The Development of Vocational Calling, Identity, and Faith in College Students: A Preliminary Study of the Impact of Study Abroad


  • Cindy Miller-Perrin
  • Don Thompson



Study abroad, International program, Personal growth, Faith, Vocational calling, Identity, Education abroad


The present study examined the impact of an international program experience on college students’ personal growth in the areas of faith, vocational calling, and identity.  Participants were selected from a random sample of 300 students belonging to a Lilly Endowment sponsored study.  A subsample of 37 students who participated in an international program (the IP Group) was matched demographically to 37 students who did not (No IP Group). Repeated measures ANOVAs were conducted, revealing significant interaction effects, indicating that faith, life purpose, and identity achievement scores increased over time for the IP Group but decreased for the No IP Group.


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Author Biographies

Cindy Miller-Perrin

Cindy Miller-Perrin is Professor of Psychology and holds the Frank R. Seaver Chair in Social Science at Pepperdine University. Her research areas include child-clinical psychology, development, and medical/health psychology. She has widely published in the areas of child sexual abuse, prevention, and physiological psychology. 

Don Thompson

Don Thompson is Director of Assessment, Associate Vice President for Planning, Information, and Technology, and Professor of Mathematics and Great Books at Pepperdine University, where he has been on the faculty since 1979. 


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How to Cite

Miller-Perrin, C., & Thompson, D. (2010). The Development of Vocational Calling, Identity, and Faith in College Students: A Preliminary Study of the Impact of Study Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 19(1), 87–104.