School of Education


Doctor of Education (EdD)


Mark Lamport


Christian Doubt, Christian Education, Moral Education, Moral Identity


Christianity | Education | Religion | Social and Philosophical Foundations of Education


This qualitative phenomenological study discussed the essence of moral identity and provided an understanding of the context in which it was experienced by emerging adults attending a Midwestern evangelical college. Since a primary objective in Christian education today is the formation of moral character in students, this study provided a rich description of moral identity within the emerging adult and a deeper understanding of moral identity formation during adolescence by examining the life narratives of 11 students attending an evangelical college in the Midwest. This phenomenological study used semi-structured interviews and document analysis to describe the essence of the moral identity experience. A textual description and a structural description were used with the analytical process of finding significant statements and grouping these statements into meaningful units. Narrative coding was also used to build a holistic description covering the depth and complexity of an individual's understanding of the self. This interpretive study used qualitative methodology to form a thick and rich description regarding the essence of moral identity and its formation in the emerging adult. Significant findings include the ability of emerging adults with high moral identity to possess well-developed self-narratives regarding moral events. Further, these narratives included themes of connection to a higher purpose or story, alienation toward current culture, and admiration toward a moral individual.