Leading Classical Christian Schools: Job satisfaction, job efficacy, and career aspirations

Eileen Joy Dietrich, Fordham University


Little is known about Classical Christian Schools in the United States and about their leaders. This study describes the headmasters of such schools and their sense of job satisfaction, job efficacy, and career aspirations. An original survey instrument CACHE (Classical and Christian Headmasters Exploration©) measured the respondents' personal and professional demographics, school district profiles, roles, leadership styles, relationships with faculties and communities, support for classical pedagogy and Christian philosophy, sense of job satisfaction, job efficacy, and career aspirations. Of the 221 known headmasters of schools with membership in the Association of Classical Christian Schools (ACCS) in the United States invited to participate, 86 (41%) responded. The respondents were predominantly male (78%) and Caucasian (95%). Nearly two-thirds were under 50 years of age. The majority had little—less than seven years (83%) experience in their current school—or no headmaster experience (71%). Interestingly, 25% had never taught and 55% had less than seven years of classroom teaching experience. The headmasters were well educated—64 (78%) had acquired at least a master's degree, 42% had obtained a masters degree plus, and ten of those (12%) had a doctorate. Respondents' 50 years or older sense expressed more job satisfaction than those under 50 years old. Overall, the headmasters were committed to the distinctive qualities of Classical Christian Schools—classical pedagogy and Christian values. The highest-ranking roles headmasters reported were accountability to the board and human resource management. Support for classical pedagogy and a strong culture of Christian values also ranked high. Numerous significant relationships among the variables were found, including between job satisfaction and a headmaster's relationships with the board, faculty, and parents. A regression analysis indicated that 45% of the variance in their sense of job satisfaction was predicted by transactional leadership qualities, relationships with the governing bodies, classical pedagogy, and career aspirations. Recommendations include providing more support and training to headmasters; creating a formal mentorship program; facilitating regular peer networking opportunities; engaging in additional research; and further exploring Classical Christian Schools, their leadership, and their impact on the American education system and education alternatives.

Subject Area

Educational administration|Elementary education|Religious education|Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

Dietrich, Eileen Joy, "Leading Classical Christian Schools: Job satisfaction, job efficacy, and career aspirations" (2010). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3407471.