Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Johnson, Laura R.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Counseling and Higher Education (CAHE)


The doctoral journey can be a personal one for many students. Students not only lean on their educational background and work experiences, but they may utilize some very personal attributes of their life during their doctoral journey. Spirituality might be considered one of those personal attributes that is interwoven into various contexts of student lives. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the role of spirituality among women during their doctoral journeys. This study furthered our understanding of the role of spirituality within the context of higher education. Fifteen women from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds who were at various stages of their doctoral journeys were interviewed. Five themes were identified as the result of the analysis of this study: Personalized Spirituality, Spiritually-Influenced Life Purpose and Goals, Spirituality in Offering Guidance, Personal Accountability and Spiritual Support, Personal and Spiritual Growth. Implications and recommendations for future research are suggested in areas of support for doctoral students, experiential learning within, and further exploration of meaning-making of spirituality within the context of women’s doctoral journey.


228 pages




Northern Illinois University

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In Copyright

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NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type