Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Silber, Kenneth H.||Yamagata-Lynch, Lisa C.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Educational Technology, Research and Assessment


Evangelical Lutheran Church in America; Religious institutions--United States


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship, if any, between learning organization (LO) attributes and organizational performance. This effort is part of a greater call to test the LO/organizational performance link in varied types of organizations. This relationship has been examined in for-profit as well as nonprofit venues. However, this study focused on a specific subset of the nonprofit sector: churches. This study also addressed an ongoing problem: the shrinking market share of mainline denominations in the U.S. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is a part of this trend, slipping from being the fifth largest denomination in 2001 to seventh largest in 2005. This study supports the findings of other studies that suggest a link between LO attributes and organizational performance. All bivariate correlation coefficients between DLOQ measures and performance measures were positive. For average weekly attendance and senior pastor tenure, all correlation coefficients (bivariate and multiple regression) were statistically significant. Although the relationships reported here were not as strong as in previous studies, there is evidence that churches, specifically ELCA congregations, exhibit LO attributes and that those attributes are positively correlated with performance as measured by average weekly attendance. In addition, senior pastor tenure and LO attributes together are correlated to average weekly attendance. An additional analysis also confirmed that there are significant differences between growing and declining congregations regarding LO attributes, senior pastor tenure, and average giving per attendee.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [104]-107).


xiv, 169 pages




Northern Illinois University

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