Date of Award

1999

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Leadership PhD

First Advisor

William H. Green

Second Advisor

Arthur F. Holmes

Third Advisor

Bruce A. Closser

Abstract

Problem. Few studies have focused on effective professional development programs that enhance faith-learning implementation in the Christian higher education classroom, and little has been documented about what integration of faith and learning actually looks or sounds like in Christian higher education classrooms.

Purpose. This study had four purposes:

  1. To describe the training processes used for preparing teachers in Christian higher education for implementing EFL in the classroom.
  2. To compare these methodologies with Jesus’ training methodologies and research-based professional development programs.
  3. To understand how teachers in Christian higher education classrooms defined IFL.
  4. To identify and document some exemplary practices of faith and learning integration in Christian higher education classrooms.

Methodology. This study used a descriptive, qualitative case study method comprising purposive sampling techniques; participant observation; semi-structured, in-depth interviews; surveys; observation of three Faith and Learning Seminars, and observation of six teachers from the three Christian colleges.

Findings and Conclusions. A triangulation of this data revealed common themes. First, the training processes employed at the Faith and Learning Seminars seemed to emphasize more the publication of IFL (position) papers than classroom implementation. These training processes lacked some essential components which Jesus, the Master Teacher/Trainer, used to train His disciples—components which research has found to facilitate transfer of skills to the workplace, enhance effectiveness, impact student performance, and help implementors deal with their personal concerns about the new knowledge. Second, there was no single definition of IFL. Definitions of IFL fell into three classifications: intellectual (thinking Christianly and seeking the mind of God, and seeking balance between the spiritual and the secular), lifestyle, and discipleship/relationship. However, most seminar participants defined IFL intellectually. Third, many of the IFL practices in the Christian higher education classrooms seemed to be based on teacher talk and did not occur at the level of student learning. This study revealed that the most obvious reason for thus was that both the teachers and their trainers in IFL seemed to lack the training on how to model or provide practical suggestions on how to implement IFL in the classroom. Pedagogy is a crucial component for classroom implementation of IFL.

Subject Area

Religious education--Teacher training, Religion--Study and teaching (Higher), Church colleges, Faith and reason--Christianity, Andrews University--Dissertations--Religious education--Teacher training.

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