Date of Award

Fall 10-10-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctorate of Education, Ed.D.


College of Education



First Advisor

Marty A. Bullis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Johnnie Driessner, Ed.D.

Third Advisor

Jerry McGuire, Ph.D.


The purpose of this research study was to discover what leadership traits and factors led to the formation and support of a multi-university partnership between three faith-based, higher education institutions. Data was collected using interviews, documents analysis, and leadership surveys. Fifteen leaders, five from each institution, were invited to participate in this study. They included three presidents, three provosts, and nine vice-presidents from various departments who played a role at some point during the process of forming the partnership. Ten leaders from the 15 invited, accepted to participate in this study. They included all three presidents, three provosts, and four vice-presidents. After the researcher collected data, he analyzed the. Data analysis revealed leadership traits and factors that led to the formation and support of the multi-university partnership. Leadership traits that emerged included the ability of leaders to lead, to empower others, to care for others, to build relationships, to communicate effectively, and to collaborate across departments and institutions. Leadership factors that emerged fell into two major categories; mission, and the impact of changes that were taking place in the environment within which these institutions operate. Mission focused on a history of shared faith and values, because of a common beginning shared by all three institutions, as a result of being founded by the same larger institution. Furthermore, mission included a desire to continue advancing a “Christ-centered” education. Changes in the current operating environment centered on challenges; both economic and technological, that have had a great impact in terms of how education is delivered, and have forever altered how higher education institutions operate.

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