Master of Arts in Higher Education Theses

Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Skip Trudeau

Second Advisor

Tim Herrmann

Third Advisor

Scott Moeschberger

Abstract

The main objective of this thesis was to provide an in-depth look at an institution of higher learning that implemented a discipleship program for its student-athletes. A qualitative case study was conducted at a faith-based college to answer the following two research questions: What are the different components associated with a discipleship program for student-athletes, and what are the benefits and challenges of a discipleship program? The different components found in the discipleship programs included goals, team discipleship time, evaluation assessments, an accountability program, and missions work. The results also indicated growth in the students’ character development and spiritual maturity. Coaches felt challenged by the fact that personal change through discipleship is subjective and not easily measurable like the skill development needed for success in a sport. Also, coaches often experienced increased pressure to be a spiritual guide to every athlete. The research concluded that a discipleship program through athletics not only fosters growth in character development but in spiritual development as well.

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