Date of Award

1988

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roy C. Naden

Second Advisor

Edward A. Streeter

Third Advisor

Richard T. Orrison

Abstract

Problem

Central to Christian education are the twin goals of leading students into a personal relationship with Christ and nurturing student spirituality. Yet, while the importance of these goals were generally recognized by Christian educators, the dimensions of Christian education which have greatest impact on adolescent spirituality were not identified. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to research (1) possible differences in the levels of student spirituality between Seventh-day Adventist day academies in the United States, (2) possible differences in the levels of spiritual nurture in selected dimensions of Christian education (3) possible relationships between the selected dimensions of Christian education and student spirituality, and (4) educational administrative implications for enhancing student spirituality in Christian school.

Method

Seventh-day Adventist day academies in the United States constituted the population from which a sample of 20 schools was randomly selected. Two Likert type attitudinal scales, the Spirituality Inventory (SI) and the Spiritual Nurture Inventory (SNI), were developed for the study. The reliability coefficient for the SI scale was .9343 and for the SNI scale .9222. The statistical analyses employed to test the three hypotheses included analysis of variance and multiple-regression.

Results

Of the 20 day academies and 753 seniors selected, 19 day academies and 591 seniors returned the SI and the SNI for analysis. In response to Hypothesis 1 and 2, statistically significant differences were found in the levels of student spirituality and in the levels of spiritual nurture in Seventh-day Adventist day academies in the United States a p < .05. In response to Hypothesis 3, statistically significant relationships were found between the selected dimensions of spiritual nurture and both "student" and "school" spirituality in Seventh-day Adventist day academies in the United States at a p < .05.

Findings

On the basis of the data collected in Seventh-day Adventist day academies in the United States, the major findings are summarized:

1. There were small differences in the levels of student spirituality between schools, although, overall levels of student spirituality were moderately high.

2. There were large differences in the levels of spiritual nurture both "between" and "within" schools.

3. Students perceived that School Worships, Weeks of Prayer, Bible Classes and the Bible Teacher, School Curriculum, and the Home Environment had the greatest impact on "student spirituality" and/or "school spirituality."

4. The Bible Class, Week of Prayer, Home Environment, and School Curriculum were found to be the major predictors of higher levels of "student spirituality" and/or "school spirituality."

Subject Area

High school students--Attitudes; Seventh-day Adventist high schools

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