Master of Education Research Theses

Date of Successful Defense


Date Degree Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (M.Ed.)




Michael Firmin, Ph.D.


Honors Program, faith-based education, college, qualitative, christian education, higher education, learning community, self-authorship, integration


American colleges and universities, including faith-based institutions, continue to actively recruit gifted college students through educational opportunities such as honors programs. Other research also indicates that the college campus context, challenging academic experiences, and diverse social interactions can have varying effects on students’ psychosocial development. Understanding the influences of these multiple factors on honors students can potentially provide insights into the effectiveness of these programs and their objectives. Using a qualitative research design, this study investigated the experiences and perceptions of honors students at a faith-based university. The participants indicated that through the honors program they were encouraged to pursue genuine life integration, excellence as a mindset, and self-authorship in their respective identities and worldviews. These objectives were encouraged through purposeful exposure to diverse content and individuals, a secure learning community, and faculty examples. Within each of these areas, the students also highlighted the effects on their spiritual development resulting from the integrated approach to spiritual beliefs and academics and daily living.



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