School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Fred Milacci

Primary Subject Area

Education, General; Education, Higher; Education, Administration; Education, Religious; Education, Sociology of; Women's Studies; Religion, General; Sociology, Individual and Family Studies


Graduate education, Nonstudent spouse, Seminary, Spillover/crossover, Spiritual formation, Spiritually formative experiences


Christianity | Education | Educational Administration and Supervision | Family, Life Course, and Society | Higher Education | Higher Education Administration | Practical Theology | Religion | Sociology


The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a qualitative research study exploring the spiritually formative experiences of nonstudent, female, seminary spouses whose student spouses are beyond the halfway point in their pursuit of an M.Div. at a large evangelical seminary in the eastern United States. Fifteen participants (twelve online nonstudent spouses and three residential nonstudent spouses) were purposefully sampled. The data, which was collected through questionnaires, in-depth interviews, and discussion forums, was analyzed using transcendental phenomenological analysis. Through this analysis it became apparent that seminary spouses did in fact experience spiritual formation through their husband's education. Spouses experienced enhancements in their spiritual formation as well as detractors in their formation. Formation enhancements included relational, intellectual, and practical enhancements whereas detractors were not thematically segmented.