About the project
This study examines how local culture, modernity and global Pentecostal/Charismatic movements have influenced patterns of leadership in the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus (hereinafter referred to as the EECMY congregations). The Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus is an indigenous Lutheran Church established in 1959, as a result of over a century of labor of five Western missions and remarkable national evangelical leaders. During her journey in the last fifty years this church has shown spectacular growth in all aspects, despite the many years of severe persecution she underwent during the Marxist government of Ethiopia from 1974 to 1991. According to the 2013 statistics report EECMY membership growth has reached 6.3 million members organized in 7,923 congregations and 3005 evangelistic outreach stations. This church is said to be the fastest growing Lutheran church in Africa. Despite the fact that the church grows, the number of changes at local and global level, directly or indirectly affect patterns of leadership in her congregations.
This study is inspired by the current national and continental debate over leadership and its challenges, which is not very substantiated by empirical studies on both current issues and historical events. Moreover, to my knowledge, there is no synthesized and consolidated study on the patterns of leadership in EECMY, southern Ethiopia. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to increase and expand understanding how the local culture, modernity and global Pentecostal/Charismatic movements has influenced leadership practices in the EECMY in recent times. Four congregations in the southern part of Ethiopia have been selected for this case study. To achieve this I use qualitative research methods as a means to explore and understand the daily context in which participants live and work. It is based on primary data obtained through in-depth interviews and extensive participant observation.
Master of Philosophy in Religious Education