The effects of faith, theology and denominational governance on decision making by senior-level administrators at Christian universities
AuthorWatkins, Joseph Ezra
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractThe Effects of Faith, Theology and Denominational Governance on Decision Making by Senior Level Administrators at Christian Universities uses two case studies to explore what effects, if any, powerful systems of belief have upon decisions made at two denominationally affiliated Christian liberal arts universities. This study grows out of the framework of Lukes' (1973) work on power and decision making that describes how belief systems form an organizational bias for power and decision making that is often unrecognized by the decision makers or the institutional participants. A series of three phenomenological interviews was conducted with the presidents, senior level administrators, members of governing boards and faculty to examine if religious faith, denominational theology and governance at a Lutheran and an Assemblies of God university during the summer and fall of 1999. During the research phase of the project data was gathered to include the effects of status seeking behavior and academic capitalism to determine if secular belief systems create tension with religious belief systems in senior level decision making. Status seeking and academic capitalism were the secular belief systems chosen to establish the decision making tension between the systems of the sacred and the secular worlds. Although direct references to the dominant institutional theology related to actual decisions were scarce, theology is found to effect senior level administrative decision making in unseen ways. The findings reveal that theology does have a powerful effect upon decision making in socializing and selecting senior level administrators in both institutions. Furthermore, both institutions demonstrate significant tension between their traditional theological mission and the need to seek revenue and position through status seeking and academic capitalism.
Degree ProgramGraduate College