Evaluating the Epistemological Development of Pre-Ministry Undergraduates at Bible Colleges According to the Perry Scheme
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SubjectBible college students.
Perry, William G., Jr., 1913-1998.
Knowledge, Theory of.
Bible institutes and colleges were originally established to train men and women for vocational Christian ministry, and many contemporary Bible colleges continue with that focus. In addition to practical ministry training, they seek to help students grow just as Jesus did: intellectually, physical, spiritually, and socially (Luke 2:52). But how effective are they at doing so? This qualitative interview study analyzed the epistemological development of Bible college students. I used the Perry Scheme as a model and research by John David Trentham as a theoretical lens to examine the relationship between pre-ministry undergraduates' attendance at selected Bible colleges and progression through the positions of intellectual maturity according to the Perry Scheme. Although the Perry Scheme is widely influential in higher educational philosophy and pedagogy, its pragmatic and relativistic assumptions present problems in the Bible college setting. The findings of this study are intended to move towards an alternative to wholehearted incorporation or unqualified rejection of the Perry Scheme by building upon the essential discoveries of the Perry Scheme within a Christian framework to construct a biblically-based, theologically-grounded, wisdom-centered evaluative model of epistemological college student development.