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					  What Will I Become?
Exploring My Life Purpose
   Christian Mission Heritage Series
         September 14, 2010
             Presenters
               Don Thompson
  Professor of Great Books & Mathematics

            Cindy Miller-Perrin
          Professor of Psychology

               Nicole Wallace
                Seaver Alumna
Fuller Theological Seminary Graduate Student
Lilly Endowment Sponsored Research
at Pepperdine
 Student Development Survey
 Goal: To understand how students define vocation and develop their own
   personal sense of vocation

 2002 – Present
 Surveyed Students from Seaver College at 5 different time periods
       Baseline – summer before beginning at Pepperdine
       Each spring throughout undergraduate career
 Cell-Phone Text
  Message Poll

What is Vocation?
Defining Vocational Calling
 The secular definition views vocation as work or
  career
 Vocation is God’s calling for one’s life – the reason
  God made you
 Vocation is the intersection of faith development
  and identity development
 Vocation is “the place where your deep gladness
  and the world’s deep hunger meet”
The Critical College Years
 College years are “critical years” in vocational development
 College students consider issues associated with personal
  identity, faith beliefs, and career options
 Faith, identity, and vocational development are not uniform
  across the college years
Who are you as a class?

 Total applications/admitted/enrolled: 7949, 2435, 656
 GPA 3.64
 SAT Verbal 607
 SAT Math 623
 SAT Writing 626
Academic Majors

                  Business

                  Communication

                  Fine Arts

                  Humanities/Teacher Education

                  International Studies & Languages

                  Natural Science

                  Religion

                  Social Science

                  Undeclared
Ego-Identity Status Survey
 Students receive scores on four identity scales:
   Diffusion: no exploration or commitment
      “I haven’t really considered politics. It just doesn’t excite me much.”
   Foreclosure: no exploration, but commitment
      “My parents decided a long time ago what I should go into for employment
      and I’m following through with their plans.”
   Moratorium: exploration without commitment
     “Religion is confusing to me right now. I keep changing my views on what is
      right and wrong for me.”
   Achievement: exploration and commitment
     “It took me a while to figure it out, but now I really know what I want for a
      career.”
      Identity Development

35




30




25                                                         Diffusion
                                                           Foreclosure
                                                           Moratorium
20                                                         Achievement




15




10
     Baseline   First-Year   Sophomore   Junior   Senior
My faith/religion is NOT very
important to me.
        5


       4.5


        4


       3.5


        3
                                                       Faith
       2.5
                                                       Religion
        2


       1.5


        1


       0.5


        0
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         Faith Attitudes and Behaviors
Subscales               Sample Items

Strength of Belief      •I view myself as a religious person.
                        •I have doubts about whether my
(alpha = .81)           religious beliefs are true.

Faith Behavior          •How  often do you attend religious
                        services?
(alpha = .88)           •How often have you read a
                        devotional, religious, or spiritual book
                        in the last year?

Application of Faith    •I depend on my faith in God for
                        decision-making and direction.
(alpha = .90)           •I try hard to carry my religious beliefs
                        into all other dealings in my life.
     Strength of Belief, Faith Behavior, and
     Application of Faith
45
40                                                                             Strength of Belief
35                                                                              varied significantly
30                                                          Belief Strength     over time
25                                                          Behavior           Faith Behavior varied
20                                                          Application         significantly over
15                                                                              time
10                                                                             Application of Faith
 5                                                                              did not vary
 0                                                                              significantly over
      Baseline




                                                   Senior
                 First Year



                                          Junior
                              Sophomore




                                                                                time
I am motivated to choose a career that
will provide/fulfill…
       5
     4.5
       4
     3.5
       3
     2.5                                                        Financial
       2
     1.5                                                        Personal
       1
     0.5                                                        Service
       0
                                   Sophomor
                      First-Year



                                              Junior

                                                       Senior
           Baseline
Vocational Barriers
Subscales           Barriers to life purpose
                    fulfillment
Personal            •Fear

                    •Emotional    Problems
Barriers            •Self-doubt
(alpha = .84)       •Lack   of motivation


Interpersonal       •A parent
                    •A friend
Barriers            •A boy/girl friend
(alpha = .86)       •A teacher or professor



Social and          •Lack  of financial resources
                    •Feeling pressure or a desire to get married
Cultural Barriers   •Feeling that my opportunities are limited by the
(alpha = .90)       gender stereotypes of society
 Barriers to Life Purpose
26
                                                               Total Personal Barriers
25                                                              scores varied over time,
24                                                              marginally
23
22
21
20
                             Sophomore



                                                  Senior
                                         Junior
     Baseline

                First Year




                                                           Personal
   Nicole Wallace’s Story
     Seattle, Washington
      Psychology Major
        Class of 2009

Clinical Ph.D. student - Fuller
Theological Seminary Student
Conclusions
 College students experience significant developmental
  variation over time
   Strength of faith belief
   Faith behavior
   Identity development
     Foreclosure, Moratorium, Achievement

   Personal Barriers
            Lessons & Opportunities
             for First-Year Students
   Faith matters – Stay spiritually nourished, seek
    wisdom
   Know Thyself – look for ways to challenge your
    assumptions
   Barriers are real – live through and with them
   Sophomore year - expect a watershed
   Purpose - bigger and broader than your career
Contact Information
Don Thompson:
thompson@pepperdine.edu

				
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