Publication Date

Spring 5-17-2015

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Dr. Raymond Young

Abstract

With around 28,000 individual participants, Chi Alpha is a diverse network of Christian students on U.S. college campuses. By regularly meeting in groups and collectively reaching out to the community, students develop their faith and build lasting relationships.

Faith development is an integral part of Chi Alpha students’ lives. Yet, because community is an important aspect in faith development, studying abroad can cause challenges. Students expressed missing accessible Christian peer support and mentorship while abroad. They further expressed disconnection from their faith and felt their spirituality had declined while studying abroad.

As study abroad participation has been increasing over the past decade, the Chi Alpha executive ministry team turned new attention towards programming for study abroad students. A faith development program to operate concurrently with a student’s study abroad program was created. In relation to its name, Strategic Study Abroad aims to motivate Chi Alpha students to be strategic, not separating their cross-cultural learning experience from their beliefs, but engage their faith into the learning experience.

Keywords: experiential learning theory, faith development theory, Chi Alpha, Assemblies of God, study abroad

Disciplines

Community-Based Learning | Community-Based Research | International and Area Studies | International and Comparative Education | Missions and World Christianity | Place and Environment