All ETDs from UAB

Advisory Committee Chair

Linda Searby

Advisory Committee Members

Loucrecia Colline

Kay Emfinger

Roxanne Mitchell

Gary Peters

Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name by School

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) School of Education


This qualitative multiple case study explored female superintendents' experiences with spirituality as a factor of resiliency. A wide gap exists between the number of females and the number of males leading public school systems in America, and a high turnover rate exists for those leaders filling the superintendency. In an effort to increase the number of female superintendents and to equip them with the resources needed to have sustained leadership, focus needs to be placed on factors contributing to resiliency in leadership. Research has revealed spirituality as one factor impacting resilience in leadership. This study explored three female superintendents' perceptions of spirituality and spiritual practices they deemed important as they fulfilled their role as superintendent. The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore spirituality as a factor of resiliency in female public school superintendents in the Southeastern region of the United States. This qualitative study was supported with data collected from face-to-face, one-on-one interviews, written journal responses provided by the participants, and the researcher's field notes from observations of office artifacts. Analysis of these data resulted in the emergence of themes and subthemes from information gleaned from each superintendent. Three common themes found among all superintendents' perceptions of spirituality as a factor of resiliency were being a servant leader, seeking spiritual nourishment, and having a personal relationship with God.

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