Influence of Emotional Intelligence on Tenure of Southern Baptist Senior Pastors
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Cochran, Kelvin J.
Using a descriptive phenomenological method, this study examined the influence of emotional intelligence on the tenure of senior pastors in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The aim of the study was to seek evidence from the lived experiences of senior pastors with five or more consecutive years of service to determine if high emotional intelligence has been a factor in their successful tenure. The outcome of such evidence could lead to integrating EI education, training, coaching, mentoring, and modeling into theological seminaries of the SBC to enhance effectiveness of senior pastors, thereby aiding in the reduction of attrition. Eighteen Southern Baptist senior pastors were purposefully selected as participants. Interviews were conducted using an open-ended questionnaire including 15 items designed from the subscales of the EQ-i 2.0 instrument, providing context for responses from participant lived experiences. Two questions were designed to gain responses regarding tenure. Participant responses to the EI questions were coded in the meaning units (nodes) based upon the organizational structure of EQ-i 2.0 and rated based on the measures of either high, mid-range, or low. Participant responses to the tenure questions were coded and categorized as themes related to successful tenure. The findings indicate all participants rate an overall high level of emotional intelligence. Additionally, all themes posited as attributing factors to tenure were related to subscales of emotional intelligence.|Key words: emotional intelligence, tenure, successful tenure, forced termination, senior pastor
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