Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Jackie Halstead

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

B.J. McMichael

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Jon D. Schwiethale


Abstract The aim of this multicase study dissertation research was to examine the experiences, perceptions, and feelings of pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention who completed their undergraduate degrees from a Southern Baptist Convention higher education institution. Participants of the study had 3–10 years of full-time church ministry experience in local Southern Baptist Convention affiliated churches and had not yet attended graduate school or seminary. These qualifiers were placed on the selection process to allow the discovery of a possible gap between the pastor’s higher education experience and the practical ministry training required for their first local church ministry. Two themes emerged from the undergraduate experiences of participants. First, relationships with university professors and their peers were paramount in terms of mentoring the pastors and having someone to discuss ministry questions. Second, the pastors desired more hands-on experiences in their higher education programs, including experiential learning, real-world ministry experiences, and internships.

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.



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