Practice and Fit in the Allocation of the Resource of Faculty Time: A Study of Current and Preferred Scholarly Practice of the Faculties of Ten Theological Schools Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Doctor of Philosophy
Jon F. Wergin
Faculties, deans, and trustees of theological schools afﬁliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA) were surveyed to determine current faculty practice; the practice preferred by faculty, deans. and trustees; the ﬁt between current and preferred practice; and faculty practice and faculty preference difference according to categorical variables such as gender, race, and rank.
Seven variables deﬁned faculty practice: workweek in hours, instruction, scholarship, service, advising, governance, and other. Scholarship was subdivided into three categories adapting Ernest Boyer’s multi-dimensional deﬁnition of scholarship: orginitive, applied, and teaching. Fit was deﬁned in two ways: statistical ﬁt and practical ﬁt.
The reported workweek was comparable to that reported by faculties at other types of universities and colleges. The time theological faculties reported spending on teaching exceeded only that of research university faculty. The theological faculties reported spending more time on scholarship than liberal arts college and comprehensive university faculties, but less than doctoral and research faculties. Theological faculties reported spending signiﬁcantly more time on service than faculty at other types of institutions.
While statistical differences were found between current practice and the preferences of deans and trustees, practical differences were negligible. A statistical and practical difference was found between the preferences of faculty and deans for governance activities and between faculty and trustee preferences for the categories of instruction and scholarship.
Considered by categorical variables, preferred practice of faculty varied most by faculty teaching discipline. Implications of the ﬁndings for planning and assessment in theological schools were discussed.
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