The Relationship Between Faith Formation Experiences and Spiritual Maturity: A Quantitative Study
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ABSTRACT THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FAITH FORMATION EXPERIENCES AND SPIRITUAL MATURITY: A QUANTITATIVE STUDY William Edgar Allen, Ph.D. The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2014 Chair: Dr. Brian C. Richardson The purpose of this quantitative research study was to determine the efficacy, if any, of altar calls as a form of a public evangelistic invitation. Since there is no scriptural command with regard to the practice, the literature prior to this study relied solely on opinion, conjecture, anecdotal stories, and the occasional attempt to quantify results from evangelistic crusades. The quantitative research design consisted of utilizing the consistently valid and reliable Transformational Discipleship Assessment used for measuring spiritual maturity, supplemented with additional questions to respondents pertaining to preconversion experiences and the presence or absence of an altar call response. A sample from a national panel of over six million members was randomly selected and the results of the survey were subjected to rigorous regression statistical analyses. Efforts were taken to ensure demographics of the sample were representative of adult Americans whose religious preference is Protestant. The results and conclusions of the research have moved the debate on the efficacy of altar calls to the next level. KEYWORDS: Altar Call, Evangelistic Invitation, Faith Formation, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Maturity, Going Forward, Conversion.