Jill Friend

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Graduate Education

First Advisor

Steve Holtrop


This action research project investigated the institutional culture of Christian schools and its impact on faith formation. The research was a mixed method study with Sioux Center Christian School serving as a case study for the project. A careful literature review was conducted to identify the characteristics of healthy institutional culture in education, business and religious institutions. This list was vetted and prioritized using a focus group of Sioux Center Christian School teachers as well as interviews with several experts on institutional culture and faith formation. These characteristics were then used to develop a survey using the Four Building Blocks of Faith as the framework for the survey. Completed surveys were received from teachers at SCCS and students from the 8th grade class. The results showed a strong correlation between the scores of the teachers and students, indicating the pervasiveness of institutional culture for the entire school community. The data was also able to identify strengths and weaknesses in the culture of SCCS. The results indicate that the survey tool is an effective instrument that can be used by Christian schools to identify their current institutional culture. Suggestions for improving institutional culture in order to positively impact the faith formation of Christian school students were also included in the research project.


Action Research Report Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Education