Jason M. Morris, Richard Beck, and Albert B. Smith, "Examining Student/Institution Fit at a Christian University: The Role of Spiritual Integration", Journal of Education and Christian Belief 8, no. 2 (Fall 2004): 87-100.
The purpose of this study was to test three core constructs of Tinto’s (1993) Model of Student Departure and a Spiritual Integration construct in a Christian university of higher education. This was done in order to examine the relationship between a student’s spiritual integration and Tinto’s constructs of academic integration, social integration, and goal and institutional commitment. In addition, this study attempted to determine the level of importance of spiritual integration and Tinto’s constructs in accessing student persistence. Survey research and quantitative data analysis were utilized. This study found that spiritual integration functioned in isolation as a significant and robust predictor of retention with the population of students tested.
Charles W. Ward, "Explanatory Styles among Undergraduate Students in a Christian and a State-Supported Institution of Higher Education. Part 2: A Comparative Analysis", Christian Higher Education 2, no. 4 (2003): 353-364.
In an earlier study of Bible college students, no significant correlation was found between explanatory styles and academic achievement. Because optimistic selftalk has been shown to be associated with numerous vital aspects of life (e.g., motivation, problem-solving skills, emotional well-being, and physical health), follow-up research was conducted to ascertain if optimistic attributions are more frequently associated with students in programs of Christian education than with students in a public, state-supported university environment. The research was conducted with students at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas. One hundred subjects completed the Academic Attributional Style Questionnaire and the Coping with Academic Failures Questionnaire that were developed by Peterson and Barrett (1987). The findings were compared with the data previously compiled on the students in the Christian course of studies at The Criswell College and Graduate School of the Bible in Dallas, Texas. A significant, positive difference was found to exist between the explanatory styles of students at the two schools. Students in Christian courses of study tended toward explanations for negative events that were external, unstable, and specific. The University of North Texas students tended toward explanations for negative events that were internal, stable, and global.
"Course Content in the Psychology of Religion"
addresses the question why, if psychology as a discipline claims to study behavior, the affect of religion is not addressed more in core classes as well as psychology of religion classes.
Herbert W. Helm Jr., "Course Content in the Psychology of Religion", Journal of Research on Christian Education 12, no. 1 (Spring 2003): 3-26.
This study was an analysis of a number of courses in the psychology of religion. It was designed to obtain a description of curriculum aspects such as: what texts are being used, what topics are being presented, whom the class is attracting, and how the class is being evaluated. Analysis suggests that this is not a core course in the field of psychology and seems to be offered based on the interest of the professor, the philosophy of the department, and interest of students in this academic area. Since it is not a core course there seems to be a diversity in the content of this class. This can be seen in the large number of texts and readings that are used in teaching this course. The question is raised that if psychology as a discipline claims to study behavior, why is the affect of religion not addressed more in both core classes and the offering of psychology of religion classes?
Keywords: religion and psychology, curriculum, religion teaching, colleges and universities, psychology’s correlation with other subjects, psychology of religion, core requirement
Prayer is a primary spiritual discipline for Christians. Nonetheless, few contemporary scholarly discussions have ventured into exploring the role of prayer in college teaching. This paper extends the conversation by reviewing these themes in writings about prayer and academics and making application of those themes to teaching and learning today.
Keywords: prayerful teaching, higher education, college, importance of prayer
This essay evaluates the recent, important response of Professor John M. Hull, of the University of Birmingham, to the question of what schools should do to foster harmonious relations between the disparate religious and non-religious groupings that constitute the population in most of our liberal, democratic Western nations. In a series of influential articles, Hull has articulated both an interpretation of the nature of religious intolerance and a proposed strategy for challenging intolerance in schools. In this paper Hull's position is carefully set out and then critically assessed. In the light of weaknesses in his account, a different understanding of the nature of religious intolerance is pursued along with a brief outline of a different educational strategy for responding to religious and cultural differences in schools.
Keywords: understanding of nature of religious intolerance, University of Birmingham, John M. Hull, harmony among university students
Carla Ingrando, "The Role of Moral Exemplars in the Teaching and Learning of Practical Reason in a Catholic University", Teaching Theology and Religion 6, no. 2 (April 2003): 105-112.
This paper treats the author's use of moral exemplars from the South Bend community in her course on practical reason and the Catholic social tradition. The format of the course, student reactions, and areas for improvement are discussed.
Keywords: Catholic social thought, practical reason, role of moral exemplars in the Catholic university, University of Notre Dame
Leslie J. Francis and Mandy Robbins, "Christianity and Dogmatism Among Undergraduate Students", Journal of Beliefs and Values 24, no. 1 (April 2003): 89-95.
Religion is often accused of being associated with or promoting dogmatic attitudes. The present study conducted among 554 undergraduate students, who completed both the Francis Scale of Attitude toward Christianity and the Troldale and Powell Dogmatism Scale, failed to find any empirical support for this accusation. Attitude toward Christianity and dogmatism were shown to be unrelated constructs.
William Adrian, "Perils of the Life of the Mind: Lessons from the German University", Christian Higher Education 2, no. 2 (2003): 155-168.
The German university was the recognized world leader in higher education from the early 1800s through the mid-twentieth century, but it was morally impotent during Hitler's rise to power and the Holocaust that followed. This is troubling to many modern scholars, and especially to Christian scholars, because they are heirs of German university ideals and have been deeply influenced by its traditions and practices. This paper is an exploration of the philosophical and environmental factors that contributed to the university's loss of moral integrity. Ironically, academic freedom, the great hallmark of the university, became a distortion of the orthodox Christian view of freedom and contained the seeds of its own moral demise. The isolation of the university from everyday life and the egotism of its institutional leadership and faculty ensured its moral collapse. The fall of the German university from the pinnacle of higher education signaled the end of the modern period of total dependence on science and intellect. The story has implications for the world of higher education today because the United States assumed a leadership position after World War II and exported its own model of higher education around the world, incorporating many facets of the German university model in the process.
Keywords: fall of the German university, Holocaust, moral integrity, philosophical and environmental factors, educational model in United States
Elna K. Solvang, "Thinking Developmentally: The Bible, the First-Year College Student, and Diversity", Teaching Theology and Religion 7, no. 4 (2004): 223-229.
Both academic study of the Bible and engagement in a world of diversity require critical thinking and the ability to relate to perspectives from another time and culture—skills not typically well-developed among first-year college students and without which they cannot reflect on the Bible or on their own participation in a pluralistic society. Activities that the author uses to teach these skills in her introductory religion course are discussed.
Keywords: religion course, critical interaction with the unfamiliar, diversity
Jack Hill, "Black Religious Ethics and Higher Education: Rastafarian Identity as a Resource for Inclusiveness", Journal of Beliefs and Values 24, no. 1 (April 2003): 3-13.
Rastafarian identity represents an ethical resource for broadening discussions about inclusiveness in university communities. Based on interviews with Rastas in Jamaica and interpretations of Rastafarian dub poetry and song lyrics, Rastafarian consciousness is described in terms of concepts of self (I-n-I), lifestyle (livity) and community (Ithiopia). Rasta self-concepts are then viewed as creative catalysts for illuminating globalization discussions, and Rasta lifestyles are seen as potential resources for social ethical criticism of international patterns of consumption.
Keywords: Rastas, Jamaica, concepts of self, lifestyle, and community, globalization, social ethical criticism of international patterns of consumption
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