School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


James A Swezey


Christian Education, Christian School, Faith Development, Faith Formation, Spiritual Development, Spiritual Formation


Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Psychology


The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to describe the lived development of faith as experienced by high school seniors who were currently attending Christian schools. The question prompting this study was what are the faith development experiences of Christian high school seniors? Participants came from a purposeful criterion sampling of 12 high school seniors from three Christian schools in the state of Hawai`i. One of the two theories guiding this study was James Fowler’s (1981) faith development theory as it presents six sequential stages that individuals go through during faith development. The other theory guiding this study was Lev Vygotsky’s (1978) sociocultural theory as it explains how culture relates to cognitive processes. Data collection for this study included observations, student interviews, and focus groups. Data analysis for this study followed Moustakas’ (1994) modified Stevick-Colaizzi-Keen method and Miles, Huberman, and Saldana’s (2014) and Saldana’s (2013) first and second cycle coding strategies. The results of this study provided six themes common among Christian high school seniors: (a) Relational Side of Christian School, (b) Epistemic Side of Christian School, (c) Affective Side of Christian School, (d) Unbecoming Side of Christian School, (e) Authenticity, and (f) Church.