Graduate Program

Clinical Psychology

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Steven J. Scher


The purpose of the present study is to test the efficacy of intercessory prayer on academic performance. One hundred and four students enrolled in a college business class and 63 regular church attendees volunteered to participate in the study. Design for the study was a matched groups reversal design. The students were paired according to their GPA's and randomly assigned to one of two groups. The first test of the semester constituted a baseline measure. For the first four-week period of the class and the first test, neither of the groups received prayer. Next, the church goers each received the names of 3-5 students from the first group, just prior to the time when prayer was implemented. During the second four-week period, the church goers prayed daily for the students in the first group, praying specifically for a high test score on their second test. After the students took the second test, the intercessors were instructed to stop praying for the students. They were then given the names of 3-5 students in the second group and for the third four-week period, prayed specifically for the students' success on the third test. No significant differences in test grades were found when students were prayed for. Possible reasons for results are discussed in addition to suggestions for further research.