Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Dooley, Katherine

Committee Member

Justice, Cheryl A.

Committee Member

Morse, David

Committee Member

Jackson, Deborah

Committee Member

Hall, Kimberly Renee

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Counselor Education

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Counseling, Educational Psychology and Foundations


The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship among strength of religious faith, a set of demographic variables, and self-perceived spiritual competence of master’s-level clinical mental health counseling students enrolled in CACREP accredited programs. The study methodology was a quantitative correlational survey research design using multiple linear regression analysis. Data were collected from 178 participants through an online survey comprised of three instruments: the Santa Clara Strength of Religious Faith Scale (Plante & Boccaccini, 1997), and the Revised Spiritual Competency Scale (Dailey, Robertson, & Gill, 2015), and a demographic survey developed by the researcher. Results of the multiple linear regression revealed that 30% of the total variance in scores on the SCS-R-II was predicted by the model. In terms of individual relationships between the independent variables and scores on the Spiritual Competency Scale, strength of religious faith (p < .001), sexual orientation (p = .027), and awareness of the ASERVIC Spiritual Competencies (p = .034) each were statistically significant predictors of higher scores on the SCS-R-II. The remaining seven predictor variables – age, gender, ethnicity (2), university affiliation, exposure to SRIC in program, and hours completed in program – were not found to be statistically significant predictors of scores on the SCS-R-II.



spiritual competency||spirituality||counselor education