School of Music


Doctor of Worship Studies (DWS)


Jerry L. Newman


Transformative Learning Theory, Christian Education, Worship Studies, Transformative Worship, Transformative Education, Jack Mezirow, Teaching, Worship, Adult Education


Educational Methods | Liturgy and Worship


Despite extensive research regarding the application of Transformative Learning Theory in adult education, there is very little literature promoting applying these principles and practices within Christian Worship Studies. Transformative Learning Theory is an educational theory that researches and promotes perspective-changing teaching and learning. Structured educational opportunities and spiritual development through Christian worship both have the potential to be life-altering events in human experience. In each of these dimensions of learning, the final result may include a change in perspective which then leads to modified behaviors. Transformative change occurs in the life of the learner. This qualitative research study explores the effectiveness of Transformative Learning Theory as an approach to teaching Christian Worship Studies to adult lay students. Guided by the scholarly literature and research in the areas of Transformative Learning Theory, Christian Education, and Worship Studies, and in harmony with scriptural teachings regarding worship and spiritual formation, this study seeks to investigate and apply the principles and practices of Transformative Learning Theory to the teaching of Christian Worship Studies. Practical application is made possible by developing and including sample teaching materials and methods that demonstrate the utilization of the researched principles and practices. Further, this study may encourage educators to delve into the evolving field of Transformative Learning Theory in additional areas of education as they pursue their own transformative experiences.