The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak: Understanding racial diversity on a Christian college campus

2006 2006

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Abstract (summary)

This dissertation is required by the Ph.D. program in Educational Leadership at Miami University. It consists of five chapters that discuss how racial diversity is understood among faculty and staff at an evangelical Christian college.

Hunter (1991) defines contemporary evangelical Christians as people who adhere to the belief that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God; the belief in the divinity of Christ; and the belief in the efficacy of Christ's life, death, and physical resurrection of the salvation of the human soul. Emerson and Smith (2000) describe evangelical Christians as a mosaic socially, politically, economically, and regionally who share the defining feature that the final ultimate authority for truth is the Bible. The primary research question of the study was how do evangelicals in Christian institutions of higher learning understand racial diversity? There were two subquestions: (1) What prevents a Christian from taking the moral action of embracing racial diversity within their institution of higher learning; and (2) What social identity is primary when evangelical Christians think about the subject of racial diversity on campus?

Chapter one provides a statement of the problem and other introductory information. Chapter two provides a review of relevant literature as well as describes the conceptual framework of the study, which is the social construction of the evangelical Christian. In Chapter three the site of study, which is fictionally named Evangelical Christian College (ECC), is introduced. There is also a discussion concerning the methodology, which is a combination of case study/phenomenology research. In chapter four the main focus is on a critical hermeneutical analysis of the interviews which serves as the main source of research data. The interview texts produced were analyzed utilizing critical theory in the tradition of Jurgen Habermas (1999). In chapter five implications of the study are presented and a theoretical framework for implementing racial diversity in evangelical Christian colleges is discussed.

Indexing (details)

School administration;
Bilingual education;
Multicultural education
0514: School administration
0282: Bilingual education
0282: Multicultural education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Christian education; College campus; Racial diversity
The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak: Understanding racial diversity on a Christian college campus
Sanders, Alvin Edward, Jr.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 67/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Dantley, Michael
Miami University
University location
United States -- Ohio
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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