Best Practices Of Online Undergraduate Spiritual Formation At Select Institutions Of Christian Higher Education: A Delphi Study
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SubjectCouncil for Christian Colleges & Universities.
Internet in education.
The purpose of this research project was to establish consensus among experts regarding best practices of online undergraduate spiritual formation with a specific focus on the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). Prior to this project, there was no consensus regarding best practices of online spiritual formation at the undergraduate level. Even less research existed with regard to the practices used among CCCU member institutions. Therefore, this project sought to identify the best practices implemented by CCCU member institutions to provide effective spiritual formation in their online undergraduate programs. This project was a mixed methods exploratory sequential design utilizing the Delphi Method. Sixteen expert faculty and administrators teaching in or overseeing Christian ministry departments within CCCU member institutions were enlisted to participate as panelists in this study. Round 1 gathered answers to 16 open-ended questions that were developed based on the CCCU definition of spiritual formation. Round 2 utilized a four-point Likert type scale with panelists evaluating the importance of 78 thematic practices that emerged from round 1. Round 3 utilized a simple agree or disagree dichotomous scale evaluating the importance of the remaining practices to online undergraduate spiritual formation. After three rounds of a Delphi Study with experts in the field of online spiritual formation at the undergraduate level, thirty consensus best practices were identified. Chapter 1 outlines the purpose and driving questions of this project related to best practices of online undergraduate spiritual formation. Chapter 2 reviews the precedent literature regarding the theological and theoretical foundations for Christian education and spiritual formation, as well as reveals a gap in the literature related to undergraduate online spiritual formation among CCCU member institutions. Chapter 3 articulates the design of this project and the use of the Delphi Method. Chapter 4 reveals the findings from each of the three rounds in this Delphi Study. Finally, chapter 5 analyzes and evaluates the findings of this project, including the thirty consensus best practices that were identified and their contribution to precedent literature, educational practice, and advancement of online Christian education.