Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Award

Spring 2-25-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (PsyD)

Committee Chair

Leonardo Bobadilla, PhD

Second Advisor

Asani Seawell, PhD


This study utilized an interpretive phenomenological approach to explore how individuals, who claim their faith prevents their recidivism, use, incorporate, and experience their faith in their daily lives. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 individuals. Three primary themes were found. The first theme is faith as a process that is best experienced by listening to God. The second theme is faith is having a relationship with God built on love. The third theme is faith works to change individuals because it changes their hearts not their mind. These themes all seemed to work together to answer the guiding question. The participants no longer committed crimes due to creating a meaningful relationship with God through listening to his guidance and loving others. This relationship ultimately changed their hearts individually and in a meaningful way. The results are presented using a detailed account of the participants’ perspectives and discussed with consideration of relevant literature. Limitations and directions for future research are also discussed.

Available for download on Friday, October 09, 2020