This qualitative research study examines the role of spirituality as a tool for academic leaders in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU). The role of the academic leader (dean, vice president, president, etc.) encompasses a wide array of responsibilities and continually calls upon a large skill set in order to be effective in the position. Often times a leader’s decisions will be pivotal to the success of programs, departmental stability, and general divisional morale. Recognizing and embracing spirituality as a tool for working with faculty lessens stress, clarifies decisions, and invites dialogue and harmony where adversity and discourse might enter. This study focuses on the aspects of meaning making, servant leadership and authentic interaction. College and university leaders from various institutions in MnSCU were interviewed about the role spirituality plays in their daily interactions with faculty. Thematic categories were interpreted using research questions addressing the interpretation of separation of Church and State as it relates to spirituality, individual definitions of spirituality, and perceived attitudes on the part of faculty of administrators when spirituality has played a role in running an academic division of a state institution.


Scott Wurdinger

Committee Member

Jason Kaufman

Committee Member

Colleen Brickle

Date of Degree




Document Type



Doctor of Education (EdD)


Educational Leadership



Creative Commons License

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



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