Epistemological Development in Pre-Ministry Undergraduates Attending Secular Universities
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faith and rationality
Taxonomy of Virtues of Christian Knowing
This qualitative study sought to replicate the previous study conducted by John David Trentham in 2012. Trentham’s study was cross-institutional in nature with a population from bible colleges, confessional Christian liberal arts colleges and universities, and secular universities. This study focuses on a population consisting of pre-ministry undergraduate students from secular universities. The Perry Scheme is the basis for the evaluation, and previous research conducted by Trentham is used to study how attendance at secular universities affects the progression of pre-ministry undergraduate students through positions established by Perry in his epistemological development scheme. The qualitative research design consisted of six steps: (1) customizing the Trentham Interview Protocol; (2) recruiting study participants; (3) conducting a pilot study; (4) conducting and transcribing interviews and submitting them to the Center for the Study of Intellectual Development (CSID) for scoring; (5) performing an independent content analysis utilizing Trentham’s Taxonomy of Virtues for Christian Knowing; and (6) evaluating the scoring provided by the CSID and the content analysis, determining research findings, and drawing conclusions based on the data obtained. The findings of the 2015 research were consistent with those of Trentham’s earlier research. This study also suggests a possible correlation between epistemological positioning and voluntary attendance at extracurricular events sponsored by Student Services/Student Affairs. However, due to the small population size, further research is necessary. The findings of the follow-up study conducted in 2022 differed from earlier research conducted by Stuckert, Kintner, and Bumanglag, whose study populations were similar. Follow-up study participants possessed significantly higher Perry Scheme scoring, especially compared to respondents of other studies of similar age. Possible reasons for this difference include familiarity with the study methodology and familiarity with the interviewer. Due to the small population size, further research is necessary.