Catholic school principals' leadership perspectives in Lebanon: A case study of Mount Lebanon

Jean Eias Younes, Fordham University


This qualitative case study investigated the leadership perspectives of 13 Lebanese Catholic school principals and 4 educational leaders in the Governorate of Mount Lebanon via personal interviews, observations, and documents. It focused on whether Catholic school principals are able to act as revolutionary or transformational change agents to meet the challenges of today's world. Although these Catholic schools principals were appointed with little consideration for their educational and professional qualifications, they reported gaining the necessary leadership skills through their efforts and experiences while working as principals and through the Church's commitment and support. Their multifaceted leadership perspectives include participative educational leadership and management; transformational and transactional leadership; servant, spiritual, religious, and visionary leadership; and socio-cultural-political 308 leadership. They face challenges from globalization, rapid advancement of science/technology, poor caliber of teachers, varied economic, social, cultural, religious, and political issues, and competition from non-Catholic schools, which they view as threats to the mission, vision, and identity of Lebanese Catholic schools. It appears that the Catholic Church is no longer the primary provider of basic education in Lebanon. The complexity and ambiguity of the Lebanese educational environment severely compromise the principals' ability to be active transformational leaders in the 21st century. Principals should be better trained to assume leadership positions in Catholic schools, to improve their ability to meet the demands of the Catholic Church, and to be revolutionary change agents. Better criteria must be used to screen possible principals: previous training in educational administration, financial management, and sufficient professional experience within educational institutions. Future research might elicit different data if conducted by a layperson rather than a Catholic priest, as in this study. It could also focus on teachers', students', and parents' perceptions of Catholic school principals' leadership.

Subject Area

Educational leadership|School administration|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Younes, Jean Eias, "Catholic school principals' leadership perspectives in Lebanon: A case study of Mount Lebanon" (2011). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3461913.