Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


Gary J. Bredfeldt


Artificial Intelligence, Bible-based chatbot, Scripture engagement, Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology


Leadership Studies | Religion


The purpose of this descriptive study was to understand whether a relationship exists between an individual's behavioral intention to use a Bible-based chatbot that leverages AI to create human-like engagement with Scripture and the constructs of performance expectancy, effort expectancy, perceived enjoyment, and perceived risk, controlling for gender, age, and experience among registered users of the Inductive Bible Study App. Data was collected through an online survey and analyzed using Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM), multi-group analysis (MGA), and homogeneity-of-slopes analysis of covariance (ANCOVA). While this quantitative descriptive study validated the correlation between each of the four reflective constructs and the formative construct (behavioral intent), the data suggests that perceived enjoyment maintains the strongest link to behavioral intent. In addition, the moderators appear to indicate that the strongest correlation to behavioral intent is found in communities of younger males with no prior exposure to chatbots. The results of this study provide useful insights into how individuals perceive and make decisions about using technology for religious or spiritual purposes, and how these perceptions may differ based on demographic factors. Additionally, the results inform the development and implementation of similar AI-based tools in religious or spiritual contexts and provide insights into how leaders in these contexts can effectively utilize technology to engage with their communities.