Main Article Content


This quantitative study investigated the relationship between perceived spiritual leadership behavior, leadership skills, and spiritual well-being in Seventh-day Adventist congregations in Rwanda. A cross-sectional survey was conducted using a self-administered questionnaire among 312 congregants. Significant correlations were found between spiritual leadership (r = .69; p <.01), leadership skills (r = .31; p <.01), age (r = .13; p <.05), and spiritual well-being. Spiritual leadership behaviors, such as leading by example (β = .14, p < .01), integrity (β = .13, p < .01), spiritual caregiving (β = .21, p< .05), and counseling (β = .16, p < .05), significantly influenced congregational spiritual well-being. However, age, educational level, and gender did not significantly impact spiritual well-being. Overall, spiritual leadership significantly predicted congregational spiritual well-being (adj. r2= 0.47; β = 0.69, p < 0.001) when all variables were considered. These results underscore the importance of spiritual leadership behaviors in enhancing congregational spiritual well-being and underscore the necessity for spiritual leaders to exhibit authentic leadership qualities to positively influence and nurture the spiritual well-being of their congregations.


Spiritual leadership leadership skills spiritual well-being Seventh-day Adventist Rwanda

Article Details

Author Biographies

Obed Byiringiro, Adventist University of Africa, Kenya

Dr. Byiringiro Obed is a Pastor in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Rwanda. He earned his PhD in Organizational Leadership from the Adventist University of Africa in Kenya. His research interests include church leadership and spirituality.

Josephine Ganu, Adventist University of Africa, Kenya

Josephine Ganu is an Associate Professor of Management and the Director of Research and Grants at the Adventist University of Africa, Kenya. Her research interests include corporate social responsibility, research ethics, organizational behavior, followership, and workplace spirituality.

How to Cite
Byiringiro, O., & Ganu, J. (2024). Perceived Spiritual Leadership Behavior, Leadership Skills, and Spiritual Well-being in Seventh-day Adventist Congregational Settings in Rwanda: A Quantitative Study. Pan-African Journal of Education and Social Sciences, 5(1), 1–17.


  1. Abafi, A. M.G. (2020). Effects of pastors' lifestyle on church members, case study of Gyel local church council of Evangelical Church Winning All [Doctoral dissertation, Asbury Theological Seminary]. Asbury Theological Seminary.
  2. Adams, C. J., Hough, H., Proeschold-Bell, R. J., Yao, J., & Kolkin, M. (2017). Clergy burnout: A comparison study with other helping professions. Pastoral Psychology, 66, 147–175.
  3. Akinlolu A. (2013) In the desert of illness: A spiritual care companion. Outskirts Press, Inc.
  4. Archives, Statistics, and Research (2022a). Church membership statistics. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
  5. Archives, Statistics, and Research (2022b). East-Central Africa Division of Seventh-day Adventists. General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
  6. Alorani, O. I., & Alradaydeh, M. F. (2017). Spiritual well-being, perceived social support, and life satisfaction among university students. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 23(3), 291–298.
  7. Azarsa, T., Davoodi, A., Khorami Markani, A., Gahramanian, A., & Vargaeei, A. (2015). Spiritual wellbeing, attitude towards spiritual care and its relationship with spiritual care competence among critical care nurses. Journal of Caring Sciences, 4(4), 309–320.
  8. Benefiel, M., Fry, L. W., & Geigle, D. (2014). Spirituality and religion in the workplace: History, theory, and research. Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 6(3), 175–187.
  9. Benevene, P., Buonomo, I., & West, M. (2022). Editorial: Compassion and compassionate leadership in the workplace. Frontiers in Psychology, 13, 1074068.
  10. Blackaby, H., & Blackaby, R. (2011). Spiritual leadership: Moving people on to God’s agenda. B&H Publishing Group.
  11. Bose, S. (2023, September 6). Striving for spiritual wellness in 2023-2024. Christian Scholar’s Review.
  12. Bowe, B.E. (2003). Biblical foundations of spirituality: Touching a finger to the flame. Rowman & Littlefied Publishers Inc.
  13. Bruinsma, R. (2021). Adventism, Postmodernity and Spirituality. Spes Christiana (32)1, 87‒112.
  14. Carson, V.B & Stoll, R. I. (2008). Spirituality: Defining the indefinable and reviewing its place in nursing. In V. B. Carson & H.G. Koenig (Eds.), Spiritual Dimensions of Nursing Practice. (pp. 3–32). Templeton Foundation Press.
  15. Činčala, P., Drumm, R. D., Sahlin, M., & Sauceda, A. (2021). A look at the Seventh-day Adventist Church: Unique or only “different?”. Theology Today, 78(3), 236-249.
  16. Daft, R.L. (2023). The Leadership Experience (8ed.). Cengage.
  17. Davies, A. (September/October 2015). The pastor and his congregation.
  18. de Freitas, M.H., Ruas, E. F. M. & Nwora, E.I (2022). Religiosity and spirituality in mental health contexts Perceptions of psychologists and chaplains. In Andrew R. Hatala and Kerstin Roger (Eds.), Spiritual, Religious, and Faith-Based Practices in Chronicity: An Exploration of Mental Wellness in Global Context (pp. 16 – 36). Routledge.
  19. Doohan, L. (2007). Spiritual leadership: The quest for integrity. Paulist Press
  20. Downey, M. (1986). Jean Vanier: Recovering the heart. Spirituality Today, 38, 339-40.
  21. Egel, E., & Fry, L. W. (2016). Spiritual leadership as a model for Islamic leadership. Public Integrity, 19(1), 77–95.
  22. Ellsworth, R.B. & Ellsworth, J.B. (2010). Churches that enhance spirituality and wellbeing. International Journal of Applied Psychoanalytic Studies, 7(2): 131–142.
  23. Fisher, J. (2016). Selecting the best version of SHALOM to assess spiritual well-being. Religions, 7(5), 1-12.
  24. Fowler, J. W. (1981). Stages of Faith. Harper & Row.
  25. Frisdiantara, C., & Sahertian, P. (2012). The spiritual leadership dimension in relation to other value-based leadership in organization. International Journal of Humanities and Social Science, 2(15), 284-290.
  26. Fry, L. W. (2003). Towards a theory of spiritual leadership. The Leadership Quarterly, 14(6), 693–727.
  27. Gallardo, A.U. (2020). Significance of high human skills in the success of an organization. Proceedings of the 17th International Symposium on Management (INSYMA 2020). Advances in Economics, Business and Management Research, 115.
  28. Garcia-Zamor, J.C., Haensel, K. (2018). Spirituality’s relationship with ethics and religion and its role in the workplace. In Gary E. Roberts and Joanna E., Crossman (eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Workplace Spirituality and Fulfillment (pp 925–941). Palgrave Macmillan.
  29. Ghaderi, A., Tabatabaei, S. M., Nedjat, S., Javadi, M., & Larijani, B. (2018). Explanatory definition of the concept of spiritual health: A qualitative study in Iran. Journal of Medical Ethics and History of Medicine, 11.
  30. Hage, J. and Posner, B.Z. (2015). Religion, religiosity, and leadership practices: An examination in the Lebanese workplace. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36 (4), 396-412.
  31. Hair et al. (2023). Essentials of Business Research Methods (5th Ed.), Routledge.
  32. Hatala, A.R. & Roger, K. (2022). Global mental wellness and spiritual geographies of care. In Andrew R. Hatala and Kerstin Roger (Eds.), Spiritual, Religious, and Faith-Based Practices in Chronicity: An Exploration of Mental Wellness in Global Context (pp. 247 – 270). Routledge.
  33. Hawks, S. R. (1994). Spiritual health: Definition and theory. Wellness Perspectives, 10(4), 3–13.
  34. Hove, R. (2023). The pastor as the primary teacher in the church: The meaning and expectations of pastoral ministry within the mainline denominations. Pharos Journal of Theology, 104(5), 1-15.
  35. Huapaya, W. M. A. (2020). Theology of pastoral ministry from an Adventist perspective. Spes Christiana, 31(1), 41‒70.
  36. Hutahayan, B. (2019). The effect of spiritual leadership on the spiritual growth of youth. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Inclusive Business in the Changing World (ICIB 2019), 657-661.
  37. Ilarious, J.A. (2020). Spiritual leadership in the church: A critical examination. EVAIA: International Journal of Ethics and Values, 1(2), 103-118.
  38. Jiang, J., Ye, Z., Liu, J., Shah, W. U. H., & Shafait, Z. (2023). From "doing alone" to "working together"-Research on the influence of spiritual leadership on employee morale. Frontiers in Psychology, 14, 992910.
  39. Juškauskienė, E, Riklikienė, O., Fisher, J. (2023). Spiritual well-being and related factors in children with cancer. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Nursing, 40(6):420-431.
  40. Kim, S. J., & Villace, T. (2019). Development of pastoral administrative leadership scale based on the theories of educational leadership. Cogent Business & Management, 6(1).
  41. Krejcie, Robert V., & Morgan, Daryle W. (1970). Determining sample size for research activities. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 30, 607-610.
  42. Kropf, M. ( n.d.). What is healthy congregational spirituality? A guide to resources.
  43. Langdon, A.T., & Hinton, S.T. (2020). Faith community nursing: A health ministry. In P. Ann Solari-Twadell and Deborah Jean Ziebarth (Eds.), Faith Community Nursing: An International Specialty Practice Changing the Understanding of Health (pp. 17–32), Springer.
  44. Leung, C., & Pong, H. (2021). Cross-sectional study of the relationship between the spiritual wellbeing and psychological health among university Students. PLoS ONE, 16(4), 1-19.
  45. Manala, M.J. (2010). A triad of pastoral leadership for congregational health and well-being: Leader, manager and servant in a shared and equipping ministry. HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies, 66(2), 1- 6.
  46. Mannoia, K.W., & Walkemeyer, L. (2007). 15 Characteristics of Effective Pastors. Baker Publishing Group
  47. McBride, D.C., Bailey, K.G.D., Landless, P.N., Baltazar, A.M., Trim, D.J.B., & Stele, G. (2021). Health beliefs, behavior, spiritual growth, and salvation in a global population of Seventh-day Adventists. Review of Religious Research, 63, 535–557.
  48. McChesney, A. (2015). New Adventist church opens every 3.5 hours, fastest rate in history. Adventist Review, March 2, 2015,,-the-fastest-rate-in-history;
  49. Mingari, S. (2023). The Power of spiritual leadership in the rite of Christian initiation of adults. College of Education [Doctoral dissertation, College of Education, DePaul University]. DePaul University.
  50. Niyonagize, Jean Baptiste (2021). East Central Rwanda Conference.
  51. Northouse, P.G. (2022). Leadership Theory and Practice (9th ed.). Sage.
  52. Obi, I-M., Aaldering, H., Bollen, K., & Euwema M.C. (2021). Servant leadership stimulates spiritual well-being through team trust in a female religious context. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 1-14.
  53. Oglesby, L. W., Gallucci, A. R., Wynveen, C., Ylitalo, K., & Benson, N. (2021). The relationship between spiritual well-being and burnout in collegiate athletic trainers. Journal of Athletic Training, 56(5), 518–528.
  54. Pandey, A. (2017). Workplace spirituality: Themes, impact and research directions. South Asian Journal of Human Resources Management, 4(2), 212-217.
  55. Plante, T.G., & Thoresen, C.E., (2007). Spirit, Science, and Health: How the Spiritual Mind Fuels the Physical Wellness. Praeger.
  56. Puchalska-Wasyl, M. M., & Zarzycka, B. (2020). Prayer and internal dialogical activity: How do they predict well-being? Psychology of Religion and Spirituality, 12(4), 417 427.
  57. Purnomo, S., Lontoh, F., & Octavianus, J. (2023). The impact of leadership, character, and sanctity of the congregational pastor on the spiritual growth of the church members. Theological Journal Kerugma, 6(2), 48-62.
  58. Rathee, R., & Rajain, P. (2020). Workplace Spirituality: A comparative study of various models. Jindal Journal of Business Research, 9(1), 27-40.
  59. Regalado, F.O. (2007). Spirituality: What the church needs most today. Ministry, 79(7), 25-26.
  60. Rogers, R.C. Examining the relationship of clergy distress, spiritual well-being, stress management and irritation to life satisfaction among black pastors in the USA. Journal of Religion and Health, 62, 1578–1596 (2023).
  61. Rudolph, E.C., & Barnard, A. (2023).The Cinderella of positive psychology: spiritual well-being as an emerging dimension of flourishing in pastoral work. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being, 18(1),1-16.
  62. Sanger, D.S. (2020). Biblical missional spirituality development in the small church pastor and congregation.
  63. Schedlitzki, D., & Edwards, G. (2014). Studying leadership: Traditional and critical approaches. Sage.
  64. Sheldrake, P. (2013). Spirituality: A Brief History. Wiley-Blackwell.
  65. Sikkink, D., & Emerson, M. (2020). Congregational switching in an age of great expectations. Review of Religious Research, 62(2), 219-247.
  66. Stewart, W.C., Barfoot, D.C., Stewart, J.A., & Nelson, L.A. (2019). The influence of church on wellbeing in adolescents and millennials. The Journal of Ministry and Theology, 23(2), 85-97.
  67. Tang, A. (n.d).
  68. Tarumi, Y., Taube, A., Watanabe, S., & Akinlolu, A. (2016). Re: Clinical pastoral education: A physician’s experience and reflection on the meaning of spiritual care in palliative care. Journal of Pastoral Care & Counseling, 70(3), 190-194.
  69. Tavares, A., Martins, H., Pinto, S., Caldeira, S., Pontífice Sousa, P., & Rodgers, B. (2022). Spiritual comfort, spiritual support, and spiritual care: A simultaneous concept analysis. Nursing Forum, 57(6), 1559-1566.
  70. Trzeciak, S., Mazzarelli, A., & Seppälä, E. (2023). Leading with compassion has research-backed benefits. Harvard Business Review, 1-8.
  71. VanderWeele, T. J., Long, K. N. G. & Balboni, M.J. (2021). Tradition-specific measures of spiritual well-being. In Matthew T. Lee, Laura D. Kubzansky, and Tyler J. VanderWeele (Eds.), Measuring Well-Being: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from the Social Sciences and the Humanities (pp. 482–498), Oxford Academic.
  72. Vermeer, P. & Scheepers, P. (2021). Church growth in times of secularization: A case study of people joining evangelical congregations in the Netherlands. Review of Religious Research, 63(1), 43–66.
  73. Wang, M., Guo, T., Ni, Y., Shang, S., & Tang, Z. (2019). The effect of spiritual leadership on employee effectiveness: An intrinsic motivation perspective. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 1-11.
  74. Washington, K. S. (2016). Spiritual leadership in religious organizations: A grounded theory study. Journal of Applied Christian Leadership, 10(1), 95-95.
  75. Wellman Jr., J. K. (2008). Evangelical vs. Liberal: The Clash of Christian Cultures in the Pacific
  76. Northwest. Oxford University Press.
  77. Westera, D. (2016). Spirituality in Nursing Practice: The Basics and Beyond. Springer.
  78. Whitford, H. S., & Olver, L. N. (2012). The multidimensionality of spiritual-wellbeing: Peace, meaning and faith and their association with quality of life and coping in oncology. PsychoOncology, 21(6), 602–610.
  79. Wintz, S., & Cooper, E. (2009). Cultural & Spiritual Sensitivity: A Learning Module for Health Care Professionals. HealthCare Chaplaincy.
  80. Wogu, C.-N. (2019). Constructs in contexts: Models of contextualizing Adventist theology. International Bulletin of Mission Research, 43(2), 146-158.
  81. Wollschleger, J. (2018). Pastoral leadership and congregational vitality. Review of Religious Research, 60(4), 575-585.
  82. Wong, P.T.P (n.d.). The faith-hope-love model of mental health and total wellbeing.
  83. Worthington, E.L. (1989). Religious faith across the lifespan: Implications for counseling and research. Counseling Psychologist, 17, 555-612.
  84. Ziapour, A., Khatony, A., Jafari, F., & Kianipour, N. (2017). Prediction of the dimensions of the spiritual well-being of students at Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Iran: The Roles of Demographic Variables. Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research: JCDR, 11(7), VC05–VC09.