Areas of Concern
Very few students are reading the Bible on their own often and very few know what their spiritual gift is. The most Prominent answers for improving chapel were: More fun/interesting, more relatable speakers, and student involvement.
Positive Student Responses
Middle School Retreat seems to be having a real positive affect on the students. Mr. Albright, Mrs. Crawford, Mr. Arsenault and Coach Grisset are the most repeated names connected with spiritual growth and discipleship.
Some real highlights are your students New Testament and Theology scores and their belief of Jesus being the only way to heaven. The reason why your Christian Worldview scores weren’t even higher is in the morality situations. They look at sin more as something that hurts another rather than being wrong in itself (for instance only 37% wouldn’t cheat under any circumstances.)
The areas of weakness that jump out in their individual surveys are in their lack of reading of scripture (only 5% feel they are reading a significant amount), their lack on knowledge on their own spiritual gifts (over 40% either don’t know it or don’t think God gave them one), and just their overall criticism of the discipleship of the school. They view the school pretty positively, just not the individual discipleship efforts.
The first set of goals you set should be in the area of getting your students involved in Scripture reading at home. I also have several activities that can help your Practical Discipleship scores. I hope to work with you more in the future.
In Biblical Knowledge they have a strong knowledge of the book of Acts in comparison to other schools. Everything else fell right in-line, but New Testament knowledge in general and Theology was on the high-end of average. The only question that was exceptionally below average was concerning inerrancy. The question wasn’t on whether or not they believed in inerrancy, just what inerrancy was.
In Christian Worldview the students seem to look at sin as something that hurts another person rather than falling short of God’s expectation. This is seen that upwards of 63% of students would cheat if they knew they wouldn’t get caught and wouldn’t hurt anyone. Now the positive side of this is that your students are involved with and inordinately interested Christian charity and giving to those in need. Another aspect that was below average in comparison to other schools was their view on creation. Around 78.5% of your students view creation in terms of a literal 6-day creation; leaving 21.5% that view it either as an allegorical story or God using evolution over millions of years. Now when comparing these numbers to Barna’s studies it looks phenomenal, but when comparing this number to other Christian schools you are over 10% below even the low end of schools.
In Spiritual Disciplines they tested very high in their love for going to church. They don’t necessarily go more often than other students in other schools, but they seem to enjoy it more than most. In the final question I ask about discipleship to see how they view themselves as already engaging in the activity or at least look for the opportunity of it. However, 38% of the students felt they weren’t ready at all and 5% more said that they weren’t interested in discipleship.
In Practical Discipleship I really tried to dive into the exceptionalities and the deficiencies because it had revealed itself as an area of concern. To start with the exceptional areas: individual staff members have had a greater impact than almost any other individual faculty in any school. So Albright, Crawford, Arsenault, and Grisset should really be commended. Also, students who claimed that their Bible class strongly impacts their spiritual life was a true superlative when compared to other schools.
Areas to Improve
Chapel is certainly an area of concern. 43% claim that chapel has had little to no impact on their spiritual lives. Now all schools need work in this area, but the average is 28.6% which is significantly lower than what you all are running presently. But we can improve these numbers. I think there will be lots of ways to improve this number for chapel, but taking a look at the speakers is definitely a place to start. Only 30.8% of the students say that the speakers are relevant and impactful.
One of the more confusing aspects of your all’s survey was how highly your students claim individual staff members have impacted their spiritual life (and they were willing to name names); but when asked about their school as a whole, they gave you devastatingly low scores. My impression of reading the responses is that the students view some staff members as caring, but a majority as disinterested. The vast majority of students (almost 2/3rds) certainly don’t believe the school is systematically trying to disciple them.
What’s encouraging is that we can directly impact these areas with some strategic planning. My recommendation would be:
1) Focus on scripture reading. We can put together a quiet time or devotional challenge of some sort.
2) Chapel improvements. I’d start with a student council and then start implementing some new things right away. It can only improve.
3) Faculty training. There’s a scale of less intensive to more intensive. The goals and temperament of your administrator will help determine what the best next step is.
Want to look through a different survey?