Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Todd Ream

Second Advisor

Scott Gaier

Third Advisor

Tim Herrmann


The purpose of this study was to understand if practicing monasticism and spiritual disciplines impacts the development of student leaders. Research was conducted through grounded theory qualitative interviews with eight student leaders participating in a monastic trip for the duration of January 2016. The present study sought to answer the following question: What impact does monasticism and spiritual disciplines have on the development of student leaders at a private Christian liberal arts institution? The eight students were interviewed before and after their trip, answering questions about monasticism, spiritual disciplines, student leadership, and trip expectations and experiences. Themes derived from the pre- and post-trip interviews concluded that participating in monasticism had a positive impact on the students in three core areas: inhabiting time, other-oriented leadership, and whole-person development. This study presents implications as a future theoretical foundation for how educators can effectively incorporate monasticism into student leader training to better equip students emotionally, mentally, and spiritually as they begin serving as leaders on campus.