NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED557038
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 159
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3211-1877-3
Exploring the Struggle of Balancing Academics, Religion, and Mission at Faith-Based Colleges and Universities
Shaw, Learty Letroy
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Mercer University
Leaders at faith-based institutions struggle to provide equitable attention to academics, religious heritage, and the secular mission of the institution; as a result, leaders find themselves mitigating conflict that arises from this imbalance (Brackney, 2004; Ecklund, Park, & Veliz, 2008; Witek, 2009). The purposes of this study were: (a) to explore the struggle of imbalance that leaders at faith-based institutions experience; (b) expose the areas of tension that exists among education, theology, and politics. Meier (2002) stated that conducting hybrid studies of this type between religion and education could possibly be a microcosmic reflection of the broader xenophobic connection that exists between religion and politics within society. This case study is an immerse qualitative analysis of data collected from semi-structured interviews and document review. Criteria used in the selection process were: (a) the institutions religious affiliation, (b) Carnegie classification, and (c) membership with ATS and CCCU. The immersion data process was used to review, code, and analyze data to create categories and themes (Marshall & Rossman, 2006; see also Yin, 2014). Upon careful review of each institution's history, IPEDS data, and financial statement, Northwest Faith-Based University was selected for this study since the institution reflected the greatest trend in revenues, expenditures, and losses in the site selection pool. The results show that: (a) Conflict is contained and resolved interdepartmentally; (b) Relationships within the institution are unit-bounded, collegial, and subjective; (e) Religious affiliates at NFBU are primarily colleagues and partners with limited decision-making authority; (d) Leaders at NFBU are more concerned with "internal" constraints; external constraints are limited to donors, and alumni rather than religious constituents; (e) Faith is defined by language and religious tenants; and (f) Politics exists, and are bureaucratic or ordered. Suggestions for further research include: (a) Exploring the use of religious language, and how it impacts the sense of balance at faith-based institutions; (b) Exploring the parallelism between the politics of religious governance and U.S. legislation, and (c) Examining homiletical delivery paradigms within the realms of teaching and learning in Higher Education as a means of providing teachers and theologians with some best practices regarding andragogical praxis and delivery. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A