Society has grown out of touch with moral character and virtues. The effect of this disregard for virtue is a departure in the collective of our societal moral values. As individuals, without upholding virtuous ways of being, our character can regress and therefore prevent us from reaching our best potential as individuals participating in society. Professional coaches like this researcher are leaders who work with people in every sector of society who are motivated to reach their best potential. Coaches’ training programs hold coaches to high standards of ethical conduct in their practice (Iordanou et al., 2017; Whitworth et al., 1998; Williams & Anderson, 2006). This qualitative transcendental phenomenological research explored with eight coach trainers their experience in using virtues, virtue ethics/ethics in general, character, strengths, and values as tools in their training practice. The results show (n=8) 0—use virtue ethics, 1—uses values only, 1—uses strengths only, 2—use virtues, ethics in general, character, strengths, and values, 3—do explicit training on ethics in general, 4—use values and strengths as tools, methods, theories, in their training. This study reveals a compelling opportunity to bring virtue ethics into coach training to help close the gap in our societal misunderstanding of virtues and values. The findings in this study are meant to inform those in the field of coach training and those with influence as educational leaders in business, churches, government, non-profits, and wherever there is a need for a greater understanding of how virtue ethics impacts self-development and well-being. Keywords: professional coach training, virtue ethics, virtue, values, educational leadership, transcendental phenomenological methodology


Bernadeia Johnson

Committee Member

Nora Murphy Johnson

Committee Member

Heidi Giebel

Committee Member

Beatriz Desantiago-Fjelstad

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)

Program of Study

Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership



Creative Commons License

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



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