Date of Award

1989

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Religious Education, PhD

First Advisor

Roger L. Dudley

Second Advisor

Wilfred G. A. Futcher

Third Advisor

Robert C. Kistler

Abstract

Problem. A report of the perceptions of the environment of an institution can be useful inassessing the effectiveness of that institution. This study assessed student and faculty perceptions of the religious environment of Andrews University, a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) school.

Method. An instrument developed for the study was administered to 350 randomly selected subjects in eight subsamples: non-SDA students, faculty, freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors, theological seminary students, and other graduate students. The instrument consisted of inventories to measure perceptions of the religious environment and subject religiosity. Approximately 75% of the subjects completed the instrument. Scores were analyzed by analysis of variance, analysis of covariance (with religiosity as a covariate), multivariate analysis of variance, discriminant analysis, correlation, and enumeration.

Results. Analysis of the data revealed: (1) that faculty and non-SDA students perceived the religious environment more positively than SDA students did; (2) that differences in the perceptions of the environment by undergraduate and graduate (non-seminary) students, graduate and theological seminary students, and male and female students were not statistically significant; (3) that positiveness of perception of the environment varied directly with degree of subject religiosity; (4) that early home influence on the development of religious experience and ratio of time spent in SDA and public schools before college did not affect perception of the environment; (5) that a majority of the subjects believed that the overall religious emphasis of Andrews University was weaker than they thought it should be; (6) that faculty, graduate students, and theological seminary students scored higher on religiosity than other subjects did; (7) that subjects assessed their religiosity more positively than they assessed the religious environment.

Conclusions. The following conclusions emerged from the study: (1) Subjects perceived the religious environment as moderately positive, with perceptions of faculty and non-SDA studentsbeing more positive than those of SDA students. (2) Subjects at higher levels of religiosity perceived the environment more positively than other subjects did. (3) Religiosity of subjects was moderately high, with faculty, seminary students, and graduate students scoring higher than other subjects.

Subject Area

College students--Religious life, Andrews University--Students, Andrews University--Faculty

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