Date of Award

Spring 4-28-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


College of Education

Primary Advisor

Dr. Susan K Stanley

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas J Gollery

Third Advisor

Dr. James Anderson


There are factors that contribute to thriving in a doctoral program. The purpose of this study was to compare doctoral students’ Thriving Quotient at a private Christian, liberal arts university to the national norms on the Thriving Quotient while evaluating how the spiritual climate related to student thriving at the subject university. By examining the factors that comprise thriving, doctoral advisors, professors, and workers in student services may better understand the support needed to help students not only survive a doctoral program, but to thrive on a holistic level. The quantitative study utilized a survey research method. Students pursuing a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree at the subject university were emailed a survey known as the Thriving Quotient. Participants had a higher Thriving Quotient than the national norm. The means scores of each of the five domains within the Thriving Quotient (engaged learning, academic determination, social connectedness, positive perspective, and diverse citizenship) were higher in the sample than in the national norms. The participants’ rating of the spiritual climate of the subject doctoral program represented a statistically significant predictor of the overall Thriving Quotient. Implications of the study include strategies for universities working to create environments conducive to thriving.