Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


J. David Judd


older adult, loneliness, isolation, COVID-19, quarantine, lockdown, online church


Educational Leadership


The purpose of this phenomenological multi-case study was to understand the perceptions of older adults regarding their feelings of loneliness related to the lockdown during COVID-19 and to discover if online church platforms for the older adult Christian population at Crosspoint Church in Niceville, Florida, Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, and Community Life Church in Gulf Breeze, Florida, minimized those feelings of loneliness which may have caused mental, physical, and emotional concerns. Isolation from the church body was generally defined as nonattendance via traditional means or online platforms. The theory guiding this study was Lev Vygotsky’s zone of proximal development. The researcher used a focus group discussion setting with open-ended questions. Additionally, the participants completed a demographic survey reporting their gender, race, age, and online platform. Twenty-four participants responded with their feelings and emotions about the effects of online church service platforms on their loneliness levels. The participants rated their loneliness levels during online church services during Communion Sunday, the sermon, during communication such as text and Zoom, during the worship service, according to their marital status, and based on technology.