Main Article Content
Spirituality and ethics are desirable characteristics reflecting a person’s quality, especially for university students who could become the driving force for social development in future. This research studied and developed a new approach for spiritual and ethical development in the context of Thai university students, and put this into an experiment for assessing its effectiveness in improving spirituality and ethics. The method employed was action research and the participants were 33 university students and 9 experts in spiritual development. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. The overall period taken was 18 months and a program on spiritual and ethical development (SEDP) was produced after three cyclical processes and reflection. The SEDP comprised of four modules of spiritual and ethical characteristics which students needed to develop: self-esteem and esteem for others; relationship with others; responsibility towards self, others and the environment; and planning of spiritual and ethical development and monitoring. After the trial program implementation, the participating students’ spirituality increased significantly in terms of self-esteem, esteem for others, relationships with others, responsibility to self, others, and environment, and spiritual health. The findings from the qualitative data revealed 4 emerging themes which showed that students had profound experience of spiritual development through: (1) an inner experience of spirituality, (2) an impact on connecting to oneself, (3) connecting with others, and (4) connecting to the environment. Implications for behavioral interventions and policy development were discussed.
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