|dc.description.abstract||This dissertation explored the possibility of quantifying and measuring the
experience of divine calling to develop and utilize a biblically based instrument, the
Vectors of Calling Survey (VCS), with older Christian adolescents to discover the extent
of their encounter with God's call. The measure was also used to explore the relationship
between calling, identity development, and purpose in life.
Divine calling was identified as a life-shaping experience for Christian
adolescents, available to all believers, and applicable to all of life. The need for divine
calling was juxtaposed to critical issues in post-modern adolescent development, such as
ambiguity, adult abandonment, excessive choices, and superficial spirituality. The effect
of calling was compared to the psychological concepts of identity, positive development,
purpose, and transcendence. A conceptualization of calling was developed from a review
of the biblical, historical and practical dimensions of divine calling. The study endorsed a
perspective of calling as the intersection of vectors, including listening to God,
discovering self, and embracing the world's needs.
The development of the VCS included field testing, item analyses, revisions,
and validation. The research procedures of the study were explained, including the
administration of the VCS with the Ego Process Identity Questionnaire and the Purpose
in Life Test to freshman students at three Christian universities.
An analysis of findings provided details about the sample and the statistical
results. Data from the VCS indicated a sense of divine calling was largely present in the
research sample, likely to be expressed by beliefs more than behaviors, and positively
associated with identity achievement and purpose in life. A surprise was the significant
correlation between foreclosure and a sense of calling. Suggestions for improvements of
the research design were offered.
Among the conclusions derived from the study were these: (1) a strong sense
of calling strengthens identity; (2) calling has broader application than pre-defined
ministry roles; and (3) a sense of divine calling can be measured. Implications included
the need to advocate calling and to study calling from a developmental perspective.
Suggestions for further study included the effects of calling and the facilitation of
personal receptiveness to calling.||en_US