Institution Granting Degree
This exploratory, qualitative study utilizing the grounded theory approach addressed the research question of what are the factors Christian teachers feel, believe, and/or understand are meaningful and motivating to their decision to continue teaching in a Christian school? This focus on human capital retention in the Christian school was necessary due to a concern for teachers leaving the profession within the first few years of their careers, thus lowering the quality of education provided. The teachers participating in the study shared their feelings, thoughts, stories, and experiences through the use of in-depth interviews. The resulting analysis provided the opportunity for six core categories to be formed resulting in two major themes. The first major theme of a desire for personal fulfillment of the teachers to be motivated to continue teaching is seen in their (a) need to belong and feel connected, (b) need to provide direction and guidance for the students, their colleagues, and the administration, and ultimately to fulfill a (c) need for a feeling of accomplishment and contribution. The second major theme which emerged during the data collection and analysis was that of a desire for spiritual fulfillment. There was a deep sense the spiritual needs and desires of the teachers were the ultimate reason for teaching specifically in a Christian school. The desire for spiritual fulfillment can be seen through the shared experiences, stories, attitudes, and feelings of the teachers. The three primary concepts flowing from this theme are (d) a need to feel whole and complete, (e) a need to openly practice one’s faith, and (f) a need to be obedient to God’s call on the teacher’s life. This preliminary framework toward a theory of faithfulness begins to offer an explanation of the phenomenon of the Christian school teachers' experiences and why they are faithful to teaching in a Christian school.