The purpose of this study is to isolate how the successful Church of God in Christ women leaders combine work, church and family life. This study explores the experiences that mold the life course of women and how they affect work-family life balance. The goal is to extract these strategies and provide them to other women interested in pursuing leadership roles in the church and in their careers all while balancing family life. Qualitative data was analyzed to find coping strategies, and themes. Giele (2008) developed the life course theoretical framework used in this study. She discussed the framework in her article entitled “Homemaker of Career Women: Life Course Factors and Racial Influences Among Middle Class Families.” Giele’s (2008) study focused on 48 women. After interviewing these women, Giele categorized these interviews in to 4 categories of questions, which are as follows: childhood, adulthood, current adulthood and future adulthood. Exploring these categories provide an inside look at each woman’s perception of their identity, relationship types, motivations and adaptive styles. In 2011, Dr. Margaret Weber and her team duplicated Giele’s study but later decided to add an additional set of questions to the semi-structured questionnaire. These additional questions were created to allow women an opportunity to share their coping strategies which can be used to inform others. The additional questions also help to complete the life course process and inform others (Weber, 2011). This dissertation research is based on Giele’s (2008) study and enhanced by Weber’s (2011) additional set of questions. The life course framework helps to analyze the narratives of women and to isolate data pertaining to work-life balance. This phenomenological study strives to understand all contributors impacting this balance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Organizational leadership; Leadership in women; Work-life balance; Women in church work; Church of God in Christ

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Weber, Margaret J.;