Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2011

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Public Management and Policy

First Advisor

Dennis R Young

Second Advisor

Janet L. Johnson

Third Advisor

Gordon Kingsley

Fourth Advisor

Harvey K Newman

Fifth Advisor

John C Thomas


Previous research in organizational theory, labor market economics, and nonprofit studies are applied to churches and their clergy leadership in advancing a theory of clergy executive compensation. The data for this study come from the end of year reports from approximately 800 local churches of the North Georgia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for the years 2007-2008 and a survey administered in order to glean the personal characteristics of the clergy. The investigation employs a clergy compensation framework and finds that clergy salaries are influenced in part by personal characteristics, human capital, organizational elements, labor market factors, and clergy performance. The results regarding the role of credentialing in stratified labor markets have implications for policy. The present research adds to the nonprofit executive compensation literature by suggesting that denominational churches are analogous to nonprofit franchises and by empirically testing for "dual agency", labor market stratification, and managerial scope.