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Publication Title

ERIC Document: ED448482


The practical concerns of an individual interested in learning about prayer in an academic context are interconnected with the practical concerns about teaching an academic course on prayer. A pilot study proposed to investigate and evaluate the context and content of academic courses on personal prayer from the perspective of teaching prayer, asking what proportion of institutions of higher education offer courses on prayer, in which department, and on what level. The search was limited to the Christian faith, and in particular to private colleges and universities of the Catholic denomination. An online Internet search yielded a sample of 126 Catholic colleges/universities. A comprehensive search of the 126 Web sites that comprised the sampling frame resulted in finding 12 colleges that offered specific courses on personal prayer. Almost all the colleges had a course on "liturgical prayer" dealing with worship, sacramental rites, and corporate prayers, but not on personal prayer. Of the 12 Web sites with a primary emphasis on personal prayer, only five were able and willing to send syllabi. Findings show that only 10% of Catholic institutions of higher education offer courses on personal prayer, perhaps because of the focus on liturgical prayer. An Internet survey for other Christian colleges yielded 221 institutions of higher education that might offer courses on personal prayer. Future research could examine other avenues in which an individual could learn/teach prayer. (Contains a table of data and information on courses offered.)

Original Publication Citation

Baesler, E. J. (2000). Teaching prayer: Pilot survey of academic courses on personal prayer. ERIC Document: ED448482.