The Relationship Between Faculty-Led Small Groups and Character Development of Seminarians in an Evangelical Seminary
Description: The problem for this study was the relationship between faculty-led small groups and the development in seminary students of the character traits biblically mandated of those who occupy spiritual leadership positions in the church (1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9). This experimental study developed and assessed a program which combined involvement in a small group of peers with a faculty mentor. The discipleship groups met weekly for two semesters for either thirty or seventy-five minutes. The research instrument used was the Biblical Leadership Qualities Inventory, a revision of the Spiritual Leadership Qualities Inventory. The longer treatment length groups were not found to differ significantly from the shorter treatment length groups for change in trait score (p = .281), although means were generally lower for the longer groups. A MANOVA showed that both treatment groups differed significantly from the control group for the traits observed (p < .001) with the general direction of change being to a lower trait score. Five post-hoc hypotheses were investigated. An education effect, as measured by number of traits studied in the group, was not found to be related to outcome. A fatigue or stress effect, as measured by academic load, work load, and marital status, was not found to be related to outcome. Instrument weakness, peer effect, and mentor effect were suggested as possible explanations for the outcome. Peer and mentor relationships may have resulted in the subjects developing higher standards and thus a decrease on the posttest. Demographic factors of marital status, Christian age, academic load, work load, and absences did not prove to be effective predictors of outcome. Neither faculty trait scores nor faculty fidelity to the topics for discussion in the treatment groups proved to be an effective predictor of student outcome. Previous research by Parker showing factors for the SLQI was ...
Date: May 1987
Creator: Green, Michael Paul