Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A public four-year institution's efforts to address students' spirituality
by Cabrera, Matthew Senires, Ed.D., California State University, Long Beach, 2015, 180; 3712146
Abstract (Summary)

Higher education has taken pride in the holistic development of students. However, research has shown that there is a void or lack in addressing students’ holistic development; more specifically, the lack or void is in addressing the spiritual development of students (Love & Talbot, 1999; Stewart, Kocet, & Lobdell, 2011). There remains little research on programs that directly and explicitly focus on spiritual development, especially in public institutions of higher education. It is important to study such programs to understand their components and implications as possible models and best practices for addressing spirituality in higher education. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how a four-year, public institution of higher education addresses students’ spirituality through the use of an interfaith center, reflection room, and student organizations focused on religion, faith, and spirituality.

A multi-case study methodology design was used to implement this research study. There were three cases being studied – an interfaith center, a reflection room, and student organizations focused on religion, faith, and/or spirituality. Each case involved interviews with student users, interviews with staff, and a review of documents. Based on the theoretical framework and research questions, data accumulated from the data collection process were analyzed for emerging and convergent themes that relate to how these spiritually-related services impact students’ development.

Research findings concluded that these spiritually-related services do address various measures of spirituality in students. However, there are areas in which spiritually-related services could improve to address more measures of spirituality. Additionally, there are some negative factors that need to be addressed to improve the efficacy of existing services. Some of these factors include visibility of the services provided and more specific training for staff. Recommendations for policy, practice, and future research are presented as ways for public institutions of higher education to implement and address spirituality among their students.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Murray, John
Commitee: Hoffman, John, O'Brien, Jonathan
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 76/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Education, Spirituality, Higher education
Keywords: Faith, Higher education, Interfaith, Religion, Spirituality, Student
Publication Number: 3712146
ISBN: 978-1-321-88776-1
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