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David Setran, Ph.D. - Wheaton College. Wheaton, IL, US

David Setran, Ph.D. David Setran, Ph.D.

Price-LeBar Chair of Christian Formation & Ministry | Wheaton College


Dr. David Setran's research interests include young adult spiritual formation and the history and philosophy of Christian education.



David Setran, Ph.D. Publication David Setran, Ph.D. Publication



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David Setran | Spiritual Dryness (02/04/2015) David Setran | Ministering to Emerging Adults David Setran | Wisdom for Emerging Adults (4/13/2016) David Setran |




Dr. David Setran is the author of The College “Y:” Student Religion in the Era of Secularization, and co-author with Chris Kiesling of Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood: A Practical Theology for College and Young Adult Ministry. His areas of research interest include college student development and formation, the history of Christian education, philosophy of Christian education, and the history of Christian parenting in the United States. He earned a Ph.D. in History of Education from Indiana University in 2000.

Education (3)

Indiana University, Bloomington: Ph.D., History of Education 2000

Wheaton College: M.A., Educational Ministries 1994

Wheaton College: B.Sc., Biology 1992

Areas of Expertise and Research Interests (16)

History of Christian Education Philosophy of Christian Education College Student Development Character Formation History of Educational Thought Ministry Philosophy Emerging Adults College Students Young Adults Young Adult Ministry Vocational Discernment Calling and Career Launching Young Adults Church and Young Adults Mentoring History of Christian Parenting

Professional Affiliations (3)

  • Society of Professors in Christian Education (S.P.C.E.) : Member
  • History of Education Society : Member
  • Society for the Study of Emerging Adults : Member

Media Appearances (1)

Spiritual Formation in Emerging Adulthood

College Transition Initiative  online


Is it taking longer for young people to “grow up” in today’s world? I hear this question often. Two of the stated goals for the College Transition Initiative are to provide information on emerging adulthood and resources for developing lasting faith. In order to help young people develop a lasting faith, the church needs to have an understanding of the cultural conditions in which young
people live...

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Academics and Published Research (2)

Courses Taught

- CE 233 Discipleship
- CE 421 History and Philosophy of Christian Education
- CFM 513 History and Philosophy of Ministry
- CFM 641 College and Young Adult Ministry
- CFM 681 Integrative Seminar


My research areas of interest include the history of Christian education, the philosophy of Christian education, college student development and formation, and the theory and practice of character formation.

Select Articles, Chapters, Reviews, and Other Publications (10)

Philosophy of Christian Education Christian Education: Twenty-First Century Ministry

Setran, David P.


Declension Comes Home: Cotton Mather, Male Youth Rebellion, and the Hope of Providential Affliction in Puritan New England Religion and American Culture

Setran, David P.


Conquering the ‘Tyrannical Commander:’ Richard Baxter on the Perils of Pride in Christian Ministry Christian Education Journal

Setran, David P.


Priests and Prophets in the Home: Cotton Mather and Parental Prayer Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care

Setran, David P.


Igniting the Family Sacrifice: Cotton Mather and Familial Christian Education in Colonial New England Christian Education Journal

Setran, David P.


History Matters: Reflections on Studying the History of Christian Education Christian Education Journal

Setran, David P.


‘Good Fences Make Strange Neighbors:’ Released Time Programs and the McCollum v. Board of Education Decision of 1948 American Educational History Journal

Setran, David P.


Spiritual Formation Goes to College: Class- Related Soul Projects in Christian Higher Education Building a Culture of Faith: University-wide Partnerships for Spiritual Formation

Setran, David P., James Wilhoit, and Dan Haase


Reimagining Frankena: Toward a Holistic Model for Philosophy of Ministry Christian Education Journal

Setran, David P. and Nathan Ramler


More Religion in Education and More Education in Religion: Liberal Progressivism and the Educational ‘Common Faith,’ 1917-1940 Teachers College Record

Setran, David P.