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Residual Spiritual Shifts Regarding the Homeless Resulting From a College Poverty Immersion Experience
The Research and Scholarship Symposium
  • Elizabeth Garland, Cedarville University
  • Heidi J. Johnson, Cedarville University
  • Michael W. Firmin, Cedarville University
  • Ruth Lowrie Markham, Cedarville University
  • Kurt J. Stultz, Cedarville University
Type of Submission
  • Poverty,
  • poverty immersion,
  • cognitive shifts
We report the results of a qualitative study, having interviewed 20 students who had 1.5 years previously been involved in a collegiate, weekend poverty immersion experience. We coded the transcripts, analyzed the data from a phenomenological framework, provided checks for internal validity, and report the common themes from the participants’ interviews.Three overall results were evident. First, participants reported believing that, generally, the church is ignorant regarding the needs of the poor and impoverished people around them. Second, students generally did not believe that the church was doing enough in order to combat poverty and/or homelessness, mentioning that the church’s outreach ministries are often ineffective. Third, students reported believing that the church is responsible to care for the poor and thus, Christians as a whole should be more involved than they are presently. The study’s results are discussed in the context of social psychology findings, published research literature reading how contemporary Christians generally fare at helping impoverished individuals, and the long term effectiveness of active, experiential learning in higher education.
Faculty Sponsor or Advisor’s Name
Michael W. Firmin, & Ruth Lowrie Markham
Campus Venue
Stevens Student Center
Cedarville, OH
Start Date
4-16-2014 11:00 AM
End Date
4-16-2014 2:00 PM
Creative Commons License
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation Information
Elizabeth Garland, Heidi J. Johnson, Michael W. Firmin, Ruth Lowrie Markham, et al.. "Residual Spiritual Shifts Regarding the Homeless Resulting From a College Poverty Immersion Experience" (2014)
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