Review of Religious Research

, Volume 59, Issue 1, pp 21–29 | Cite as

Permanent Deacons and Non-profit Directors: Comparing Leadership Styles Among Facilitators of Community Agencies

  • Jordan Reed
  • Joseph R. Ferrari


Permanent deacons in the Roman Catholic Church (all male) are active in their local community and congregation mobilizing faith formation events, liturgical services, and community social action programs, yet not much is known about their leadership style. The present study compared U.S. 203 permanent deacons with 202 male community-based directors of non-profit agencies on their self-reported transformational leadership style, assessed by five subscales of competencies. Deacons and directors differed significantly on three subscales; deacons scored higher on the promoting positive values and leadership as service subscales, while directors scored higher on the building a sustainable organization subscale. Results suggested that the transformational leadership styles of U.S. permanent deacons is more value and service-centered, and, in comparison, community-based non-profit leaders seem to focus more on the group’s structure and health of their organization.


Pastoral workers Management personnel Transformational leadership Leadership style 


Author Contribution

This project was conducted during a sabbatical leave to the second author. The authors express gratitude to Sr. Patricia Bombard and Dr. Ronald Fernandes, of the Hays Leadership Project at DePaul University, for supplying the archival data and for consulting on data processing.


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Copyright information

© Religious Research Association, Inc. 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyDePaul UniversityChicagoUSA

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