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Wilson, Dean Edward.  (dissertationThe Influence of Short-Term Mission Experience on Faith Maturity.  Asbury Theological Sem, Wilmore Kentucky, 1999.

Background:

9 day mission trips, run through United Methodist Volunteer in Mission, in Chihuahua, Mexico.  Construction of a youth camp.

"Faith Maturity" from Benson and Donahue's Faith Maturity Scale: "the degree to which a person embodies the priorities, commitments, and perspectives characteristic of vibrant and life-transforming faith, as these have been understood in 'mainline' Protestant traditions."

Main Questions:

1. To what extent is there a change in person's faith maturity
2.
what elements of trip perceived as contributing to this
3. how does degree of change in faith correlate with learning style preferences
4. How do contributions of aspects of VIM experience correlate with learning style

Methodology:

Data collected before STM, on the way home, and 45 days later; identified learning styles, aspects of experience that influenced faith maturity, and faith maturity before and after experience.

Subjects' learning style determined ahead of time using Kolb Learning Style Inventory.  Also, everyone took Faith Maturity Scale (author added 3 questions of own).    Pre-test and second post-test identical. 

Administered to VIM teams from Missouri, Oklahoma, and Washington.  Participated in '98 trip to above mentioned

Data collection packets given to team leaders, they administered all three surveys.  27 individuals filled out these surveys. 

Six Changes of Significance:

Scan. p. 57  (on a 1-7 scale w/ 1 never, 7 always true)

Defs of learning styles: accommodator (n=8): experience concretely, process actively

                                      assimilator (n=4): perceive experience abstractly, process

                                                                    reflectively)

                                       converger (n=5): experience abstractly, process actively (try

                                                                   things out for selves)

                                       diverger (n=10): experience concretely, process reflectively

Divergers changed most. 

p. 61 in this study people with previous STM experience were ones who registered more change.

p. 74 males slightly more likely to evidence change in faith maturity.  However, no indication that gender directly related to this.

p. 74 convergers more likely to experience change in area of "experiences and nurtures faith in the community" area; accommodators highest in "integrates faith and life" area; Interesting that both these types of learning more hands-on.