Students' perspectives of Catholic secondary school campus ministry: An analysis of social capital theory in three high schools

John Sureau, Fordham University

Abstract

The scope and responsibility of secondary school campus ministry programs in Catholic schools have expanded considerably over the past three decades. Perhaps initially a response to declining clerical and religious presence, campus ministry programs—often led by priests, religious and/or lay men and women—lead and coordinate many of the elements of high schools that make them Catholic. ^ Responding to a lack of research in the area of secondary school campus ministry, this study surveyed the campus ministry leaders and selected seniors from three Catholic secondary school in a suburban diocese. Recognizing the potential for campus ministry programs to produce social capital that extends beyond one's time in high school, three research questions guided this research: (1) how does involvement in Catholic secondary school campus ministry programs affect the perceptions and practice of seniors; (2) what components of secondary school campus ministry programs are strong related to independent faith involvement; and (3) to what extent does participation in Catholic secondary school campus ministry programs increase students' involvement in their local parish or faith community? ^ The study found significant relationships between components of secondary school campus ministry programs and independent faith involvement. Components that most significantly related to independent faith involvement include liturgy participation and perception, retreats, service and contact with a member of the school's campus ministry staff. ^ This exploratory study provides the foundation for future research into the area. Implications from this study call for further examination of the specific components of campus ministry programs to determine best practices in each particular area. Campus ministry programs are making a positive impact on students in Catholic high schools and are worth the investment of time, staffing and finance.^

Subject Area

Education, Leadership|Education, Religious|Education, Secondary

Recommended Citation

John Sureau, "Students' perspectives of Catholic secondary school campus ministry: An analysis of social capital theory in three high schools" (January 1, 2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3499323.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3499323

Share

COinS