Keeping the Faith: A Phenomenological Study Exploring Intellectually-Gifted Adults Who Remain Practicing Christians
School of Education
Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)
Chance, Environmental Catalysts, Giftedness, Intellectually-gifted Christian
Christianity | Education | Religion
Glynn, Deborah Jean, "Keeping the Faith: A Phenomenological Study Exploring Intellectually-Gifted Adults Who Remain Practicing Christians" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2585.
The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore the life experiences of intellectually-gifted adults in the United States who persist in their Christian beliefs. At this stage in the research, an intellectually-gifted adult will be generally defined as an individual who has scored at least two standard deviations above the mean (minus the standard error of measure) on a standardized intelligence test (Ohio Department of Education, 2017). The primary theory guiding this study will be Vygotsky’s (2011) theory of cognitive development. It is appropriate for this study because it will shed light on Jesus as a possible more knowledgeable other (MKO) for gifted adults who are practicing Christians and examine the potential level of development in a spiritual light as well as a worldly light. The secondary developmental theory guiding this study is Gagné’s (2013) differentiated model of giftedness and talent (DMGT), as it sheds light on the many catalysts that may or may not have caused these gifted adults to embrace or ignore their faith. The central research question is: What are the life experiences of intellectually-gifted adults in the United States who persist in their Christian beliefs? The sub-questions will look at who intellectually-gifted adults use as their MKO in their lives; how intellectually-gifted adults perceive or experience their Christianity in their academic lives; and, how some intellectually-gifted adults navigate society’s perception of Christianity. Data will be collected through interviews, focus groups, and journals. Data will be analyzed using strategies from Moustakas (1994) that include horizonalizing and clustering.