Comparing Epistemological Development Among Pre-Ministry Undergraduates Attending Confessional Versus Non-Confessional Liberal Arts Colleges or Universities
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SubjectChristian universities and colleges
Knowledge, Theory of
Church college students
Christian college students
Most institutions of higher education within North America originated as Christian Institutions, with the purpose of preparing students to work in vocational Christian ministry. During the nineteenth and twentieth century, due to secularization and the enlightenment movement, most of these same colleges and universities have transitioned away from their original Christian mission and biblical values. Liberal arts colleges that remain true to biblical values and a commitment to a Christian mission are considered confessional institutions. Liberal arts colleges that no longer remain true to biblical values and do not hold to a Christian mission and value system are considered non-confessional. Today, there exists only a small subset of North American colleges that would be considered confessional. This qualitative research study explores the variance of epistemological development in pre-ministry students attending confessional Christian liberal arts colleges or universities versus pre-ministry students attending non-confessional Christian liberal arts college and universities, using the Perry Scheme as the theoretical lens. This research supplements a previous study conducted in 2012 by John David Trentham. Trentham’s original research sought to examine epistemological development for pre-ministry students attending Bible colleges, confessional Christian liberal arts colleges and universities, or secular universities. This new study seeks to add to the original body of research by also examining pre-ministry students attending nonconfessional institutions.