Justice, Spirituality & Education Journal


Spiritual warfare; Christian education -- Philosophy


The purpose of this study focuses on spiritual warfare as it relates to Christian educators in the PreK-12 classroom. Elements of spiritual warfare discussed in the literature review include: a three-fold model of spiritual warfare—worldly temptations, the human propensity towards sin, and Satanic influence (Arnold, 2011); a four-fold model of evil—the World Systems Model, the Flesh Model, the Ground-Level Deliverance Model, and the Strategic-Level Deliverance Model (Beilby & Eddy, 2012); and the history of spiritual warfare training. The questions examined in this paper are, “As a teacher, have you ever encountered spiritual warfare? What happened and how did you or others confront evil in this context?” This study is a subset of a larger study of 1,509 teachers in 38 countries on the “Spiritual Lives of Teachers” (Hetzel & Costillo, 2013). The subset examined includes 702 private PreK-12 teachers from 29 countries who responded to the spiritual warfare questions. Of the 702 participants, 598 or 85% indicated that they experienced spiritual warfare as a teacher. Narrative data indicates respondents experienced spiritual warfare through relational discord and lack of unity, demonic oppression, student misbehavior, and emotional disequilibrium. Spiritual warfare was described as daily and palpable in the classroom. When answering the question, “how did you or others confront evil in this context?” 49% of respondents exercised prayer and 11% Scripture as the primary defense against spiritual warfare. The results of this study indicate a critical need for teacher training as it relates to spiritual preparedness for the teaching profession.



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