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The Development of Vocation as Calling Research Sponsored by the Lilly Endowment Cindy Miller-Perrin Don Thompson Elizabeth Krumrei Emily Andrews Marisa Sessions Faculty Conference Pepperdine University October 8, 2004 Voyage Project Research Overview Student Vocational Development

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the development of vocation as calling research sponsored by the lilly endowment
The Development of Vocation as CallingResearch Sponsored by the Lilly Endowment

Cindy Miller-Perrin

Don Thompson

Elizabeth Krumrei

Emily Andrews

Marisa Sessions

Faculty Conference

Pepperdine University

October 8, 2004

voyage project research overview
Voyage Project Research Overview
  • Student Vocational Development
    • Web Surveys
    • Personal Interviews
  • Faculty Vocational Discernment & Action
    • Surveys
    • Autobiographies
student web survey
Student Web Survey
  • Measures faith attitudes, faith behaviors, identity development, vocation definitions, vocational discernment, and vocational barriers.  
  • Longitudinal administered each fall as well as prior to initial enrollment 
  • Entering Freshmen: July 2002, 300 surveyed, 113 completed
  • Freshmen: March 2003, 300 surveyed, 191 completed
  • Sophomores: March 2004, 174 surveyed, 111 completed
student personal interview
Student Personal Interview
  • Students complete 30-minute personal interview in fall of each 4 years at Pepperdine (2002-2005)
  • 2002 Freshman Sample: 105 students from the 150 who completed the Web survey
  • 2003 Sophomore Sample: 65 students from the 105 who previously participated
  • Students to be interviewed fall 2004, 2005
faculty survey
Faculty Survey
  • Measures faculty members’ concepts of vocation, personal experiences of discerning vocation, and personal barriers experienced while pursuing vocation 
  • Pre/post-test design
  • Pre-test fall 2003: 144 Seaver tenure track faculty invited, 75 completed
  • Approximately one-third of these expressed interest in further vocational discernment activity
  • Post-test will be administered in the fall of 2006
faculty autobiographies
Faculty Autobiographies
  • Florence, Italy New Faculty Faith, Learning & Vocation Seminar and summer Faith and Learning Seminars participants write self-reflective essays about vocational journeys - highlighting major turning points, crises, experiences of clarity, affirmations, and tensions 
  • Data accumulated from December 2002, Summer 2003, and December 2003, Summer 2004.
analysis dissemination
Analysis & Dissemination
  • Faith, Vocation, and Identity – Western Psychological Association, April 2004 – Krumrei, Miller-Perrin, & Thompson 
  • Faculty Conference Presentation, October 2004
  • Vocational Discernment and Action Among University Professors – Faith In the Academy Conference, October 2004 – Thompson & Miller-Perrin
analysis dissemination8
Analysis & Dissemination
  • The Relationship between Status of Identity Development and Maturity of Faith: A Quantitative Study of College Students - International Journal of Psychology of Religion, Spring 2005 - Krumrei, Miller-Perrin, & Thompson
  • Gender and Vocational Discernment – Conference on Psychology of Religion, April 2005 – Miller-Perrin & Thompson
analysis dissemination9
Analysis & Dissemination
  • Identity and Faith: The Role of Crisis and Commitment – Conference on Psychology of Religion, April 2005 – Krumrei, Miller-Perrin & Thompson
  • A Life Dedicated to Service: College Students’ Commitment to Service and the Role of Faith Attitudes, Faith Behaviors, and Personal Sense of Vocation – Western Psychological Association, April 2005 – Andrews, Sessions, & Miller-Perrin
the relationship between status of identity development and maturity of faith
The Relationship between Status of Identity Development and Maturity of Faith

Elizabeth Krumrei

Bowling Green State University

questions commonly asked by college students
Questions Commonly Asked by College Students
  • Who am I?
  • What should I do?
  • What is the meaning of life?
purpose of study
Purpose of Study

Identity

Faith

Hypothesis: Students’ level of identity development will be directly related to their faith maturity.

slide13

Research Hypothesis

Identity

Faith:

Convictions

&

Behavior

Students with a stronger sense of identity will have deeper faith convictions which will be lived out in concrete behavioral terms.

past research
Past Research
  • The college years are the “critical years” in development (Parks, 2000).
  • The college years are an important time of change for the individual self and the religious self (Lee, 2002).
  • Both healthy and unhealthy forms of development occur during the college years (Love and Talbot, 2002).
lack of research
Lack of Research
  • Theories of spiritual development have existed at the margins of student development theory for 20 years but have not been given serious consideration (Love, 2002).
  • Spirituality and spiritual development have been conspicuously absent from student development theories and ignored by many student affairs professionals (Love & Talbot, 1999).
importance of research
Importance of Research
  • Scientific study of faith and identity is necessary for the design, implementation, and evaluation of specific efforts for change and growth among college students.
  • As an issue of integrity and responsible stewardship, Christians in positions of leadership should be concerned with efforts to promote movement towards greater spiritual and identity maturity (Butman, 1990).
current study
Current Study
  • The intimate and intricate faith-identity linkage makes intuitive psychological and theological sense, however, there is limited research examining this relationship (Bussema, 1999).
  • The current study was designed to better understand the relationship between faith and identity among college students.
identity
Domains of Life

Politics

Religion

Philosophy

Occupation

Morality

Sexuality

Relationships

Purpose

Dimensions

Exploration

Commitment

Identity
identity19
Identity
  • The extent of an individual’s exploration of, and commitment to, particular beliefs, roles, and ideologies within the domains of politics, religion, philosophy, occupation, morality, sexuality, relationships, and purpose.
faith
Faith Attitudes

Importance of faith

Strength of belief

Life application of faith

Understanding of calling

Faith Behaviors

Public religious activity

Private religious activity

Experience of spiritual feelings.

Faith
method
Method
  • Participants: 189 first-year students.
  • Measures
    • two measures of identity
    • two measures of faith
measures
Measures
  • Identity
  • Faith

Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status

Self-Perceptions of Identity Strength Survey

Faith Attitudes Survey

Faith Behavior Survey

self perceptions of identity strength survey
Self-Perceptions of Identity Strength Survey
  • Overall identity scores based on contemplation of, and confidence in: career, religion, morality, politics, sexuality, relationships, and purpose.
  • Sample items
    • I am confident in knowing what I should major in at Pepperdine.
    • My parents have taught me to have a good sense of right and wrong
    • I have thought a lot about my political beliefs.
    • I am not completely comfortable with my sexuality.
    • I have a well-developed understanding of what my gifts and talents are.
self perceived identity strength and faith
Self-Perceived Identity Strength and Faith

Identity

Strength

Faith

Attitudes

and

Behaviors

comparison between identity status and faith
Comparison Between Identity Status and Faith
  • For faith attitudes:
    • Diffusion < Foreclosure, Moratorium, Achievement
  • For faith behaviors:
    • Diffusion < Moratorium, Achievement
  • For faith attitudes and behaviors:
    • Achievement = Moratorium, Foreclosure
comparison between identity status scores and faith
Comparison Between Identity Status Scores and Faith

Diffusion

Moratorium

Faith

Attitudes

and

Behavior

comparison between identity status scores and faith32
Comparison Between Identity Status Scores and Faith

Faith

Attitudes

and

Behavior

Commitment

to

Ideologies

identity status scores and faith
Identity Status Scores and Faith

Faith

Attitudes

&

Behaviors

Foreclosure

&

Achievement

Scores

summary of findings
Summary of Findings
  • Self-Perceptions of Identity Strength Survey
    • High identity is related to high faith
  • Objective Measure of Ego-Identity Status
    • Low identity (diffusion status) is related to low faith
    • Lack of ideological commitments (diffusion and moratorium scores) is related to low faith
    • High identity (achievement status) is unrelated to faith
    • Presence of ideological commitments (foreclosure and achievement scores) is unrelated to faith
necessary but not sufficient theory
Necessary-But-Not-Sufficient Theory
  • Not having a strong sense of identity is an impediment to faith formation.
  • Having a strong sense of identity does not impact faith in either direction.
  • Summary: Individuals must be at a mature stage of identity development in order to develop mature faith, but identity development itself is not the cause of higher levels of faith maturity.
implications
Implications
  • In order to make it possible for students to mature in their faith, students must be encouraged to move beyond the immature stages of identity.
  • In order to encourage a growth in faith attitudes and behaviors, one must move beyond a focus on identity and find practical ways of fostering spiritual development directly.
encouraging a shift away from immature identity parks 2000
Encouraging a Shift away from Immature Identity (Parks, 2000)
  • Network of belonging
  • Support and challenge in successes and failures
  • Atmosphere of inquiry
  • Genuine dialogue, contemplation, awareness, and critical thought
  • Images of truth, transformation and interrelatedness
  • Encouragement to aspire to new possibilities.
ways faculty and staff can encourage faith maturity love talbot 1999
Ways Faculty and Staff can Encourage Faith Maturity (Love & Talbot, 1999)
  • Recognize the importance of faith
  • Gain understanding of personal spiritual development
  • Open attitude towards issues of faith among students
  • Education and training regarding faith development
  • Recognition for the spiritual underpinnings of emotional crises
a life dedicated to service faith and commitment to service in college students
A Life Dedicated to Service: Faith and Commitment to Service in College Students

Emily Andrews

Marisa Sessions

creating lives of purpose
Creating Lives of Purpose
  • Pepperdine affirms that, “knowledge calls, ultimately, for a life of service”
  • The college years represent a formative period that determines an individual’s attitudes and behaviors toward service
characteristics of college students service activity
Characteristics of College Students’ Service Activity
  • 46% of students participated in some form of community service while in college
  • 20% of students reported they served 1 to 5 community service hours per week
  • 28% of students were involved in service activities that lasted more than 12 months
  • College students most often direct their service toward education, human needs, and environmental groups
areas of change resulting from service work
Areas of Change Resulting from Service Work
  • Values
    • Students’ commitment to social activism and promoting racial understanding are significantly increased
    • Students who participate in service are more likely to feel they are empowered to bring about changes in society
  • Behaviors
    • Time spent in volunteer work during the college years can have a significant effect on time spent volunteering after college
    • Students’ decisions to pursue careers in service fields are influenced by service experiences in college
personal characteristics associated with service involvement
Personal Characteristics Associated with Service Involvement
  • Personality Trait of Agreeableness
  • Commitment to an Adult Identity
  • Self-Awareness and Stability in Self-Identity
how a commitment to service develops
How a Commitment to Service Develops
  • Initial commitment
    • Feeling marginalized as a child
    • Death of a loved one
    • Living with a troubled family member
  • Sustained commitment
    • Mentor
    • Relationship with those in need
    • Faith
relationship between gender and service
Relationship between Gender and Service
  • Female students more likely to volunteer than males
  • Males and females differ in volunteer styles and types of programs for which they volunteer
relationship between faith and service
Relationship between Faith and Service
  • Faith development accounts for much of the variability among young adults’ commitment to service
  • The faith of young adults committed to service is defined as “organized religion,” as well as, “a personal philosophy that emphasizes service”
relationship between vocation and service
Relationship between Vocation and Service
  • The concept of vocation is an important aspect of faith in the context of service
  • The Christian perspective defines vocation as “cooperation” in the Lord’s work
  • Common to all forms of Christian vocation is the charge to love and serve others
limitations of past research
Limitations of Past Research
  • Lacks systematic definition of faith or method of examining faith
  • Does not expand on students’ attitudes concerning what constitutes a commitment to service work
present study
Present Study
  • Examined the nature of college students’ commitment to service as part of their life purpose
    • Students’ conceptions of a “life dedicated to service”
    • The relationship between faith attitudes and behaviors and commitment to service
    • The role of gender in service commitment
method50
Method
  • Measures
    • Interview – 91 Participants
      • Service Commitment Dimensions Rubric
      • Service Commitment Levels
    • Web Survey – 65 Participants
      • Faith Attitude Scale
      • Faith Behavior Scale
vocation interview question
Vocation Interview Question

We often hear about people who “dedicate their lives to service.” What would a life dedicated to service look like to you? Do you see yourself incorporating service to others in your future vocation?

results55
Results
  • Service Commitment Dimensions
  • Service Commitment Levels
  • Relationship between Service Commitment Level and Faith Attitudes and Behaviors
  • Service Commitment and Ethnicity
  • Service Commitment and Gender
interview rating rules
Interview Rating Rules
  • Each interview rated by two researchers
  • Higher dimension score used when researcher scores disagreed
  • Highest dimension score across all five dimensions used to assign each student to a Service Commitment Level
example of service commitment at level five
Example of Service Commitment at Level Five

My grandma “dedicated her life to taking care of others, and to her faith… she’d always be caring and take the time to stop and listen…she’s always served them on a daily basis.”

Vocation “definitely is more than your job… we always fed people at the homeless shelter every Sunday… As a physician I see myself serving others everyday… through offering myself to them as a person, as a friend.”

example of service commitment at level two
Example of Service Commitment at Level Two

To me a life dedicated to service means that the “whole life wouldn’t have to be constantly serving people… just more like the sharing of ideas and more people coming together… to benefit a group of people… doesn’t have to be something really gigantic.”

“In terms of my skills… I know [service] is something I want to do… my life wouldn’t really have meaning unless I did something to help other people benefit… I’m not really sure which way it will be right now...”

conclusions
Conclusions
  • Stronger commitment to service is associated with stronger faith attitudes and more frequent faith behaviors
    • Personal sense of calling
    • Public and private faith activities
  • Service commitment is related to ethnicity as well as gender
    • Non-Caucasian students show a stronger commitment to service
    • Females show a stronger commitment to service
conclusions68
Conclusions
  • For males, service commitment was associated with faith behaviors only
  • For females, service commitment was associated with both faith behaviors and faith attitudes
  • Service commitment dimensions most related to faith
    • sacrifice (females)
    • ideal/actual discrepancy (both males and females)
  • Service, as an important component of vocation, should be discussed in the context of faith development in order to help students in discerning their vocational callings