Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Phil Collins

Second Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Third Advisor

C. Skip Trudeau


The purpose of this study is to seek out how a ministry experience can be a developmental tool for academic and student development professionals to cultivate growth in the personal and academic areas of students’ lives. Rooted in the academic literature on service-learning and college student spirituality, this study asks how a ministry experience affects students, what part of the experience has the effect, and how students view and understand this development. By interviewing students in a ministry practicum at a small, Christian liberal arts university in the Midwest, themes were drawn out that identified core processes of the ministry experience that caused growth in the students. Through this, a grounded theory was established, proposing that spirituality acts as a moderator to the service-learning experience to impact both the personal and academic development of the participants. The implications are that spirituality (as a common passion among students) can be used to enhance their educational experiences by connecting their learning to something in which they are already investing their energy.