Using pre-test and post-test data to understand spirituality programs: opportunities and limitations

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Quantitatively studying spirituality and spirituality programs poses a challenge because of the imprecision of data and limitations of data analysis techniques. In this research using data from Ignatius University, I show practical methods for analysing pre-test and post-test data, and conceptual opportunities and limitations when using these datasets. For the practical part, I find that the university’s sophomore spirituality programs have substantial positive effects in helping students with Christian discernment and ministry. For the conceptual part, I show opportunities that include analysis of variance for mean scores and percentages, and analysis technique that further improve spirituality programs. Limitations include non-causal assumptions, ceiling effect, and the problem of too many ‘outcome’ variables.