Doctor of Ministry

Number of Pages


Year Approved


First Advisor

Fombelle, Doug

Second Reader

Noel Sherry; Joshua Carroll


This project studied shared leadership in multicultural congregations to determine if it serves as a tool for leadership development. There is limited empirical data on shared leadership in multicultural congregations and even less on the use of shared leadership as a tool for leadership development in multicultural churches. A multiple case study was conducted involving three multicultural churches in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Twenty-two leaders, from the three churches, were interviewed to assess the presence and practice of shared leadership within the congregations. Four themes emerged from the interview data: shared leadership lightens the load for the primary leaders, everyone has a voice when shared leadership is present, shared leadership brings about mutual accountability among the team members, and humility is necessary for the practice of shared leadership. A survey was administered to 138 members from the three congregations. The survey focused on the four characteristics of shared leadership found in the biblical literature that form the foundation for the proposed model of shared leadership. The survey data supported the researcher’s assertion that biblically-based shared leadership is distributed, egalitarian, inclusive, and participatory. Field observations were made by attending worship at the two congregations where the researcher is not the pastor. The field observations revealed the presence of shared leadership during the worship services at each congregation. Further support that shared leadership that is biblical is distributed, egalitarian, inclusive, and participatory was found. The research resulted in the development of definitions of shared biblically-based shared leadership and leadership development. The development of a proposed shared leadership model that develops leaders who produce new leaders. The proposed model has four components: an established leadership team, congregational engagement, intentional relational discipleship, and structured leadership development. The researcher contends that the proposed model has the potential to develop leaders who produce new leaders in multicultural congregations.

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry

Document Type

Doctoral thesis