Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education


Department of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck

Second Advisor

Dr. Chris Lohrstorfer

Third Advisor

Dr. James V. Shuls


The purpose of this qualitative phenomenological study was to describe the lived experience of administrators at a Christian higher education institution during the COVID-19 crisis. The theoretical framework used for this study was revolutionary change theory (RCT). Qualitative data was gathered from structured interviews with executive administrators who led during the COVID-19 pandemic at an evangelical Christian liberal arts university that offered multiple degrees at the associate, bachelor, master, and doctoral levels. Study findings described four main themes that emerged from the data: unpredictability, holistic community disruption, decisive adaptation, and team collaboration. These main themes described the lived phenomenon that the participants experienced during the COVID-19 crisis and were documented using descriptive phenomenological analysis that focused on words, phrases, and context of participants. As a result, a clear need exists for administrators to be prepared for future crises and potential pandemics. Innovation with delivery methods and staying missionally focused while experiencing revolutionary changes became significant to the administrators in this study.