Spiritual Life Survey Fac/Staff

Informed Consent for Spiritual Life Self-Assessment


Date: October 1, 2014

Research Project Title: Spiritual Life Self-Assessment

Principal Investigator(s): Sam Jones

Supervising Faculty (if applicable): NA

Department: Office of Spiritual Development

My name is Sam Jones and I am currently a Vice President at Freed-Hardeman University (FHU) in the Department of Spiritual Development. You are being invited to participate in the research study because you are a student, faculty, or staff at Freed-Hardeman University.  The research may give us knowledge that may benefit individuals or the society as a whole in the future.

Details of the research will be explained to you by the researcher and are provided below. Dr. Sam Jones, the principal investigator, will be happy to answer further questions and/or concerns that you may have. Please contact me at 731-989-6992 and/or email at sjones@fhu.edu before you decide to participate in any part of the study, please take as much time as you need to discuss this study with anyone at your university, your family, or friends.

Purpose of the Study

    • The purpose of the study is to assess the spiritual beliefs, thoughts & actions, and attitudes of the students, faculty, and staff of FHU.
    • The reason the participant is being invited to take part in this research is to gather information to assist the Office of Spiritual Development in identifying the spiritual strengths, weaknesses, or concerns of students, faculty, and staff. The data will assist the Office of Spiritual Development in addressing questions posed by the Board of Trustees, and in developing programs and activities to aid the spiritual needs of the campus. The data will also provide information to answer questions vital to the department’s Unit Action Plan.
    • The Office of Spiritual Development is requesting on a voluntary basis for students, faculty, and staff to answer a series of questions related to their spiritual beliefs, thoughts & actions, and attitudes.
    • The maximum number of students available to participate in the 2014 fall semester is 1846. The maximum number of faculty and staff available to participate in the 2014 fall semester is around 350. All faculty, students, and staff will be invited to participate. Because it is completely voluntary, it's not possible to know the actual number of participants.

Study Procedures

    • Each section of the questionnaire has simple instructions to follow.
    • It should take roughly 10-12 minutes to complete the questionnaire.
    • The data will be collected by using a survey in the form of a questionnaire. There will be both open-ended and closed-ended questions.
    • The research site for full-time undergraduate students will be their Bible class. For part-time students, faculty, and staff, a link will be provided (via e-mail) directing them to the appropriate questionnaire.
    • Students, faculty, and staff will be requested to complete the questionnaire every fall semester.
    • It should take roughly 15 minutes to complete all procedures.

Risks or Discomfort of Participation

I am unable to identify any risk to students, faculty, and staff. The Office of Spiritual Development will not attempt to identify the person who submitted a particular answer or information. There is always the possibility for electronic data to be compromised; however, we do not anticipate this to occur.

Benefits of Participation

The benefits of the information are: programs and activities will be planned to provide spiritual growth opportunities that address needs, weaknesses, and concerns of the various groups. It will help the Office of Spiritual Development to monitor collectively if these groups are increasing or declining spiritually.

The study will begin on October 1, 2014.  The questionnaire will take approximately 10-12 min. of your time to complete.  You may refuse to answer any questions or discontinue the questionnaire at any time without penalty or loss of benefits that you are otherwise entitled to. 

You will not be compensated for your participation in the research study. 


Your participation in the study is strictly confidential.

    • There will be no tracking of emails or IP addresses. The Director of Institutional Research will collect the data and only he will analyze the raw data. He will forward summaries of the data to the Office of Spiritual Development.
    • The data will be collected and stored by the Office of Institutional Research.
    • The Director of Institutional Research will maintain the data secured in his office. The information will not be disposed because it will be used each year for comparative purposes.
    • If there is a breach in security, then all groups will be notified by means of chapel announcements or an email.
    • If the aggregate group data is made public or published, all three groups will be notified prior to either by chapel announcements and an email informing them of the decision and why.
    • The questionnaire is confidential. The information will only be made available in an aggregate form.

Participant Rights

Your participation is entirely voluntary. If you decide to participate in the study, you are free to withdraw at any time. You may choose not to participate. In either case, you will not lose any benefits to which you are otherwise entitled. You are not giving up any of your legal rights or releasing any individual or institution from liability for negligence.

Participants who would like a copy of this research after the study is complete may contact the principal investigator within 12 months after the completion date, which is scheduled to be October 3, 2014, for a synopsis of the findings.

Contact Information

Please contact Dr. Sam Jones, principal investigator, at 731-989-6992 or email at sjones@fhu.edu with any questions or concerns about this study, your rights as a participant, any research-related injury or distress, or if you wish to withdraw from participating in the study.

You may contact the Freed-Hardeman University Institutional Review Board at 731-989-6438 or email at IRB@fhu.edu for additional information about your rights as a research participant.


To participate in the survey, select the following link: 

2014 Spiritual Life Self-Assessment - Fac/Staff