Date of Award

2011

Embargo Period

9-10-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Teaching (Honours) BA/BTch (Hons)

Faculty

Education & Science

School

Education

First Advisor

Mrs. Beverley Christian

Abstract

Schools with campus churches can provide an environment where personal faith development and affiliation with a faith community are encouraged. This study investigated senior students’ perceptions of the factors positively influencing their faith development within the environment of a school-church nexus. A review of the literature revealed a strong connection between adolescent faith development and social context. This case study gathered data from two Adventist schools with campus churches with a focus on senior students’ and staff perceptions. An emergent mixed-method approach was adopted to gather data through the use of a questionnaire, focus group interviews and unstructured staff interviews. The data revealed that student faith development was impacted primarily by elements of the schools’ special character as well as social connection and involvement within the school-church nexus environment. Furthermore, the results indicated that attendance at campus church events is also impacted by social connection, involvement and perceived relevance of campus church events to students’ lives. The study concluded that faith development is more likely to occur for senior students when the six following key considerations are factored into the planning and implementation of faith-based activities and programs: perceptions about spirituality, social context, positive relationship with school/church personnel, influence of the school’s special character, emphasis on discipling through involvement, and relevant content.

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