Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Larry H. Ebbers


Historically, Christian liberal arts colleges have claimed that their graduates are different from those of other colleges because of the integration of the Christian faith with academic disciplines. However, little research has been conducted regarding spiritual development in college students at Christian colleges;The investigator used a quantitative instrument designed to ascertain levels of spiritual involvement and faith development among freshmen students at a small midwestern Christian college. The data collected were presented and analyzed descriptively;The data indicate that students attending this institution identified a concerned interest in the spiritual dimension of their lives; generally consider themselves religious in nature through prayer and relationships with close friends; and generally do not seek help from clergy in times of need. The spiritual perceptions/behaviors of men and women were found to be similar. Neither ethnicity nor environmental background led to greater spiritual maturity. Differences in church attendance patterns and related activities among the denominations represented were slight. However, rural students attended church activities more often than urban students;The instrument designed to measure James Fowler's theory of faith development was shown to have low reliability. The investigator concluded that the primary method for measuring spiritual development should continue to be a qualitative measure. However, the quantitative instrument designed and used in this study may add to the dimensions of Fowler's work.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Alan Stevens Cureton



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

114 pages