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Spiritual Dynamics Involved with Overseas Student Teachers: A Qualitative Analysis
Christian Higher Education
  • Michael W. Firmin, Cedarville University
  • Ruth Firmin, Cedarville University
  • Brenda B. MacKay, Cedarville University
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We present the results of a qualitative, phenomenological research study that explored the spiritual dynamics of 13 overseas student teachers. Overall, participants in our sample described spiritual growth on two levels. First, they related that spiritual development often followed an inside-out pattern. In explaining this phenomenon, students described how engagement in activities such as spiritual preparation (prior to departure), the maintenance of spiritual disciplines, and purposeful steps taken to grow in Christian character played supportive roles in their overall spiritual development while overseas. Conversely, participants also shared dynamics by which they were influenced spiritually from the outside in. Such facets included school environments as well as church interactions, through which participants reportedly developed both spiritual and social connections.

  • Education research,
  • student teachers,
  • student teaching,
  • spiritual formation,
  • social development,
  • qualitative research
Citation Information
Firmin, M., Firmin, R., & MacKay, B. (2009). Spiritual dynamics involved with overseas student teaching: A qualitative analysis. Christian Higher Education, 8, 132-155.