Steven Zhou


Each person will relate to God in a different way, and God has a unique relationship with each created person. As a result, there is simply no way for ministers to prescribe a panacea for how to conduct ministry. This is complicated even further by the globalized world that Christian ministers face today. Christian ministers must somehow balance the fact that the Christian God both transcends culture and uses culture to communicate. In order to truly minister to a multiethnic population, Christian ministers must learn ways of "speaking another language," both literally and figuratively. Whether it is by learning a new language or learning new customs, Christian ministers must respond to this global society by learning the art of using the vast array of tools and skills at their disposal to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This thesis is one of many that seek to, through academic research, identify patterns in ministry that can help predict the effectiveness of a method in one situation versus another. In the case of leadership among a multi-ethnic population, research is unlikely to ever conclusively prove that one form of leadership is more effective than another. However, at the very least, research can demonstrate that styles of leadership do in fact matter. Research in the intersection of leadership and culture, both from a secular and religious point of view, has demonstrated that there is in fact some degree of correlation. Given a multi-ethnic population to which a Christian leader is likely to minister to in this modern age, the research suggests that a given ethnic group might prefer one leadership style or behavior over another. The data presented in this thesis attempts to add to this body of knowledge by correlating ethnicity with preference for transformational, transactional, or passive leadership. The results of the present research suggest that there are some significant correlations, but the limitations on the study prevent a clear identification of what variables and factors are contributing to these correlations. That being said, these results are generally in agreement with the body of literature on the topic so far, many of which demonstrate that there is significant correlation, but it is unclear where the correlation lies and what factors are involved in it. The conclusion from all of this research is that leadership matters when ministering to a multi-ethnic population. In some contexts, one form of leadership is more effective than another, and in other contexts, it is the other way around. For Christian ministers to truly be trained to be well-rounded leaders, especially if they are entering ministry with a multi-ethnic population, they can and should be taught to use different leadership styles depending on the context of the people they are ministering to. It is my hope that this thesis will first of all provoked and rallied ministers to realize that they can and should change their leadership style depending on the context, and second of all inspire ministers to do their own testing and research in what leadership style might be most effective for their own context.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (MA) -- Religion; Church work; Missionaries -- Training of

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Seaver College



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Lemley, David;