Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Kevin Weaver

Second Advisor

Dr. Janet Deck

Third Advisor

Dr. Wade Cogan


The Alaska School of Ministry (AKSOM) was established to provide ministerial education venues in Alaska. This phenomenological study queried pastors who provide ministry in Alaska Native villages to examine their perceptions of AKSOM and perceived effects of the program on their ministries and villages. Fifteen participants, including students and AKSOM leaders from various ethnicities, were interviewed. Transcripts were analyzed to discover common themes. Five themes were noted, which included relationship (fellowship, local, approachable), flexibility, empowerment (support, confidence), practicality, and financial feasibility. All leaders and students perceived the program as a valuable and effective education tool in preparation for ministry in Alaska.