Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Edward Donalson III and Erica Martin

Second Advisor

Patricia Hunter

Third Advisor

Rebecca Park-Hearn


This research project examined the impact of mentorship on the leadership trajectory of Black clergywomen within the Black Church. The aim was to identify the gaps and gifts within the Black Church that contribute to and challenge Black clergywomen’s thriving and development in pastoral ministry. Theological foundations for this study included womanism and Black liberation, wherein the experiences, stories, and voices of the most marginalized were centered and served as starting points for interrogation.

Using a qualitative, multiple-case study design, I collected detailed information about the mentoring experiences of 10 Black clergywomen who were serving in Black congregations within King and Pierce Counties in Washington State. I asked eight open-ended questions to encourage and facilitate reflective responses, which were then carefully examined for common themes and coded. The narratives collected through these interviews focused on the individual stories and experiences of Black clergywomen within the Black Church, and provided a more in-depth picture of the impact mentoring experiences have on pastoral leadership. The goal of this study was to develop a mechanism for Black clergywomen within the Black Church to receive effective mentoring, opportunities for promotion, and access to safe supportive networks where their development and thriving as ministry leaders is encouraged.