Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Karen Tremper, PhD

Second Advisor

Diane Zemke, PhD


This dissertation is an action research self-study undertaken with the aim of transforming my pastoral leadership practices with the extended application of assisting other leaders to do the same. The research question asks in what ways action research methodology with its inherent reflective methods contributes to pastoral leadership transformation. The primary outcome is a framework of holistic reflection that consistently and systematically works to transform my leadership practices. Through the action research methodology of constant iteration, I evaluated the effects of my leadership, reflected on the disconnect between my core values and my behavior and searched for a means to align my behavior and my values.

In the process I developed a method of spiritual reflection, consisting of spiritual disciplines as a means of non-rational knowledge creation associated with my experience of and engagement with the Holy Spirit. This method of spiritual reflection is in keeping with my pneumatological Pentecostal worldview and serves to extend the fundamental reflective thinking and critical reflection so useful in generating knowledge of a rational and affective kind. Traditionally these methods of reflection are common in action research as well as other inquiring approaches, including theological reflection. The application of holistic reflection in Christian praxis, explained in this dissertation, is applied to transforming pastoral leadership practices. Of note regarding the outcome of engaging with the process of action research is the identification of the internal processes and outward behavioral evidence as indicators of transformed leadership practices. The literature in the dissertation serves as a theoretical basis for an understanding of transformation and grounding for the holistic framework presented, representing a whole person approach to reflective practice as it is applied in action research.

Included in

Christianity Commons