Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)


Rob Van Engen


Informal Learning, Biblical Worldview, Parents, Children, Adolescents, Spiritual Formation


Christianity | Education | Educational Leadership


Children and adolescents need spiritual nurturing and teaching to instill biblical worldview and to make possible the development of lifelong spiritual formation. Informal learning as an educational format is foundational to and provides an avenue by which to impart early biblical worldview formation for children and adolescents. The purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed methods study was to examine and explore the knowledge and behaviors of informal learning of the study participants (parents and/or legal guardians) in five U.S. Southeast states to determine the relationship between informal learning and outcomes of biblical worldview formation in children and adolescents. The mixed methods approach holds to the philosophical underpinning of pragmatism, allowing for both quantitative (QUAN) and qualitative (QUAL) assumptions. This study entailed gathering the perspectives of parents in five U.S. Southeast states through survey (QUAN) and focus group interview (QUAL) data collection. QUAN analysis of data showed that through informal learning, parents’ spiritually affirming behaviors by interaction with their children endorsed biblical principles at higher and lower composite scores. The recurring trend in the significant Pearson and Spearman correlations showed that there was a positive association between the spiritually affirming behavior and biblical worldview formation. Further, QUAL findings revealed four major themes that emerged from the focus group interview that gave clarity and meaning to the parent responses on the survey and the resultant findings yielded by composite scores and the correlation. This research is significant for adding to the body of literature of informal learning in evangelical Christianity in both leadership and education. Further research then holds potential for development of informal learning theory that can bring about lifelong biblical worldview formation and Christian-life development of present and future generations.