• Gunita Tālberga Latvian Academy of Sport Education
  • Andra Fernāte Latvian Academy of Sport Education




Biblical spirituality, higher education, holistic education, spirituality, teaching staff


Spirituality is an integral part of a holistic education (Miller, 2005) and a holistic development of personality (Chandler et al. 1992; Myers et al. 2008). Although various definitions of spirituality are used, several authors recognize the importance of spirituality in higher education (Dillard, 2006; Love & Talbot, 1999; Tisdel, 2001). Christian values have shaped the identity of Latvia since ancient times but the atheistic history of Latvia during the Soviet occupation has affected people's thinking. Therefore, the aim of this research was to find answers to the following questions – how do the teaching staff of the Latvian Academy of Sport Education (LASE) understand spirituality? What are the teaching staff's views on the enhancement of students' spirituality during their study process? What is the teaching staff's attitude regarding Biblical spirituality? This paper is based on a qualitative study (voluntary semi-structured interviews and qualitative content analysis were used) that examined 14 LASE teaching staff (7 women and 7 men, 27-68 years old). Spirituality is perceived as the multifaceted inner life of a person which determines a person's understanding of the universe and connection to God and other people. The common human and family responsibility, leadership and teaching staff responsibility, an institutional environment, and God's work in the hearts of students were mentioned as primary to enhancing spirituality in students. We observed that according to the Biblical understanding of spirituality most of the teaching staff appear to be in a stage of pre-spirituality and not spirituality.

Author Biography

  • Gunita Tālberga, Latvian Academy of Sport Education
    Gunita Talberga is a doctoral student at the Latvian Academy of Sport Education, writing thesis on the topic "Enhancement of Spirituality during the Study Process of Future Sport Specialists". She serves as voluntary sports chaplain and is involved in Christian sport ministry in Latvia.


Chandler, C.K., Holden, J.M., Kolander, C.A. (1992). Counseling for Spiritual Wellness: Theory and Practice. Journal of Counseling & Development,71, 168-175.

Dillard, C. B. (2006). On spiritual strivings: transforming an African American woman’s academic life. New York: State University of New York Press. 118 p.

Geikina, L. (2013). Mācīties būt...un dzīvot kopā! Reliģiskā izglītība valsts skolās: Latvijas un Eiropas pieredze. Rīga: SIA "Izdevniecība drukātava".

Hamilton, D. M., & Jackson, M. H. (1998). Spiritual development: Paths and processes. Journal Of Instructional Psychology, 25 (4), 262.

Līdums, G. (2011). Dievs spogulī: refleksijas par dievlīdzību un tās praktisko nozīmi teoloģijā (God in the Mirror: Reflections on the Godlikeness and its Practical Significance in Theology). Rīga: Biedrība Agape LV.

Love, P., Talbot, D. (1999). Defining Spiritual Development: a Missing Consideration for Student Affairs. NASPA Journal, 32 (1), 361-375.

McClendon, A. (2012). Defining the Role of the Bible in Spirituality: "Three Degrees of Spirituality" in American Culture. Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care, Vol. 5, No. 2, 207-225.

Miller, J. P. (2005). Holistic Learning and Spirituality in Education : Breaking New Ground. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Myers, J. E., & Sweeney, T. J. (2008). Wellness Counseling: The Evidence Base for Practice. Journal of Counseling & Development, 86(4), 482-493.

Nucho, A. O., Vidnere, M. (2003). Intervēšanas prasme. Rīga: "Izdevniecība RaKa". 85 lpp.

Tālberga, G., Fernāte, A. (2016). Spirituality in Sport – a Biblical Perspective. LASE Journal of Sport Science. Vol. 7, Nr.2, 72-92.

Tisdel, E.J. (2001). Spirituality in Adult and Higher Education. ERIC Digest. ED459370.

Valbis, J. (2005). Skolēna personības attīstība – izglītības virsuzdevums (Pupil's Personal Development - The Ultimate Goal of Education). Rīga: Zvaigzne ABC.