While the mission statements of Catholic schools include strong language on faith formation, Catholic schools are more often identified with high-quality academics and less for the development of faith. A qualitative descriptive study, framed by Groome (1980, 1991) and Fowler (1981) was designed to understand how New England Catholic secondary school graduates described the influence of the Catholic educational mission on the formation of faith and personal life values. The researcher collected 94 surveys and conducted 14 interviews. In analyzing the data, the influence of the Catholic educational mission on faith formation was apparent. While some participants valued the religious rituals of faith as practice, many described religious rituals such as prayer, sacraments, and worship at Mass as not necessary or not enough. Participants expressed a passion for volunteerism, mission trips, and career choice as aspects of faith as practice. The graduates of Catholic secondary schools in New England also recognized the strength of the academic programs and the quality of the teachers at the four schools identified in the study. Participants profusely described the influence of the Catholic educational mission on the development of personal life vales regardless of religious affiliation. Whether the graduates agreed with the teachings of the Catholic Church, it was clear that the graduates had a strong understanding of most Church teachings. The results were mixed regarding graduates’ perceptions of the faith formation experience and suggest that the process of faith formation and the various aspects of faith are not universally understood.
|Commitee:||Neiworth, Latrissa, Michalec, Paul|
|School:||Grand Canyon University|
|Department:||College of Doctoral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 82/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Educational leadership, Religious education, Educational evaluation|
|Keywords:||Catholic Educational Mission, Faith Formation, Life Values, Mission Statements, New England Catholic Secondary Schools, Shared Christian Praxis|
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