Spirituality is a critical component of the holistic development of college students. This phenomenological case study explored the ways in which 11 second-year students conceptualized and experienced spirituality while enrolled in a course addressing life purpose at a large public research institution. Their unique journeys captured how students encountered a spirituality framed in meaning, purpose and connectedness during their second year of college. Their experiences were shaped by influences of their past, present and future which therefore created a unique and individualized spirituality. Students experienced connectedness as a sense of belonging in college and in relation to a universal connectedness. Students' spirituality emerged in how they experienced diversity, the campus climate, their spiritual practices and wellbeing, and through co-curricular involvement. The busyness and pressures of college life served as a barrier to their spirituality. A course exploring life purpose provided a guiding framework to accompany, support and stimulate the motion of spirituality during their second year. Implications of the study address intentional policies and practices that encourage and support students' spiritual development.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. February 2015. Major: Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development. Advisor: Rebecca Ropers-Huilman, Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); vi, 251 pages, appendices A-F.
Melin, LeeAnn Jessen.
Being and becoming: an exploration of student spirituality in the second year of college.
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