Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Matthew Renfrow

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Todd Ream


The purpose of this study was to explore the impact of a Christian liberal arts (CLA) university on students’ development of a theology of nutrition. Through phenomenological research, this study explored the experience students had with food and the education they received regarding nutrition at the CLA university. The study was guided by the following research questions:

  • How do students’ experiences at a CLA university impact their theology of nutrition?
  • Does a theology of food change eating habits?
  • Does taking part in a nutrition course change an individual’s food choices compared to those who do not take a nutrition course?

Major findings centered on the positive impact of nutrition education on the development of a theology of nutrition and the challenges to healthy eating on campus. Participants mostly expressed theologies through moderation/balance, fuel, and the biblical reference to the body being a temple. There appeared a strong presence of community and disordered eating among university students. Recommendations for practice included the incorporation of a nutrition-specific course into the core curriculum and providing students with good foods with nutritional information to encourage education so students can appropriately care for their bodies.