Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
C. Skip Trudeau
The integration of faith and learning serves as a central tenet for Christian higher education. Though valued for its guiding principles of faithful scholarship, the ambiguous and philosophical nature of the concept leaves a gap of understanding of how faith-learning is actualized, let alone actualized excellently, in the classroom. In order to explore the essence of the concept, 11 academic teaching faculty members selected for their exemplary faith-learning work from a small faith-based liberal arts institution were interviewed. Representing a diverse field of disciplines, the interviews explored the faculty members’ excellence in faith-learning conceptualization and practice. Strong emergent themes resulted in the Faith-Integration Formation Model (FIFM), an interconnected and holistic process of exemplary faith-learning practice. Components of the FIFM included the role of an educational ally, comprised of the faculty member’s personhood interacting with their deep understanding of faith-learning and specific discipline. Their deep understanding was given praxes through what they did both in their faculty role and in the pedagogical practices. These praxes served as a catalyst to their strategic hopes for students, including cultivating intellectual virtues and prompting self-authorship. Exemplifying the interconnectedness of the model, the strategic hopes for students emerged from the faculty members’ deep understanding of faith-learning as well as the convictions they themselves embodied. The FIFM expands the faith-learning conversation in a holistic manner, stimulating thoughts on the roles of educational allies, intentional praxes of faith-learning integration, and strategic hopes for students.
Westrate, Kathryn A., "A Model of Faith-Learning Integration in Exemplary Teaching Faculty" (2013). Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses. 71.