Date of Award

Fall 2021

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Sarah Yates

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Gollery

Third Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck


The literature associated with principals' perceptions of certified/uncertified teachers within private Christian schools is limited, specifically in rural communities. Therefore, little is known about principals’ perceptions of the importance of teacher certification in rural Christian schools. The purpose of the study was to evaluate principals’ perceptions concerning the pedagogical practices of certified teachers as compared to the pedagogical practices of teachers who are not certified. Specific to this study, teacher certification was defined as certification earned through the state or certification through a school-accrediting organization. A total of 82 principals were surveyed and asked to identify their perceptions of the importance of teacher certification and its impact on student achievement in their schools, with 41 private Christian school principals responding to the survey. The study was quantitative and non-experimental by research design, and the specific methodology was a survey research approach. Upon analysis of the study participants’ responses, the conclusion can be drawn that the professional practice dimension of instructional strategies was most associated with and predictive in educational practices that positively impact student achievement.