Master of Arts in Higher Education (MAHE) Theses

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Drew Moser

Second Advisor

Steve Bedi

Third Advisor

Linda Manganello


The purpose of this study was to explore the process of vocational formation between freshmen and senior year at a small, faith-based institution in the Midwest. The study considered the concurrent influences on students during emerging adulthood as they experience growth in identity and faith development, while grounding a theory for the vocational formation happening within the season. In this qualitative study, the researcher collected essays and focus groups from both a freshmen and senior population simultaneously for analysis and comparison. The following research question guided the study: How do students’ understanding of their vocation change over the course of their college experience, while experiencing growth in identity and faith development at a small, faith-based liberal arts institution? The study exposed the increased autonomy and changing possibilities and perspectives present in the responses of seniors in greater depth than that of the freshmen responses.