Mahurin Honors College Capstone Experience/Thesis Projects


Educational Administration, Leadership, and Research

Document Type



The Boy Scouts of America (BSA) features several leadership theories and models in their trainings and programs for youth members and adult volunteers. Servant leadership was an integral model in BSA trainings, in the 2000 to 2021 timeframe, and influenced the attitudes and approaches of youth and adult leaders in the organization and beyond. However, there is only a small body of scholarly work on the relationship between servant leadership and the BSA. Additionally, scholarship on the topic has overlooked the key nature of BSA leadership trainings and the adult volunteer perspective in the overall relationship. Through a primary source analysis of leadership trainings, along with a historical narrative, and qualitative interviews with adult volunteers, this study clarifies key aspects of servant leadership practices and attitudes in the BSA. The primary source and historical analysis found that servant leadership was heavily integrated into BSA trainings and became one of the leading models and attitudes in the organization. Participants in the qualitative interviews displayed servant leadership attitudes and approaches that strongly correlated to community variables and putting others first. The study helps to clarify the importance of servant leadership in the BSA and the widespread integration of the theory in the organization.

Advisor(s) or Committee Chair

John Baker, Ed.D.


History | Leadership Studies