Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 2010


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Instructional Leadership Excellence (ILEAD)


School of Education

Committee Chair

Ruth Biro

Committee Member

Robert Agostino

Committee Member

Phyllis Genareo

Committee Member

David Smith


college students, faith, foreign language, higher education, integration of faith and learning, worldview


This qualitative case study investigated how students perceive that the integration of faith occurs in the foreign language classroom. Research questions included:

1. What factors and conditions of faith-learning integration do students identify throughout the course? 2. How do these students define integration of faith and learning? 3. Is there consensus among students as to whether or not faith and learning is being integrated in the course? How did the integration of faith and learning impact the students?

The non-probability convenience sample included 77 Elementary Spanish students at a small Christian liberal arts college. Data collection consisted of focus group interviews and weekly electronic student responses. Student-identified integration factors in a foreign language classroom were: Teaching/Learning Activities, Classroom Climate, Relational Attachment, Worship, Resources, Propositional Content, and Collaboration with Peers. Student-constructed definitions of the integration of faith and learning were: Making Connections, Worship, Atmosphere, Learning Processes, Faith Application, and Foundational. Students (81%) described the impact from the faith-learning integration as: Change of View, Growth in Personal Spirituality, Facilitation of Learning, and Life Implementation of Learning. Some students (19%) expressed that they had not experienced faith-learning integration, but all students said that the integration of faith and learning had occurred in the course. Findings from the study were:

1. Students can identify specific factors and conditions that facilitate the integration of faith and learning. 2. The student is a locus of integration. 3. A professor's intentional efforts to integrate faith into the learning experience impacts many students. 4. There is no one definition of the integration of faith and learning because students offered a variety of definitions based on their own faith, experiences, and interest in the subject under study. 5. A shared faith between the professor and students can be a vehicle to enhance student learning. 6. Christian students at a Christian college recognize, appreciate, and desire the integration of faith and learning in their courses.

Models are also provided that depict the faith-learning integration process as occurring both internally and externally in students, which, in turn, results in changed thinking and actions.