A Guidebook for Creating and Implementing

a Spiritual Master Plan

on Seventh-day Adventist Campuses

of Higher Education



























General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Office of Education

February 24, 1999


General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Office of Education, Silver Spring, MD, 1999.


The commission extends special appreciation to the Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry in the School of Religion at La Sierra University for editorial work as well as the publication f this material.


Editors: Stuart Tyner and V. Bailey Gillespie, from the John Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA 92505


Commission on Spiritual Master Planning and Assessment

Commission Members:


Enrique Becerra, Phd., Associate Director of Education, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland


Gordon Bietz, D. Min., Commission Chair; President, Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee


Rich Carlson, Ph.D. Chaplain, Union College, Lincoln, Nebraska


Garland Dulan, Ph.D., Executive Secretary, Accrediting Association of Seventh-day Adventist Schools, Colleges, and Universities; Associate Director of Education; General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland


V. Bailey Gillespie, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Christian Personality; Executive Director, John Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry; School of Religion, La Sierra Unviersity, Riverside, California


Ed Hernandez, Ph.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, Antillian Adventist Unviersity, Mayaguez, Puerto Rico


Greg King, Ph.D., Chair of the Religion Department, Pacific Union College, Angwin, California


Richard Osborn, Ph.D., Vice President for Education, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists, Silver Spring, Maryland


Ella Smith Simmons, Ed.D., Vice President for Academic Affairs, Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama


Jane Thayer, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Religious Education; Director of Academic Assessment; Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan


Special thanks to Robert S. Folkenberg, for developing the idea for establishing this Commission and for providing the budget for the Commission to meet.




The "Total Commitment to God" document, voted during the Annual Council of 1996, challenged all church organizations to focus on their mission and determine whether they were fulfilling their goals. The colleges and universities around the world have related to the challenge in a variety of ways with varying degrees of success. (See Appendix A, page 21, for the complete text of this document as it relates to higher education.)


In a desire to help the colleges and universities fulfill objectives of the "Total Commitment to God" document, the North American Division Office of Education, with input from the General Conference Education Department, appointed an ad hoc group called the "Commission of Spiritual Master Planning and Assessment." Its assignment was to develop some models and procedures to implement the vision embodied in the "Total Commitment to God" document.


What follows is the product of that commission's work during meetings that they held in Orlando, Florida, February 10-12, 1999. Consider this document a workbook for giving aid to a college or university as it seeks to be intentional in fulfilling the Gospel Commission on its campus.


Gordon Bietz, D.Min.

President, Southern Adventist University

Chairman, Commission on Spiritual Master Planning and Assessment




Prologue ‑ Page 3

Overview ‑ Page 8

What is Spiritual Master Planning? ‑ Page 8

The Guidebook - Page 9

Advantages of master Planning Page 10




1. Appoint a team leader. (Who will be responsible for the spiritual master planning?) Page 11

2. Clarify the team's relationship to administration. (To whom does the committee report?) Page 11

3. Establish the team's budget. (How is the planning process funded?) ‑ Page 11

4. Name the members of the team. (Who will serve on the planning team?) ‑ Page 11

5. Obtain or develop your institutional mission statement. (How does a spiritual master plan uphold the purpose of your institution?) ‑ Page 11




6. Conduct a status appraisal. (What endeavors are currently taking place on your campus to assess and build the spiritual environment?) ‑ Page 14

7. Clarify campus expectations. (What expectations are held on your campus concerning the spiritual outcomes or indicators of religious life?) ‑ Page 14

8. Prepare an appraisal report (What have you discovered about campus endeavors and expectations?) ‑Page 14

9. Identify communication priorities. (Who needs to know about the process of developing a spiritual master plan?) ‑Page 14 to

10. Invite campus input. (What contributions would your faculty, staff and students like make to your discussion of the spiritual needs and goals of your campus?) ‑ Page 15




11. Review completed appraisal. (How does the appraisal inform your efforts to build a master plan?) ‑ Page 15

12. Compare generic indicators. (Do any of the nonspecific spiritual assessment indicators Page 15 apply to your campus?)

13. Determine specific indicators. (Which indicators need to be adapted or created for the specific experience on your campus?) ‑ Page 17

14. Create the master plan. (What dynamics of spiritual life do you desire to build and support Page 17 on your campus?)

15. Adopt the master plan. (Who needs to review and approve the master plan?) ‑ Page 17




16. Make implementation assignments. (Who should set in motion the various segments of your spiritual master plan?) ‑Page 18

17. Assign assessment activities. (Which assessment methods are appropriate for each of the spiritual indicators in your plan?) ‑ Page 18


18. Establish a schedule for updating. (How often do you want to monitor the progress toward implementing your plan?) ‑Page 18




19. Develop an assessment process. (How do you evaluate the impact of your spiritual master plan?) ‑ Page 18

20. Analyze your assessment. (What can you learn from the evaluation? What needs to be changed or modified? Where are you making progress? Which areas need to be strengthened? How can you improve on the entire process for succeeding rounds of assessment?) Page 19

21. Communicate your conclusions. (Who is affected by the decisions you reach in the assessment process?) ‑ Page 19


Using This Guidebook - Page 20



Appendix A Higher Education Section of the Total Commitment Document ‑ Page 21

Appendix B‑ Flow‑Chart of Team Organization and Relationships ‑ Page 22

Appendix C ‑ Selected Bibliography for Faith Development ‑ Page 23

Appendix D ‑ Adventist Doctrine Outline‑ Page 24

Appendix E ‑ Sample Spiritual Master Plan Outline ‑ Page 26

Appendix F ‑ Sample Strategies to Encourage Campus Spiritual Life ‑ Page 29

Appendix G‑ Sample Assessment Methods ‑ Page 30

Appendix H ‑ Spiritual Planning Action Grid ‑ Page 32

The Steps for Implementation


The spiritual planning model on the opposite page contains both themes and the questions that relate to them contained in the following pages of this guidebook.


Just follow the tasks listed there and you will see how the process develops. Remember that this is only a model of how spiritual master planning might look. We challenge you to be creative and insightful in the process of master planning.



Creating and implementing a Spiritual Master Plan




Spiritual master planning begins with an analysis of the spiritual life of the school. Strengths are identified. Areas that need to be improved are discovered. Strategies and activities designed to achieve an institution's spiritual goals and objectives are included. The plan goes further by projecting or outlining resources. The very work of formulating such a plan and deciding how to accomplish it causes the attention of the institution to be drawn to this important matter.


The spiritual master plan should grow directly out of the mission statement of the school. There should be a direct and visible relationship, apparent to all, between the stated goals of the institution as set forth in its spiritual master plan, and its published mission statement.


Several cautions are in order. First, a spiritual master plan should not attempt to delineate all of the various ways in which certain beliefs and practices will be promoted and fostered at an institution. It will be informative, not exhaustive. For example, making a difference in the world through active service is one of the practices we want to see in graduates from our colleges and universities, and Adventist institutions should help provide opportunities for just such service. However, not all avenues of service can be spelled out in detail in a spiritual master plan.


A second caution is concerned with the difficulty of spiritual assessment. The plan will not result in an exact measurement of either the spiritual health of an institution or any individual student. Spirituality is expressed in a multitude of ways. Trying to take the spiritual pulse of any institution or person is difficult.


A third caution exists regarding the misuse of spiritual master planning information. Using information to compare institutions or identify specific student worldviews that might be at variance with the accepted Adventist norm would be an incorrect use of spiritual master planning and assessment. Evaluation of the teachers' belief system may be part of administrative personnel policies of an institution but if made part of a spiritual master plan will tend to create suspicion about the plan's purposes.




Spiritual master planning is a means of assessing and building the spiritual atmosphere of a campus.


        It establishes a specific way to analyze the campus' efforts for promoting faith development and spiritual maturation among students.

        It delineates how, when and in what venues spiritual changes occur.




Ideally spiritual master planning is integrated into the whole fabric of institutional strategic planning. It is not an add‑on or extra concern beyond the mission of the campus. Each Adventist institution should be as intentional in fostering a commitment to Jesus Christ as it is about imparting an academic experience. Indeed, spiritual master planning is at the heart of the mission of Adventist education.


A number of planning models could be used:




This guidebook contains the necessary steps for a school to develop its own spiritual master plan document and is coordinated with the flowchart graphic at the beginning of this guidebook. The guidebook contains descriptions and instructions in a sequential order for completing a spiritual master plan. The spiritual master plan is the instrument that will be completed as a result of this planning process.


People will sometimes argue that it is not possible to measure spirituality. That is certainly correct if you assume that to measure spirituality means to evaluate a person's relationship with Christ or a person's standing before God. But such information is not available to another human being. The Bible says that no person can truly understand even his or her own heart, much less someone else's. (Jer. 17:9). Then, what are researchers attempting to measure through assessment? They are measuring indicators of the spiritual life. "By their fruits you will know them," (Gal. 5:22 and Matt. 7:16‑20) Jesus said. By their behaviors, by their attitudes, by their commitments‑by such indicators, researchers can learn something bout the maturity of the spiritual life of students.


Each Adventist College or university is deeply interested in this maturity because the commitment to foster spiritual development is central to its mission. We recognize that this commitment is a cooperative venture with the Holy Spirit. The school does the "planting" and "watering," while the Holy Spirit "makes it grow" (I Cor. 3:6, 7). What a college or university is trying to learn by assessing the indicators of its students' spiritual life is how well it is "planting" and "watering."


It is important at the outset to recognize the limitations of research on human spirituality. Here are three:




There are many Ellen White quotations that relate to this concern. Her counsel about premature judgment is comprehensive, for example, "It is not given to any human being to judge between the different servants of God. The Lord alone is the judge of man's work, and He will give to each his just reward." (Acts of the Apostles, 276.) In addition, in her discussion of the parable of the wheat and tares in Matt. 13:24‑30, she suggests, "Christ has plainly taught that those who persist in open sin must be separated from the church; but He has not committed to us the work of judging character and motive. He knows our nature too well to entrust this work to us." (Christ Object Lessons, 71.)


When your campus organizes a spiritual master plan assessment process there are a number of steps that can be initiated, and this guidebook details them for you. Here is a summary of the process.


This institutional process through feedback and implementation be‑ins again as the campus is continually renewed in the area of spiritual life.




Master planning places responsibility and decision making closest to the intended recipient the student. It puts the emphasis on the identification of needs‑based objective data. From the identified needs, beneficial activities are proposed that provide a means for planned change.


The following questions are seen in graphic format on the spiritual master-planning flowchart at the beginning of the guidebook.




1. Who will be responsible for the spiritual master planning?

The appointment of a single individual to coordinate implementation is among the most often cited factors facilitating success. Therefore, choose an individual of high institutional status, a person of influence‑ someone who can unite the academic and student life sides of campus, one who can represent a wholistic approach to planning as well as successfully direct the spiritual master planning team.


2. To whom does the committee report?

Ideally, the team should report directly to the president of the institution. This relationship is crucial if spiritual planning is to be seen as a significant issue of campus planning and if spiritual change is to be integrated into the whole of campus life.


3. How is the planning process funded?

The cost of spiritual master planning is an institutional issue that should be clarified early in the organizing process. Appropriate institutional resources should be allocated so that the team can do a complete and competent job. If this requires additional monies other than regularly budgeted funds, planning should begin early for this decision. Consideration should be given for the team leader of the group to find some relief in their class load. Appropriate administrative officers of the institution should be included early in the organizing process.


4. Who will serve on the planning team?

The planning team could have membership that includes (See Appendix B, page 22):


5. How does a spiritual master plan uphold the purpose of your institution?

You probably already have a mission statement. (If not, don't proceed until you've created one.) Before a school planning team begins to discuss the goals and strategies that it will include in its action plans, there should be a determination that board members, faculty, and staff possess a keen awareness of the school's mission. It is not enough to assume that everyone shares a common understanding of where the school is going and why it wants to get there. (In some instances revisions of the mission statement would be in order.)

A mission statement clearly answers these kinds of questions:


The mission statement succinctly sets forth the core values of the organization. In a global way, it communicates to everyone that which is important and indicates the direction of the institution. It is the goal towards which the whole institution is moving. It is the focus of everyone's actions.


The mission statement should be formulated with the participation of a wide group of individuals representing a large range of interests and responsibilities in the institution. Everyone identified with the institution should be involved or at least included in the mission statement development. Administrators, faculty, staff, students, trustees, and alumni should be included in this process. Some authorities argue that the best mission statements flow from the personal mission statements of the employees and staff. This activity will encourage ownership of the mission statement itself by these individuals or groups and give them a greater stake in successfully accomplishing its mission goals.




The North American Division Mission Statement for higher education. In keeping with the mission of the Seventh‑day Adventist church, Adventist colleges and universities aim to educate students holistically for productive Christian life in church and society. The truth of God as set forth in Scripture and defined in the person of Jesus Christ informs the life and teaching of each institution.


Campus A. To provide a high quality academic education while also encouraging and nurturing a personal commitment to Jesus Christ in the context of the Seventh‑day Adventist church.


Campus B. To prepare students from diverse backgrounds for excellence in selected professions, develop an eternal perspective with assurance in Christ, and promote joyful service to the world.


Campus C. To prepare its students for fellowship with God and service to Him through service to humanity. To achieve its mission, the College offers an excellent education, informed by a distinctive Seventh‑day Adventist Christian point of view, to all who appreciate the school's unique values and its integration of faith and learning. Paying special attention to Christianity's role in civilization, the College considers liberal arts study with a Christian perspective to be uniquely valuable not only for its own sake, but also as a basis for career training and professional life.


The work sheet on the next page can be copied and used to assist in developing or reviewing a mission statement.




Answer each question below by listing critical attributes, which you think should be considered in developing a mission statement for your district or school:



1. Who will deliver services? (Example: "faculty of... School")



2. Who will benefit? (Example: "ALL students")



3. What is the nature of the services? (Example "...to educate")



4. What constitutes observable evidence? (Examples: "high levels of academic performance" and/or "positive growth in social/emotional behaviors and attitudes" stating specific indicators in quantitative and qualitative terms)



5. What is the level of accountability? (Example: "responsibility to reach ALL students")




6. Explain the contextual nuances and frames of references.





6. What endeavors are currently taking place on your campus to assess and build the spiritual environment?


The status appraisal is a close look at the spiritual climate and processes that contribute to it. Before the process of spiritual master planning can begin, look around and see what is happening. The appraisal process can include any or all of the following


7. What expectations are held on your campus concerning the spiritual outcomes or indicators of religious life?


It is important for the spiritual master planning team to understand the expectations of their campus before they build their plan. The team should explore the spiritual indicators of a mature faith that they feel are crucial to the faith life.


There are a number of developmental factors that impact a young adult's religious commitments, beliefs, and behaviors. Mature spiritual life is impossible to fully measure. Often many factors merge to impact the spiritual life of students. Such things as family relation ships, church involvement, campus environments, interpersonal relationships, social and academic experiences and many others nurture the spiritual life. These personally distinctive factors should be considered in identifying the spiritual indicators (outcomes) that will become the target of evaluation later on in the process.


People often make religious choices in response to personal crisis, family relational problems, and personal challenges as well as moral and intellectual factors that impact their lives. An effective spiritual master planning process will recognize the religious developmental factors and stages that form the nature of spiritual response in youth and young adults. They will use this insight for appropriate interpretation of any evaluation and assessment process selected (See Appendix C, page 23, for a selected bibliography of resources which will inform an understanding of the faith experience of young adults.)


Later in this guidebook, a list of suggested nonspecific spiritual indicators that might be found on a typical Adventist campus are included. It is provided for your information and to assist in your understanding of some of the indicators of a Seventh‑day Adventist faith experience.


8. What have you discovered about campus endeavors and expectations?


Prepare a comprehensive list of current campus religious activities. Compliment the people who have sponsored and presented these activities. Quote students and faculty who will tell you of the benefit they have received from these activities. Include plans to expand or modify these activities. Then present a section on the expectations your campus holds for new or revised religious experiences. Present these activities in some detail.


9. Who needs to know about the process of developing a spiritual master plan?


The team should determine who needs to know about the spiritual master plan and the results of any assessment or evaluation of spiritual indicators on your campus. Following is a list of some target groups who should receive the information. Distribute your appraisal report to these people and anyone else you feel should be a part of the process

10. What contributions would your faculty, staff and students like to make to your discussion of the spiritual needs and goals of your campus?


At every phase of the process there should be built-in, logical, and significant ways to involve faculty, staff, students, and other interested parties. Some ways might include:




11. How does the appraisal inform your efforts to build a master plan?


Now that your team has carefully listened to campus expectations and closely examined the current campus spiritual experience, allow the appraisal to inform your efforts. Be sure that your resulting master plan reflects the real issues on your campus. Don't allow the plan to remain on the generic level. Obviously, this will mean an on going process of evaluation and revision. A spiritual master plan is not a static, one‑time‑only document.


12. Do any of the nonspecific spiritual assessment indicators apply to your campus?


Compare the generic nonspecific spiritual assessment guidelines (suggested below) with your current campus experience and see if they are contextually important and compatible. It should be noted that some of the desired indicators or outcomes are particularly appropriate for those who graduate from Adventist educational institutions who have a commitment to the Seventh‑day Adventist church. This process is not intended to slight the faith or impugn the sincerity of those who are of a different religious or nonreligious persuasion.


However, for Adventist educational institutions to fulfill their mission it is necessary for them to share and nurture the distinctive faith heritage of the Adventist church. Sharing an Adventist perspective in a positive and vibrant way while respecting the genuine faith of others are not mutually exclusive endeavors.


Here is a list of sample nonspecific or generic spiritual master plan indicators (outcomes) that might be included in a Seventh‑day Adventist educational spiritual master plan:


Desired Spiritual Indicators (Outcomes)


What would characterize the life of the spiritually mature, committed Seventh‑day Adventist who graduates from an Adventist college or university? That student would have a:


Personal relationship with Jesus Christ, including, but not limited to:


Commitment to a Seventh‑day Adventist Christian perspective and life‑style, including, but not limited to:



Understanding the teachings of the Bible including, but not limited to the following topics:


(For a complete list of the doctrines of the Seventh‑day Adventist Church, please see Appendix D, pages 24‑26.)


Commitment to the Seventh‑day Adventist church including, but not limited to:



Commitment to making a positive difference in the world, including, but not limited to:



13. Which indicators need to be adopted or created for the specific experience on your campus?


If any of these statements work well in your situation, write them into your plan. If some portions need to be adapted to meet your needs, do that now. If the statements suggest areas, which you need to address, this is the time to create those new indicators. The important thing is that the indicators you choose accurately reflect the experience of your campus.


14. What dynamics of spiritual life do you desire to build and support on your campus?


Now comes the creation of the actual plan. If possible, organize your plan around the departments or campus segments, which will implement the plan. Be sure each area of the plan clearly states the activity you will be assessing, the desired outcome, and a schedule of when you want to implement changes that you will decide are necessary.


(Note Appendix E, page 27, for an abbreviated, sample spiritual master plan outline.)


Upon completion of your campus spiritual master plan you can use the following checklist to determine if your plan is comprehensive, inclusive, focused, balanced and complete.




Questions with which to evaluate your spiritual master plan.


q       Does it explicitly state desired outcomes, including the following?

        It puts the individual's personal relationship with Jesus Christ as the highest objective

        It demonstrates that Adventist beliefs are taught throughout the campus experience and,

        It shows that values and life‑style practices are modeled and shared throughout the total campus experience.

q       Does it show that each academic course integrates faith into the learning experience?

q       Does it provide opportunities for students to dedicate themselves to serve God and others?

q       Does it indicate who is responsible for the administration of the plan?

q       Does it have adequate administrative support (financial and human)?

q       Does it contain a timeline for both building and implementing the plan?

q       Does it use a variety of methods to assess spiritual life indicators?

q       Does it include an explanation of how the assessment data will be used to bring about planned change?

q       Does it identify specific venues where the spiritual outcomes are communicated?

q       Does it identify specific strategies of how planned change might be enhanced?


(See Appendix F, pages 28 and 29, for a sample list of strategies and creative suggestions to encourage campus spiritual life.)


15. Who needs to review and approve the master plan?


The plan should be voted through all appropriate campus committees. Then, after feedback and modification, the final plan should be edited by the team and presented to the appropriate bodies and approved by governing boards.



16. Who should set in motion the various segments of your spiritual master plan?


After adoption of the spiritual plan, assignments will be shared with appropriate groups within the institution best suited to implement the actions suggested and agreed upon by the team. (For example, the spiritual indicators, which you identify, as being the implementation responsibility of the dormitory deans and staff, will be assigned for action and evaluation within the dormitory setting.) Results will be shared with the spiritual planning team.


17. Which assessment methods are appropriate for each of the spiritual indicators in your plan?


The spiritual master planning team should recommend assessment methods to use during the assessment process.

The team should encourage a varied use of assessment methods and approaches in order to truly represent the whole of the religious experience, which includes both clear beliefs, a sense of belonging, and behaviors such as worship, life‑style, and life‑affirming commitments and a rejection of life‑denying choices.

Remember both quantitative and qualitative measures or indicators should be assessed and that a helpful review of some assessment instruments is available. (See Appendix G, pages 30 and 3 1, for a collection of assessment methods and their uses and strengths.)


18. How often do you want to monitor the progress toward implementing your plan? During the implementation phase of spiritual master planning there should be opportunity for reevaluation and updating of the details of the plan. The timeline should reflect this process.

Reevaluation and updating should be a function of the planning team in conjunction with those who have responsibility for implementing specific action plans,




19. How should you evaluate the impact of your spiritual master plan?


Once the segments of your master plan have been implemented, reviewed and evaluated, ask the people who have shared the implementation responsibility to report to the planning team. Include students in the report. The team should always be ready and eager to implement the necessary change in campus teaching approach and campus spiritual activities and to check to see if that change makes a real difference in the student's religious life and faith development.


Design of assessment plans could include detailed action plans which help your team decide what outcomes to assess, when and how to assess them, who will be responsible for collecting data and deciding budgetary needs, and finally, documenting that the assessment has been completed. (See Appendix H, on page 32, for a sample action plan grid.)


20. What can you learn from the evaluation? What needs to be changed or modified? Where are you making progress? Which areas need to be strengthened? How can you improve on the entire process for succeeding rounds of assessment?


After receiving the annual assessment reports, the planning team should evaluate the findings and make appropriate recommendations to individuals, committees, campus entities, faculty, staff, and administration. This is an important step in any planned change on campus.


The development of a spiritual master plan is only as good as the application of information and implementation of creative changes that build the faith of your institution. Making planned change happen is best insured if specific changes are targeted and later reevaluated. It should be remembered that the team that coordinates the spiritual master plan on your campus would be only as effective as the total campus becomes involved in the mission and implementation of that mission. It is imperative that continued effort be given to involve as many people and entities on campus as possible if change is to be effective, enduring, and significant.


Remember that successful, comprehensive plans are not created or assessed in a vacuum. A good planning process ensures that:



Continual feedback loops should be included in your spiritual master plan. As results and data begin to describe the spiritual life on your campus, a number of opportunities should be made available to every interested party to clarify, understand, and create change, implement mission, and model spiritual life for your students. All this will enhance the spiritual life of the campus.


21. Who is affected by the decisions you reach in the assessment process?


The results of assessment based on the spiritual master plan form the basis for planned change decisions. Information gleaned from the planning process, identification of spiritual indicators (outcomes), and the adoption of a campus‑wide spiritual master plan heightens the awareness of the institution to the intentionality of the religious learning process. It makes a larger circle of concerned individuals aware of the complex task of leading others to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It moves the school closer to realizing its mission in the Seventh‑day Adventist Church. It provides to constituencies accurate information to make the necessary changes that strengthen the school's relationship to the Gospel. It helps strategic planning build a balanced model for growth and witness to God.


The developers of this system recognize the need for appropriate staff development and technical assistance as an integral part of the process of spiritual master planning as well, and want to encourage the builders of the spiritual master plans on Seventh‑day Adventist campuses to see the process of building, implementation, and assessment as part of a continuing process of understanding and improving on the fulfillment of the mission of the educational endeavor.


The spiritual planning process highlights where we can do better. The team can be as creative as possible with the results of the planning and assessment process. Any number of in‑service and faculty training workshops can be developed to enhance the spiritual life on campus. The process allows for faculty to use their expertise in the religious development of its campus entities and aids in personal religious growth by targeting observable outcomes indicating potential faith growth.


Using this Guidebook


The guidebook is distributed as a part of an initial awareness training session and is designed to provide direction for exploring educational needs, setting goals, and designing strategies for a campus spiritual master plan.


Where to get more help


There are a number of places you can to get specific help in developing a spiritual master plan as well as obtain assessment tools to assist you in the evaluation process. Feel free to contact any of the following:


John Hancock Center for Youth and Family Ministry, School of Religion, La Sierra University, Riverside, CA 92515.


The Hancock Center has developed a number of assessment tools to assist you in your spiritual with consulting on this process the Center has available the Valuegenesis: College and University Short Form to examine faith maturity, institutional climate, Adventist orthodoxy, campus religious life programming, and personal piety. This survey was designed to assist the process of spiritual master planning evaluation and assessment. The Center provides consulting services, research tools, training and resourcing.

Executive Director: V Bailey Gillespie, Ph.D.

Director: Stuart Tyner

Phone: (909) 785‑2100

Phone: (800) 785‑HCYM

Fax: (909) 785‑2199

E‑mail: [email protected]; [email protected] or [email protected]


Center for College Faith, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104


The mission of the center is to better understand how college students develop Christian beliefs, values, and a lifelong commitment to God.

Acting Director: Gary Ross, Ph.D.

Phone: (616) 471‑3444

E‑mail: [email protected]


Center for Statistical Services, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104


This center provides statistical services to the Andrews University community and to other organizations. Services available are research design, instrument development, preparation and processing of scannable forms, and data analysis.

Director: Jerome Thayer, Ph.D.

Phone: (616) 471‑6214

E‑mail: [email protected]


Academic Assessment Office, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI 49104


This office oversees the assessment work of academic departments and programs throughout the University and the assessment of the general education core, including the spiritual development of students. This office can provide assessment consultation and non‑copyrighted instruments that have been used for spiritual assessment at Andrews University.

Director: Jane Thayer, Ph.D.

Phone: (616) 471‑6703

E‑mail: [email protected]


Appendix A ‑Total Commitment Document


What "Total Commitment to God" involves for the colleges and universities.


A Seventh‑day Adventist college/university offers academically sound, tertiary and/or post-graduate education to Seventh‑day Adventists and to students of nearby communities, who welcome the opportunity to study in an Adventist environment, by



Appendix C ‑ Selected Bibliography


Asa, Leland F., The Psychology of Religious Commitment and Development (New York, NY University Press of America, 1995).


Banta, T. W. and Associates, Making a Difference: Outcomes of a Decade of Assessment in Higher Education (San Francisco, CA: Jossey‑Bass, 1993).


Barna, George, Without a Vision, the People Perish (Glendale, CA: Barna Research, 1991).


Cox, Kristoffer, Gen X and God. A Gen X Perspective (New York, NY. Tekna Books, 1998).


Dudley, Roger L. with Gillespie, V. Bailey, Valuegenesis: Faith in the Balance (Riverside, CA: La Sierra University Press, 1992).


Edge, Findley B, Teaching for Results (Nashville, TN: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1995).


Ewell, P. T., "Assessing Educational Outcomes," in New Directions for Institutional Research (San Francisco, CA: Jossey‑Bass, 1985), 47.


Fowler, J. W., Becoming Adult, Becoming Christian: Adult Development and Christian Faith (New York, NY. Harper Religious Books, 1984).


Fowler, James W., Faithful Change: The Personal and Public Challenges of Post‑Modern Life (Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 1996).


Fowler, James W., Stages of Faith: The Psychology of Human Development and the Quest for Meaning, (San Francisco, CA: Harper, 1995).


Gillespie, V. Bailey, The Experience of Faith (Birmingham, AL: Religious Education Press, 1992).


Gillen, Marie, ed., Taylor, Maurice C., Adult Religious Education: A Journey of Faith Development (Minneapolis, MN: Paulist Press, 1995).


Gilligan, Carol, et. al., eds. Mapping the Moral Domain: A Contribution of Women's Thinking to Psychological Theory and Education (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988).


Lee, James Michael (Vol. 1) The Flow of Religious Instruction, (Vol. 2) The Flow of Religious Instruction, (Vol. 3) The Content of Religious Instruction Birmingham AL: Religious Education Press, 1979).


Lewis, David; Dodd, Carley H.; Tippens, The Gospel According to Generation X‑The Culture of Adolescent Faith, the Culture of Adolescent Belief (Dallas, TX: Abilene Christian University Press, 1995).


Meadow, Mary Jo, Through a Glass Darkly: A Spiritual Psychology of Faith (New York, NY: Crossroad Publishing Co., 1995).


Nichols, James O., A Practitioner's Handbook for Institutional Effectiveness and Student Outcomes Assessment Implementation, 3rd ed. (New York, NY: Agathon Press, 1995).


Strommen, Merton P., The Innovative Church: Seven Steps to Positive Change in Your Congregation (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg, 1997).


Zaltman, Gerald; D. Florio; and L. Sikorski, Dynamic Educational Change: Models, Strategies, Tactics, and Management (New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons, 1977).


Appendix D ‑ Adventist Doctrine Outline


Seventh‑day Adventists accept the Bible as their only creed and hold certain fundamental beliefs to be the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. These beliefs, as set forth here, constitute the church's understanding and expression of the teaching of Scripture. Revision of these statements may be expected at a General Conference session when the church is led by the Holy Spirit to a fuller understanding of Bible truth or finds better language in which to express the teachings of God's Holy Word. (Seventh‑day Adventist Church Yearbook, 1998, 5).


One idea for a spiritual master planning committee is to develop a grid with the doctrines and other important spiritual values and disciplines listed on one side, with boxes to the right for the classes or other areas (such as chapels or dormitory worships) where these will be incorporated and taught with greater intentionality on campus. What follows is a summary of Adventist beliefs you may wish to use in the creation of such a grid.






The Holy Scriptures, Old and New Testaments, are the written Word of God, given by divine inspiration through holy men of God who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Scriptures are an infallible revelation of His will.




There is one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, a unity of three coeternal Persons.




God the eternal father is the Creator, Source, Sustainer, and Sovereign of all creation. The qualities and powers exhibited in the Son and the Holy Spirit are also revelations of the Father.




God the eternal Son became incarnate in Jesus Christ. Through Him all things were created, the character of God is revealed, the salvation of humanity is accomplished, and the world is judged. Forever truly God, He became also truly man, Jesus the Christ.




God the eternal Spirit was active with the Father and the Son in Creation, incarnation, and redemption. He inspired the writers of Scripture, convicts human beings, extends spiritual gifts and leads into all truth.




God is Creator of all things, and has revealed in Scripture the authentic account of His creative activity.




Man and woman were made in the image of God with individuality, the power and freedom to think and to do. When our first parents disobeyed God, the image of God in them was marred and they became subject to death. Their descendants share this fallen nature and its consequences.



All humanity is now involved in a great controversy between Christ and Satan regarding the character of God, His law, and His sovereignty over the universe.




In Christ's life of perfect obedience to God's will, His suffering, death, and resurrection, God provided the only means of atonement for human sin, so that those who by faith accept this atonement may have eternal life.



In infinite love and mercy God made Christ, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God. By faith, through Christ we are justified, adopted as God's sons and daughters, and delivered from the lordship of sin.



The church is the community of believers who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The church derives its authority from Christ, who is the incarnate Word, and from the Scriptures, which are the written Word.




The universal church is composed of all who truly believe in Christ, but in the last days, a time of widespread apostasy, a remnant has been called out to keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus.



The church is one body with many members, called from every nation, kindred, and tongue and people. We are all equal in Christ.



By baptism we confess our faith in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and testify of our death to sin and of our purpose to walk in newness of life.



The Lord's Supper is a participation in the emblems of the body and blood of Jesus as an expression of faith in Him, our Lord and Savior. The communion service is open to all believing Christians.



God bestows upon all members of His church in every age spiritual gifts, which each member is to employ in loving ministry for the common good of the church and of humanity.



One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen White. The Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested.



The great principles of God's law are embodied in the Ten Commandments and exemplified in the life of Christ. They express God's love, will, and purposes concerning human conduct and relationships and are binding upon all people in every age.



The Creator, after the six days of Creation, rested on the seventh day and instituted the Sabbath for all people as a memorial of Creation. The fourth commandment of God's unchangeable law requires the observance of this seventh‑day Sabbath as the day of rest. The Sabbath is God's perpetual sign of His eternal covenant between Him and his people.




We are God's stewards, entrusted by Him with time, opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessing of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use.



We are called to be a godly people who think, feel, and act in harmony with the principles of heaven. For the Spirit to recreate in us the character of our Lord we involve ourselves only in those things, which will produce Christlike lives.



Marriage was divinely established in Eden and affirmed by Jesus to be a lifelong union between a man and a woman in loving companionship. For the Christian a marriage commitment is to God as well as to the spouse, and should be entered into only between partners who share a common faith.



There is a sanctuary in heaven, the true tabernacle, which the Lord set up, and not man. In it Christ ministers on our behalf, making available to believers the benefits of His atoning sacrifice offered once for all on the cross.



The second coming of Christ is the blessed hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel. The time of that event has not been revealed, and we are therefore exhorted to be ready at all times.



The wages of sin is death. Death is an unconscious state for all people. When Christ appears, the resurrected righteous and the living righteous will be glorified and caught up to meet their Lord.



The millennium is the thousand year reign of Christ with His saints in heaven between the first and second resurrections.



On the new earth, in which righteousness dwells, God will provide an eternal home for the redeemed and a perfect environment for everlasting life, love, joy, and learning in His presence.


Appendix E ‑ Sample Spiritual Master Plan Outline





A. Mission Statement

B. Clarification and explanation of our mission statement



A. Faculty and staff

B. Our community

C. The academic plan's relationship to the spiritual plan

D. The spiritual plan and campus entities

E. The ideal alumnus of our school

F. Church and School relationships and challenges

G. Spiritual indicators and desired outcomes for our students



A. The assessment model

B. The assessment tools and methods

B. The assessment grid (outcomes and responsibilities)

C. The assessment opportunities

D. Specific contextual assessment needs

E. Specific campus departmental implementation

F. Specific campus administrative implementation

G. Specific classroom implementation

H. Specific campus life implementation

I. Challenges from assessment

J. Recommendations for change



A. Impact of change through reassessment and facilitation of recommendations

B. Communication of spiritual life to significant constituencies

C. Faculty implementation of challenges and change targets

D. Staff implementation of challenges and change targets

E. Administrative implementation of challenges and change targets

F. Review of spiritual life indicators and revision of assessment plans



A. Recommendations for reevaluation

B. Sharing of spiritual master planning impact with significant constituencies

C. Planning for on‑going review and updating


Appendix F: Sample Strategies to Encourage Campus Spiritual Life


1. Set specific spiritual goals for each class.

2. Assign a senior capstone paper in which students discuss how a Christian worldview impacts their major


3. Train faculty in the fine art of spiritual mentoring

4. Invite advisors to create a list of spiritual topics that impact your student body.

5. Hold faculty seminars on the topic of faith development.

6. Plan an academic advisor retreat, which informs and empowers their spiritual responsibilities

7. Develop orientation seminars for new faculty on how to integrate faith and learning

8. Ask faculty members to conduct dorm worships and visits to all students in their dorm rooms.

9. Establish an adopt‑a‑student program for the local church members. Ask faculty to email to students on their birthdays.

10. Ask faculty to e‑mail students on their birthdays. Provide birthday lists.

11. Invite faculty to open their homes for students.

12. Have a planned sequence of chapels and worships that introduce Christ‑centered theology.

13. Research chapel effectiveness by instant feedback using chapel attendance cards.

14. Involve students and faculty in program planning‑.

15. Form small groups in the dorms for worship and prayer.

16. Develop a spiritual e‑mail net for questions and comments.

17. Institute community service days.

18. Integrate community service in the general education curriculum.

19. Develop a strategy to have a conversation with every student about spiritual life. Not only, "Tell me how your classes are going." But "Tell me how your spiritual life is going." Discuss these levels of faith talk before you begin.

20. Discuss the importance of acceptance. Apply the principles to those who don't yet have a spiritual orientation.

21. Develop spiritual focus groups built around life‑experience.

22. Invite students to a prayer luncheon.

23. Train students to be chaplains.

24. Have non‑theology majors take part in Sabbath school and church

25. Conduct student-run evangelistic meetings.

26. Have students present worships and Friday night programming

27. Hold regular meetings with non‑SDA faculty and staff, full time and contract employees on the spiritual mission of the college.

28. Hold meetings with staff about the spiritual opportunities of work supervisors, industry employees, etc.

29. Involve students in setting worship policies.

30. Encourage faculty to attend chapels (this might decrease the hostility from the students who are required to attend).

31. Ask administrators to schedule two hours a week in direct contact with students (visiting, eating with them, in small groups, etc.).

32. Ask the faculty to help students move into dorms.

33. Encourage faculty to eat in the cafeteria with students.

34. Invite the local churches to prepare potlucks for students.

35. Ensure that religion classes provide spiritual inspiration as well as religious content.

36. Create an e‑mail brainstorming session about what is being done in your classes that impact students' spiritual lives.

37. Ask the editors of your campus newspaper to actively cover spiritual life activities.

38. Employ your campus radio station in the spiritual life of campus.

39. Introduce graduating students to local congregations through letters to pastors.

40. Build resiliency skills for students moving from the college church to a small church community. How do you face life in a small church? How do church members accept and involve you?

41. Hold a seminar on how to deal with a variety of challenges in the local church.

42. Hold a seminar for your recent alumni on how to deal with the challenges of the secular world.

43. How will secular people view your worldview when you graduate? Hold a seminar on how to deal with the variety of perspectives in the secular world.

44. Encourage students to participate in the local church while they are students, working in the Sabbath School, working in the children's departments, etc.

45. Establish regular contact between students on your campus and Adventist students attending non‑SDA campuses.

46. Hold Alumni seminars on the subject of integrating faith in the workplace.

47. Train students how to become involved in local churches when they leave your campus.

48. Create a specific curriculum for seniors on how Christians interact successfully in secular situations.

49. Invite students to testify about how they have been blessed by serving others.

50. Plan departmental chapels that focus on how spiritual values are put into practice in employment in that department major field.


Appendix G ‑Sample Assessment Methods


Capstone CourseThe Capstone course is an interdisciplinary seminar course that requires students to use digested knowledge over one's course of study and integrate that information, often drawn from several disciplines, through the use of accumulated skills and through the eyes of personal commitment during the course of the campus experience. The Capstone course is not a means of assessment in itself; rather, student outcomes are assessed by observation of the skills and attitudes demonstrated in the class. The course allows for the availability/access to samples of students' work, observation of critical thinking skills, and evaluation of the college experience towards the completion of the course of study and experience of campus religious life.


Computer‑Assisted AssessmentTesting by computer is becoming an increasingly important option for campus assessment. Individuals are able to sit at a computer while questions are presented in an interactive manner (i.e. tests become custom‑designed to one's skill level as questions are being answered). Survey questions can be now placed on campus web sites and instantly compiled as the data sample grows. Computerized tests allow a student's true level of competency and current attitudes to be surveyed in the most cost‑effective, efficient manner.


Continuum - This measuring practice presents two opposite choices or viewpoints. Respondents select that place on the continuum ‑between the choices‑which most closely represents their personal views. This method shares a wide array of responses on many issues. The Continuum exercise opens the possibility for many gradations of choice between two extremes. This approach encourages independent thinking, a quality, which the research in Valuegenesis indicates, is often lacking in maturing faith.


Double‑Entry JournalsStudents in a religion class are asked to keep a journal on the assigned readings in the Bible. They make two entries in the journal. In the first entry, they are to note the ideas in the reading that they find most meaningful. In the second entry, they are to explain the personal significance of the passage to them personally.


Ethical or Moral DilemmasStudents are given an ethical or moral dilemma and asked to resolve it, explaining the reasoning behind their response. Their written responses can be read to determine the maturity and basis of their ethical reasoning.


Focused Autobiographical SketchesStudents write on a given topic related to their religious or spiritual experiences. Faculty can then read the sketches to find commonalities and to learn what promotes spiritual awareness and growth


Focus GroupsThis is an extended form of the interview method for assessment. Representative groups of student, faculty, parent, alumni, and significant others spend one to two hours in an extensive interview process. The interviewer comes with particular concerns or issues he or she would like to clarify. The answers are transcribed and later analyzed by content and response. A sense of the attitudes and commitments of each target group are clarified and identified. The focus group leaders in consultation with unbiased observers or reviewers draw conclusions. This method is especially useful when targeting specific indicators (outcomes) in a spiritual master plan.


Goal Ranking - Students are given a list of possible life goals, some of which are altruistic and others self‑centered. They are asked to rank these goals according to the way they value them as life goals. Optional: They are then asked to rank these goals the way they think they might value them at the end of their lives.


Surveys(locally developed and nationally normed) -Surveys are batteries administered intermittently during one's educational development to assess outcomes and are the most widely used of the assessment tools. Surveys are primarily composed of multiple-choice items, but may contain open‑ended questions as well. The survey may be administered to populations or samples of populations to obtain generalizable estimates of behavior.


Interviews ‑ The interview consists of the assessment of students through question and answer sessions in a personal contact between faculty and student. This method allows elaboration of the details of the student's efforts, explanations of reasoning, etc. The presence of more than a single assessor allows for bias to be minimized and the best conclusions to be drawn about an individual.

Listening Exercises- This assessment method is often done by reacting to a statement or paragraph to which each person in a group of three responds individually while the others listen to him or her. The individual responder is called the focus person. This is an especially effective activity if you are using focus groups to clarify issues, values, or attitudes. Controversial statements provide the content to which participants respond. For example, a statement might be read which suggests a controversial way in which a worship service should be conducted. The responses help the leader determine attitudes and directions for change.


Logs -Students record how much time they spend in a week or other time period in devotional activities or service projects or other activities. When they record the time, they can also make evaluations about the settings of the activity or the benefit received from the activity. While this information provides the college or university with a better understanding of what activities under what circumstances produce the most benefit to students, the students themselves will also be learning the same things about their own practices.


Portfolio The portfolio is a newly rising, locally developed assessment instrument, which is a compilation of an individual's work over a period of time. Portfolios are ideal in evaluating the progression in one area of learning from the beginning of study through completion of a program; for example, a student begins an English major in the first year, the portfolio is reviewed by the department faculty annually, and in the fourth year prior to graduation the student is asked to select works from this portfolio and reflect on them. Examples of things contained in the portfolio are short stories, art projects, essays, and the like. It is customary for schools to provide guidelines for portfolio compilation specific to their assessment purposes. This method of assessment could be creatively adapted to show a deepening commitment and understanding to the Christian principles of an institution.


Ranking exercises ‑ This presents three or more possible choices for participants to rearrange in their order of preference or priority (for example, from best to the worst, or from most important to least important). Ranking helps participants consider different options and lets them share their personal choices.


Standardized Tests- Standardized tests are composed of a group of objective items and have specific outcomes that have been normed in groups with specific characteristics. Standardized tests may be administered to any number of individuals in the same setting under the same conditions. It is important to note that some tests are specifically designed to provide information about groups, rather than individuals, which is one way in which institutions may make broad generalizations about their students (e.g. The College Outcome Survey, Valuegenesis: College and University Form).


Value Voting -Voting exercises consist of a series of statements or questions to which participants respond by agreeing or disageeing with each statement or question. Voting gives each participant a chance, without talking, to take a stand and to note the responses of the rest of the group. Although values voting is useful in a wide variety of situations, it is probably most frequently used as an early exercise, a quick way to start people thinking about the various dimensions of one or more issue. Voting means giving your reaction about what you think‑commitment often follows.