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The vision of Christian college presidents: Case studies of two Christian college presidents

David Pierce Lawton, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Two well known and respected Christian college presidents participated in this multiple case study to determine perspectives on visionary leadership for Christian college presidents. The presidents and the colleges they represented were different in many ways, yet similar in their commitment to a biblical worldview. The two colleges were both members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, an association of higher education institutions who agree that the Bible is the source of all truth and the guide for all of life and learning. ^ Both presidents had long histories as the president of their respective colleges and both retired during the course of this study. Both presidents were extraordinary examples of servant leadership. The research question that guided this investigation was: How was vision conceptualized in the thinking and actualized in the practice of two Christian college presidents? ^ Case study methods yielded a wealth of data from interviews, site visits, visual and audio media and stories of constituents. The findings of this study only briefly reflect the significance of two exceptional presidents whose lives were committed to their schools, their students, and Jesus Christ. ^ A visionary leadership paradigm for Christian college presidents emerged which was consistent with research and yet combined perspectives that may be unique to those holding a biblical worldview. The role discriminators of visionary leadership: (1) direction setter, (2) change agent, (3) spokesperson, and (4) coach, were supported. Theme analysis yielded perspectives on (1) time, (2) philosophy, (3) change, and (4) relationships that were unique to those holding a Christian world view. Actualization of vision painted a portrait of two servant leaders who successfully led their institutions over time while living the values and mission of the Christian colleges they represented. The influence of their visionary leadership is now lived in the lives of thousands of students, faculty, staff and constituents who were their partners in higher education. ^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Lawton, David Pierce, "The vision of Christian college presidents: Case studies of two Christian college presidents" (2004). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3116587.