Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Aspiring to a Higher Education: Students' Perception of Christian Campus Culture at Selected Christian Universities and Colleges
by Wolfe, Kathryn A., Ph.D., Florida Atlantic University, 2016, 233; 10300328
Abstract (Summary)

This mixed methods research study explored students’ perceptions of Christian campus culture at three Christian institutions of higher education. The aim of this study was threefold: to comprehend why students want to obtain an education within a Christian campus culture; to understand students’ perceptions of and experiences with the Christian campus culture at their Christian university/college; and to decipher the presence of predominant characteristics of Christian campus culture at all three Christian institutions. Qualitative and quantitative data demonstrated that while many students attend their Christian institution due to personal conviction or their Christian identity, other students attend their Christian university or college because it was the best financial decision for them. Additionally, students often indicated that there was not one sole reason for their choice of school, but a combination of various factors that influenced their decision.

Additionally, this research study was able to gain insight into students’ perceptions and experiences with Christian campus culture. Interestingly, the major components that were vital to each research site’s environment were present at all three research sites. Therefore, while each institution varied in size, student population, and location, the most frequently noted characteristics were seen at all three Christian institutions. Students often described their environment, the “bubble,” as limiting but safe. However, students also mentioned that the sense of community that they felt within their Christian campus culture encouraged them to interact with people—students, professors, and staff—that were invested in them academically, socially, and spiritually.

Students also noted that their institutions make a conscious effort to create an academic environment that integrates faith and learning. In both the quantitative and qualitative data, students pointed to Bible classes and chapel as evidence of their institution’s integration of faith and learning (IFL). Upon further discussion, the participants stated that IFL was often in the way that their professors taught and interacted with them. While IFL remained an integral part of students’ experience with Christian campus culture, students continued to emphasize their invested professors as quintessential features not just in the classroom but also throughout their Christian campus environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weber, Roberta
School: Florida Atlantic University
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 78/05(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religious education, Higher education
Keywords: Campus culture, Christian institutions, Integration of faith and learning, Sense of community
Publication Number: 10300328
ISBN: 978-1-369-42367-9
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