Committee Chair

Bernard, Hinsdale

Committee Member

Hood, Ralph W.; Rutledge, Valerie; Watson, Sandra

Department

Dept. of Education

College

College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies

Publisher

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

Place of Publication

Chattanooga (Tenn.)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate characteristics of the faith development of members of the congregation of Oak View Methodist Church. The research evaluated the relationship between a person’s faith level and his/her participation in Christian education. Contributing to the body of faith development research, this research served as an extension of Fowler’s (1981) Faith Development Theory (FDT), as well as the Faith Styles Model (Streib, 2001; 2005), which is an advancement of FDT. In this mixed-method study the researcher also investigated whether there is a significant relationship between the Faith Development Interview (FDI), a qualitative measure of faith development and the Religious Schema Scale (RSS), a quantitative measure of faith development. The quantitative instrument was a 15-questions likert-scale survey administered to 900 adult worship service attendees with a response rate of 666 surveys, or 74%. From this sample twenty-one interviewees were randomly selected. Through a series of twenty-five Faith Development Interview questions, respondents were encouraged to experientially address faith issues by sharing details and feelings about their lived experiences. The data from the RSS showed there is no significant relationship between a person’s faith level and his/her participation in Christian education programs. Thus, if the goal of Bible study classes is to develop a stronger faith in the participants, this study indicates that the goal is not being achieved. The Religious Schema Scale shows promise as a predictor of Faith Development Interview scores and could provide a much more time and cost effective method of measuring faith levels than the FDI. The FDI offers rich text about the attitudes and values in life that have shaped the faith of the interviewees and proves useful in providing data for Christian educators about faith levels of the congregation. The Religious Schema Scale results reveal an unanticipated yet important conclusion. The RSS score on one subscale does not predict the score on another subscale. Finally, Faith Development Interviews offer rich text about the attitudes and values in life that have shaped the faith of interviewees and proves useful in providing data for Christian educators about the faith levels of the congregation.

Degree

Ed. D.; A dissertation submitted to the faculty of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Doctor of Education.

Date

8-2008

Subject

Christian education; Faith development; Christianity; Methodist churches

Discipline

Christianity | Education

Document Type

Doctoral dissertations

Extent

xiv, 151 leaves

Language

English

Call Number

LB2369.1 .T876 2008

Rights

Under copyright.

License

http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/

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