School of Education


Doctor of Philosophy


Dina Samora


spiritual formation, online education, Christian education, undergraduate


Education | Higher Education


The purpose of this collective case study was to describe the spiritual formation practices of online undergraduate students at a Christian college. This study employed a qualitative methodology approach involving 12 online undergraduate students engaged in studies at a Christian college in the United States. The theoretical framework that guided this study was the ecological systems theory and the ecologies of faith model. The central research question was: How do online undergraduate students describe their experiences of spiritual formation while engaged in online studies? The data collection methods consisted of interviews, journal prompts, and document analysis. The data analysis process involved open coding, values coding, thematic synthesis, and categorical aggregation. Research was needed to understand the nature of spiritual formation within the online educational environment and the perceived influence of technology upon the broad ecosystem of undergraduate students. This study highlights some of the theological, technological, and pedagogical intersections of spiritual formation through online learning environments associated with undergraduate Christian education as well as the ecology of faith and learning.