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Measuring Change

Transformational Outcomes in Christian Education


Jeremy M. Wallace

Measuring Change provides voluminous data substantiating the claim that students can and do experience personal formation in the context of Christian higher education. This volume is a one-of-a-kind, mixed-methods analysis of Canby Bible College (CBC) alumnae. By means of a three-part research instrumentation, CBC graduates assess and articulate the transformational journey they gained as a Bible Collegian. Ultimately, Measuring Change contends that Christian education should be more about personal transformation than information acquisition, thus making a robust case for the wide-scale implementation of “transformational outcomes” in Christian higher education.

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Nearly twenty-two years ago, I embarked upon undergraduate education at a major Christian university in the Midwest. It was a transformative experience for me. The substantial personal formation I underwent in those four years laid the foundation for who I am today and postured me to have enduring fruitfulness in pastoral ministry as well as academic life. After graduating from seminary and joining a pastoral staff at a church in Canby, Oregon, I began a new chapter in life, training and educating emerging leaders and aspiring ministers of the Gospel. Year after year, I saw a similar phenomenon of transformation consistently occurring within the graduates of our humble, two-year church-based Bible College. Lives were truly being transformed and equipped for a life of serving Jesus. After observing this for a handful of years, several questions began to pop into my mind: What happens to people through a Bible College experience to bring about such notable transformation in their life? Is Christian higher education more about information or transformation? Do Christian colleges and universities attempt to measure or quantify the transformative experiences of their graduates? What exactly should be the expectations of a so-called “Christian” college or university?

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