Term of Award

Fall 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Daniel Calhoun

Committee Member 1

Teri Melton

Committee Member 2

Bryan Griffin


Two main issues currently threatening Christian colleges include mission conflict and financial viability, and research suggests that there is a relationship between these two. However, current literature about the relationship between mission and finance is mostly qualitative in nature, either being case studies or observations of practice. This research set out to establish the nature of the relationship between mission fidelity and financial health using quantitative methodology. A survey instrument was used to quantify mission fidelity for 81 colleges in the Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), a national organization of Christian colleges, using Benne’s (2001) Typology of Christian Colleges as a guide. This mission fidelity grouping was statistically correlated with a college’s score on financial health using the Department of Education (DOE) Financial Responsibility Test as well as Forbes College Financial Grades.

Results are discussed in relation to a college’s placement in Kotter’s (2007) Phases of Transformation and MacTaggert’s (2007) Turnaround Cycle. Despite the qualitative research which suggests otherwise, the results of this study indicate that there is no relationship between a college’s mission and its financial health. In addition, findings reveal a correlation between financial health and the transformation phase, and a correlation between the transformation phase and the turnaround cycle. Implications for educational leaders and recommendations for future research are also included, as the the reliability of the instrument used may prove useful for future studies in this area.

Research Data and Supplementary Material