ERIC Number: EJ1067158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Abstractor: As Provided
More than a Question of Debt: A Qualitative Study of How Seminarians Think about Money
Lincoln, Timothy D.
Christian Higher Education, v14 n4 p193-211 2015
As the funding environment for higher education and theological education changes, an increasing number of graduate theological students hold student loan debt that will follow them well into their postgraduation working lives (Delisle, 2014). This study reports the attitudes about money voiced by master of divinity students at one mainline Protestant seminary. Using interactive qualitative analysis, researchers discovered seven key themes that function as a conceptual system (mind map). Participants reported that the three themes that exerted the most influence in the system were beliefs (how money fits in with other convictions held by students), societal impact (what students think about the results of government policies and actions of private firms regarding money), and financial awareness (how students know about their income, expenses, and obligations). These themes influenced what students thought about debt, saving, giving money away, and their emotions about money. Most participants voiced explicitly theological beliefs about money, including a variety of reasons for their own giving. The article discusses these findings in relation to other research about student debt and Christian attitudes toward financial giving. Recommendations arising from these findings include providing explicit curricular attention in theological schools to money as a problem for Christians and to developing students' financial literacy. Theological schools may benefit from exploring the relationship between the institutional need to admit tuition-paying students and the needs of churches for full-time pastors. Areas for further research include the relationship between a sense of Christian vocation and money, as well as what, if anything, is distinctive about donating money to explicitly Christian organizations.
Descriptors: Graduate Students, Theological Education, Student Attitudes, Debt (Financial), Money Management, Public Policy, Educational Finance, Protestants, Qualitative Research, Income, Expenditures, Donors, Tuition, Paying for College, Correlation, Churches, Clergy, College Admission, Christianity, Organizations (Groups)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A