Imagery of Regent people and campus

Dissertation Abstract

Spiritual Formation as Experiential Learning: Exploring the Relationship of Learning Style with Spirituality Type and Spiritual Growth on Christian College Campuses

Ramon Moran
Regent University

Today, Bible colleges and Christian universities often struggle with the tension of meeting the academic needs of their students while providing programs and campus activities that contribute to spiritual growth and spirituality. One of the difficulties that Bible colleges grapple with is how to assess the spiritual growth and spirituality of students. Proposing an educational approach to the assessment of spiritual growth, Kolb's (1993) Learning Styles Inventory (LSI) based on experiential learning theory was combined with Holmes' (1980) spirituality type model to investigate the relationship of learning style with spirituality type. In the data collected from two Christian college samples, Kruskal-Wallis and Pearson Chi-Square statistics showed that learning style had a statistically significant association with spirituality type and with campus activities as spiritual influences on spiritual growth. In addition, a discriminant analysis following a stepwise approach identified four functions that predicted spirituality type (37% of the time). As a result of the study, three spiritual growth modes called Relational Seekers, Meaning Seekers, and Truth Seekers emerged. Implications of the findings suggest a new approach for assessing spirituality and spiritual growth in Christian colleges that can lead to developing balanced spiritualities in enrolled students.