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The Church of the Nazarene: A denomination and its colleges: A mixed methods study

Mark C Mountain, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose for this study was to provide a framework for the Church of the Nazarene to examine the ongoing church-college relationship. At the Church of the Nazarene's centennial, this study sought to examine the balance between institutional mission and academic philosophy on church-relatedness in the Church of the Nazarene's higher education bodies within the United States.^ In this sequential explanatory mixed method study, priority was given to the qualitative methodology. The qualitative approach came in the collection of narratives and interviews. The quantitative method was a survey conducted using scaled questions to gather information from a broad range of individuals from the various schools. The research explored seven of the eight undergraduate institutions of the Church of the Nazarene in the United States. The eighth institution was used for the pilot study. The seven institutions researched in this study were identified with pseudonyms to maintain anonymity.^ The research included an internet survey distributed to general church leaders, district superintendents, local church pastors, board of trustee members, college/university administrators, college/university faculty, and college/university staff, with selective follow-up interviews. The central question for research was, "In an effort to create an identity for the future, how is the institutional mission presently expressed by the higher education institutions of the Church of the Nazarene?"^ The conclusions reached through the quantitative research illustrated a lack of familiarity with the institutional mission. There was also a noted dissatisfaction with freshman's spiritual maturity and only a minimal increase in maturity upon graduation.^ The qualitative research brought to light several themes. The first was that the Church of the Nazarene is very unique its relationship between church and college. A second theme that was evident was the strong sense of institutional loyalty. And a third was the need was to protect the mission while continuing to expand the influence of the institution.^

Subject Area

Education, Administration|Education, Religious|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Mountain, Mark C, "The Church of the Nazarene: A denomination and its colleges: A mixed methods study" (2009). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3379729.