Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Tom Jones


The integration of faith and learning (IFL) is the foundation upon which faith-based higher education has been built. As such, it imperative that educators at faith-based colleges and universities understand and implement this integration effectively. The purpose of this study was to determine how academic and student affairs educators conceptualize and practice the integration of faith and learning. The study also sought to identify key similarities and differences that exist between academic and student affairs educators regarding the integration of faith and learning. To answer these questions, a sample of nine academic educators and four student affairs educators were interviewed in order to discuss their thoughts and experiences regarding faith-learning integration.

This study on faith-learning integration produced the following themes: (1) participants broadly understood IFL in cognitive, “worldview” terms, yet they also felt a close personal connection between their faith and learning; (2) participants developed their ability to integrate faith and learning primarily through mentor relationships with more experienced educators and secondarily through participants’ education and personal effort; (3) participants were motivated to integrate faith and learning by student learning and their own personal growth as educators; and (4) participants practice IFL through meaningful student interaction and fostering critical thinking. The findings of the study highlight the need for further discussion on the construct of faith-learning integration, as well as an increased focus on faculty development in this area.