Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership with a Global Perspective

Department

School of Graduate Studies

First Advisor

William J. Leary

Second Advisor

Frederick L. Dembowski

Third Advisor

Cindy A. Skaruppa

Abstract

Throughout the Common Era, large segments of mankind have used Biblical principles to guide their lives. In many instances, religion has served as the guiding force behind both positive and negative societal changes. So, it is not surprising that questions regarding the place of religion within the field of education have remained a source of controversy since the earliest days of the American republic. The purpose of this study was to a) examine the relationship between Christian education and the religious beliefs of middle school students currently attending a Christian school, b) to examine the relationship between Christian education and the religious beliefs of high school students currently attending a Christian school, and c) to examine the differences between the religious beliefs of middle and high school students currently attending a Christian school.

Two hundred twenty-one middle and high school students participated in this research study. The study participants responded to two questionnaires, a demographic questionnaire and a questionnaire designed to determine the level of religious beliefs. The demographic questionnaire collected information regarding the set of independent variables: grade level, gender, number of years of formal Christian education, and average number of hours spent per week participating in religious activities outside of school. The dependent variable, religious beliefs, was measured by the Religious Belief Questionnaire. To analyze the data collected, the following statistical procedures were utilized: frequency distributions, basic descriptive statistics, correlations, cross tabulations, regression analyses, Pearson product moment correlation coefficients and a t-test.

The data revealed that there were no statistically significant relationships between the religious beliefs of the middle and high school subjects attributable to the set of independent variables. When addressing the individual relationships of the independent variables, varied information was obtained.

The findings of this research study indicate various relationships between the dependent variable and each independent variable that should not be ignored. This research should prompt educational practitioners to no longer underestimate the importance of utilizing religious teachings in helping students develop to their fullest potential. The importance of this research challenges each of us to revisit our thoughts regarding the relationship between religion and education.

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