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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Equipping African American Christian Women to Succeed in Predominantly White Institutions of Higher Education Within the United States of America
by Riley, La Freada F., D.Min., Regent University, 2021, 177; 28321496
Abstract (Summary)

In 895 CE, Fatima bint Muhammad Al-Fihriya Al-Qurashiya (فاطمة بنت محمد الفهرية القرشية‎), an African woman founded the world’s first university to award degrees, Al Quaraouiyine. Al Quaraouiyine remains one of the most influential and impressive in history. Ironically, there is a perception held by some that African American women are inferior to the majority population of students attending predominantly White universities (hereafter PWIs) of higher education. Misinformation can lead to less than ideal experiences for all parties involved. The author contends that both the Bible and history debunk misinformation on African American women’s capabilities.

Further, the author asserts that America’s past and recent history sways internal and external drivers that influence African American Christian women’s experiences while attending PWIs of higher education. To appreciate more holistically African Americans’ experiences, one must consider the residual effects of slavery (RES). However, because many African Americans use spirituality to cope, the author deems the Church capable of bridging African American Christian women students to success.

This dissertation shares a quantitative-qualitative case study analyzing data collected from the experiences of seven diverse African American Christian women who attended PWIs of higher education. The uniqueness of this study is the accentuation of ethnicity, gender, and religion. The strategy used compares previous research (without a primary focus on religion) against this case study highlighting religion. The end goal is to deliver recommendations and topics to build a curriculum supporting African American Christian women attending PWIs.

The author concludes the African American church was and remains instrumental in African Americans’ success – including African American Christian women attending PWIs. This dissertation answers, “Yes, the Church can better equip and support African American Christian women to compete at PWIs.” The author offers recommendations for improved experiences through intentional focus. The author suggests formalizing structures of community and mentorship based on research data.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Flynn, James T.
School: Regent University
Department: School of Divinity
School Location: United States -- Virginia
Source: DAI-A 82/9(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: African American Studies, Higher education, Spirituality, Womens studies
Keywords: Africa's contribution, African American history, Imago Dei, Predominantly White Institutions, Spirituality, Women, Christian women, Al Quaraouiyine, Residual Effects of Slavery
Publication Number: 28321496
ISBN: 9798597066103
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