An analysis of selected factors influencing students' intensity of involvement in Baptist Student Unions
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SubjectBaptist Student Union--Membership.
College students--Conduct of life.
Theses Ed. D.--Christian education.
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Vincent Tinto (1993) asserted that student involvement has a positive impact on student educational outcomes. "Involvement with one's peers and with the faculty, both inside and outside the classroom, is itself positively related to the quality of student effort and in turn to both learning and persistence" (Tinto 1993, 71). Research by Astin (1977) and Pace (1984) suggest that involvement is positively related with student retention, student satisfaction, and student perceptions of the college experience. The purpose of the current study was to explore and understand the ways selected factors affect the intensity of students' involvement in religious-based organizations during college. The results of such research can be useful in the efforts conducted by campus ministries to positively impact the quantity and quality of student involvement in their programs. The research questions dealt with the demographic variables of a student's age, classification in school, gender, type of school attending, employment status, housing situation, and leadership status. The research questions also focused on the relationship of a student's intensity of involvement to the selected factors of the participation of a student's friends in Baptist Student Unions (BSUs), a student's relationship with the campus minister, and the BSU program emphases of discipleship, evangelism, fine arts ministries, leadership, missions, outreach, and worship. The precedent literature provided a basis for understanding collegiate ministry to students while addressing the developmental issues related to young adulthood. The theoretical framework of student involvement as well as college impact theories are discussed for the value that they exhibit to researching concerning students' intensity of involvement in BSUs. The methodological design for the study consisted of surveying BSU students from selected college campuses in Mississippi using the Campus Ministry Involvement Survey, an instrument designed by the researcher and validated by an expert panel of Mississippi BSU Directors. The findings were analyzed in light of the demographic variables and selected intensity of involvement factors mentioned in the research questions. The only demographic variables which were shown to have a significant impact on intensity of involvement were the age and leadership variables. Each of the program variables were shown to exert a significant influence on intensity of involvement. Conclusions drawn from the data analysis include relevant implications and applications for those who work with college students. With a greater understanding of the factors that contribute to students' intensity of involvement in BSUs, campus ministers may structure their programs accordingly.
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