School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Veronica Sims

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Higher; Education, Religious; Religion, General; Sociology, General; Mass Communications


Biblical, Christian, College, Community, Facebook, Students


Communication | Communication Technology and New Media | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Practical Theology | Religion | Sociology


Applying theoretical studies of social capital, social presence, cognitive presence, and community helps researchers understand more fully the phenomenon of online social networks. The debate has moved from the positive and negative effects of online social networks to understanding how they fit into daily life. However, do biblical community beliefs transfer to Facebook? If Facebook is considered a community, does it exhibit the characteristics of a biblical community? Through a qualitative case study design, this research explored eight Christian college students, four men and four women, from two Midwest Christian colleges, investigating their understanding of biblical community and its application in a Facebook community. The research found that these students' family, church, and college experiences impacted their understanding of biblical community. It also showed that that their understanding of biblical community impacted how they interacted on Facebook. Like in real-world relationships, Facebook, as a public forum, is an appropriate place to display positive biblical characteristics, whereas, negative comments and status updates are to be expressed in private settings.