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Dissertation Abstract

What Motivating Factors Contributed to the Founding of Christian Television Ministries: The Life Histories of Nine Founders

Norman C. Mintle
Regent University

Broadcast industries in the United States are collectively valued at more than $750B. The leaders of these media corporations are often assumed to be as great a celebrity, as the performers on their various networks and stations. But subsumed within this larger body of American broadcasters is a smaller, but very significant, assemblage of religious broadcasters whose work and organizations have rarely, if ever, been studied within the academic community. Collectively, these organizations have an estimated market cap value exceeding $25B.This ethnography utilizes the blended qualitative methodologies of the Life History and Cross-Case analysis to introduce a group of nine founders of Christian television ministries to the Academy. In-depth personal interviews, augmented when necessary by available artifacts collected from each man's lifelong body of works, narrate the universal occurrence of an internalized sense of vision resulting from personal encounters of a divine nature. These mystical episodes form the basis for a life-long leadership style characterized herein by the author as a "God and I" syndrome that epitomizes a proclivity to undertake seemingly insurmountable odds to found broadcast entities. From the collected data, the author examines each founder's story of calling and how those memories have translated into the spiritual, professional, and or psychological/personal motivations to found religious broadcast ministries. Additionally, the study examines the founders in light of the organizational leadership theories of corporate culture formation, the extant literature on organizational and personal trust, and the development of high quality leader-member exchanges (LMX).