Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Don Jones


One mission of Christian schools is to foster teenagers’ spiritual formation so that they are equipped to confront challenges and contribute to their communities as Christians after high school. A private Christian school identified inadequate spiritual formation in its teenagers and a need to implement a spiritual formation program. Using a nonexperimental, mixed methods study, the purpose of this study was to (a) investigate spiritual formation programs used by private Christian schools and (b) explore educators’ perceptions of the most effective ways to bolster spiritual formation. The framework that drove this study was adolescent Judeo-Christian spiritual development. A questionnaire containing a 5-point Likert scale and open-ended questions was completed by 504 secondary teachers and administrators from the Association of Christian Schools International schools. Descriptive analysis showed that most schools chose programs that placed an emphasis on spiritual formation with faith and learning integrated through chapel, Bible classes, community service, group mentoring, and spiritual formation classes. Qualitative data revealed that most participants believed that relationally-based programs, such as mentoring, are most effective in fostering spiritual formation; however, most schools do not use these due to feasibility, affordability, and a lack of professional development. It is recommended that administrators use spiritual formation professional development and mentoring program at the local setting. These initiatives may contribute to positive social change by producing spiritually mature teenagers who are less likely to engage in risky behaviors and more likely to participate in their communities as Christian citizens and community partners.

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