labor theory, and guided by one overarching research question: What has been the experience of a female head of school within a conservative Christian educational community? A sample of four current and former female heads were interviewed to understand their experiences. The study revealed seven common themes: (a) faith and calling, (b) influence of mentors, (c) learning to lead, (d) challenges, (e) conservative climate, (f) perseverance and strength, and (g) leadership redefined. Further, it supported the presence of a double bind and recognized the significant expense of emotional labor by the participants in their roles.
Keywords: academia, church of Christ, conservative Christian community, emotional labor theory, head of school, independent school, National Christian School Association, patriarchy, social role theory
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Hartness, Jill C., "Navigating the Role of Head of School as Perceived by Female Heads of National Christian School Association Schools" (2020). Digital Commons @ ACU, Electronic Theses and Dissertations. Paper 282.