Graduate Program

College Student Affairs

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Semester of Degree Completion

Spring 2021

Thesis Director

Richard L. Roberts

Thesis Committee Member

Jon K. Coleman

Thesis Committee Member

Roy T. Lanham


Despite research indicating benefits to religious or faith involvement, there is an increase in individuals that claim to have no religious affiliation. Additionally, most research that has investigated faith development of college students has been conducted at private religious institutions. This qualitative study utilized semi-structured interviews to examine students’ perceptions of various interactions on their faith development at a public, rural Midwestern institution. Moreover, this study investigated how the institution of interest can better support spirituality on campus and the role student affairs can have on spiritual development. Thematic material was developed through Parks’s (2000) theory of faith development. Results indicated a perceived level of institutional support for spiritual development as well as areas of improvement. Conversations about spirituality from student affairs professionals can be an important part of students’ overall development. Additionally, spiritual resources should be promoted more frequently. The study concluded with a discussion on how spirituality can be integrated in to holistic wellbeing of students by student affairs professionals.