Christian education of youth

The Heavens Proclaim the Glory of God: Science as a Way of Seeking God

Author
Richard Paul Grendahl D.Min.
Abstract
This study presented modern scientific theories along with Christian theological concepts to lead young people to a deeper understanding of their Christian faith. The project consists of four lessons covering The Big Bang Theory and Creation, Evolution and the Image of God, Centering Prayer, and World-Class Scientists who are devout Christians. The participants were surveyed before the lessons began; after the lessons were completed, as well as a month later to determine the effectiveness of the lessons. An evaluation of the project with recommendations for future use is included. A PowerPoint presentation for this project is included in the Appendix.

Sound the trumpet : an adventure in shared ministry

Author
Kevin Harney
Abstract
My understanding of shared ministry, at the beginning of my studies, was shaped by New Testament teaching on ministry. As a matter of fact, the Pauline Epistles were the primary source of my thinking. Beyond this, it is safe to say that three sections of Scripture formed the core of my ecclesiology in relationship to Shared Ministry (Romans 12; 1 Corinthians 12-15 and Ephesians 4). Each of these passages teaches the importance of spiritual gifts among the body of believers.

This limited perspective led me to read the entire bible and look for any passages which dealt with shared ministry (of any kind). The second learning unit in my program pushed me beyond the New Testament "gift-centered" approach and helped me develop a broader understanding of ministry and God's people.

Raising faith-full children : a handbook for parents of early adolescents

Author
Donald Hoekstra
Abstract
This handbook is designed as a resource manual for parents of early adolescents, ages 11-14. It attempts to translate recent research findings about the development of early adolescents and their faith and religious development into an understandable and practical guide for parents of these early adolescents.

Chapter One discusses the significance of change in the life of both early adolescents and their mid-life parents. Implications for parent-child relationships are also drawn.

Chapter Two provides an overview of early adolescence and the transition from childhood to later adolescence.

Chapter Three explores early adolescent religion and its formation.

Chapter Four asks, "Why Christian religious concerns for early adolescents?", and proceeds to provide several succinct responses to how this focus on development unfolds.

Chapter Five provides an adolescent-parent strategy for faith formation around Christian baptism.

Chapter Six provides an adolescent-parent strategy for faith formation around Christian confirmtion.

Chapter Seven provides an adolescent-parent strategy for faith formation around Christian holy communion.

Chapter Eight provides an adolescent-parent strategy for faith formation around the Reformed Church in America creeds and confessions.

Chapter Nine provides an adolescent-parent strategy for faith formation around the ten commandments.

Lamenting youth, believing youth : the role of biblical lament in the faith formation of Mennonite adolescents

Author
Robert Elson Yoder
Abstract
In recent decades there has been an increase in eating disorders, depression, suicide and other mental health illnesses among American adolescents. There is a proliferation for a "feel good" attitude in our American culture that denies or limits constructive expressions of lament, but strives for success and accelerated achievement. Theologically, our society narrowly views God as a therapeutic being who "helps us" when we need to feel good. Mennonite youth are not immune to the societal pressures and various mental health concerns that persist. Lamenting Youth, Believing Youth explores the role of biblical lament in faith formation and pastoral care of early, middle, and late Mennonite adolescents as a response to contemporary cultural realities. The thesis of this Doctor of Ministry project is that Mennonite pastors and youth workers will be motivated to engage youth in expressions of biblical lament by enabling youth to write their own prayers of lament. After describing a theology and understanding of biblical lament, I then explore how regular engagement in practices of lament will aid in the faith formation and pastoral care of adolescents. The method I used to investigate this thesis was to equip three different youth pastors to lead members of their junior and senior high youth groups through a series of timed-writing prayer exercises of lament. In addition, one pastor led this same practice with his young adult church group, while I conducted it with a college youth ministry class comprised mainly of young adults. Observations were then made from the questionnaires that adolescents in this study completed, as well as from their voluntarily submitted prayers of lament. I discovered that young people were comfortable engaging this prayer discipline and appreciated the opportunity to express their emotions to God.

"What would Clement do?" : recovering the catechumenate for faith formation today

Author
Steven D Pierce
Abstract
This project seeks to answer the question, “What would Clement do?” concerning faith formation in churches today. Its aim is to help the spiritually curious, newcomers, and regular church attenders develop a more informed understanding of the Christian faith, particularly through the lens of the Reformed Church in America (RCA). My research for this paper began at Marble Collegiate Church (RCA) in Manhattan—a large, urban church context. In the summer of 2011, I began my ministry as a solo pastor at The Community Reformed Church (CRC) at Manhasset, NY, a small, suburban congregation just outside of New York City. The Explorer’s Handbook and formative process that comprise my doctoral work both emerge from and serve both types of settings. Its appeal is wide; its scope is broad.

Equipping youth through engagement in short-term mission : enhancing the spiritual formation of youth and informing their understanding of the kingdom of God through successive mentored experiences in STM, with an emphasis on long-term,...

Author
Lisa Greene Henderson
Abstract
This in depth study of one church’s in-house student mission program presents critical elements that can guide other church bodies in the development of the spiritual formation and biblical worldview of their youth through short-term mission. Using grounded theory methodology, the leveled program aimed at providing age-appropriate successive short-term mission trips was studied, along with active students, leaders and host communities. The study was conducted in order to distill key elements transferable to other church bodies. Critical elements that emerged include: age appropriate levels of engagement, training, mentoring, cross-cultural engagement and long-term relationship with host communities. A biblical theology of mission and feedback from a target audience of mission and youth pastors are also included.

JAMES FOWLER’S FAITH DEVELOPMENT THEORY: IMPLICATIONS FOR SHAPING FAITH FORMATION OF MILLENNIALS

Author
Owen Lorenzo Wilson D.Min.
Abstract
The main purpose of this research was to explore the role of faith development of Millennials in their decision making in three selected churches in Portmore, Jamaica. It integrates valuable data from related literature reviewed in relation to Millennials and their characteristics, theories on human and faith development, and the stages of faith formation. The research also identifies the contributing factors to the phenomenon of faith. Additionally, the research shares the responses and opinions of Millennials on their faith journey and how faith acts as a social good in decision-making. The findings reveal that while Millennials are logically connected individuals, faith is a value-based tool in their decision-making efforts.

Measuring the Effectiveness of Equipping Families Using a Sermon-Based Curriculum at Fellowship Bible Church in Jacksonville, Texas

Author
Graham Hale D.Min.
Abstract
The aim of this project was to measure the effectiveness of using a sermon-based curriculum to combat biblical illiteracy and equip family shepherds for the work of home ministry. The two focus groups for this project at Fellowship Bible Church of Jacksonville, Texas, were the Sermon-Only Group and the Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group. The Sermon-Only Group listened to four sermons through the book of Zephaniah (selected because of its length, unfamiliarity, and gospel themes). The Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group listened to the sermons and also participated in a four-week, twenty-lesson study on Zephaniah in the home. The two groups were tested on their retention and application of what was taught from the book.

The thesis of this project was that parents and children in the Sermon and Sermon-Based Home-Discipleship Group would retain more of the Word of God and more faithfully apply the Word when compared to the Sermon-Only Group.

Chapter 1 addresses the problem of biblical illiteracy while also introducing the thesis. Chapter 2 makes an argument in favor of home discipleship both biblically and historically. Chapter 3 makes an argument biblically and practically for sermon-based instruction, introducing and explaining the effectiveness of using sermon-based curriculum in the home. Chapter 4 explains the preparation for and execution of the ministry project at FBC of Jacksonville. Chapter 5 includes a report on the findings from the project. In this chapter, the project director evaluates the strengths and weaknesses of the project and what he would do differently in hindsight.

Equipping Selected Oklahoma Baptist Youth Ministers with Reproducible Disciple-making Behaviors

Author
Todd Sanders
Abstract
The project aim was to equip selected Oklahoma Baptist youth ministers with reproducible disciple-making behaviors in a workshop setting. Laying a foundation for the project, in phase one of the project director researched the areas of discipleship and disciple-making to determine consistent, reproducible behaviors in replicating disciples. The project director compiled the findings of the research into a report ultimately identifying common, reproducible behaviors that facilitate disciple=making. In phase two of the project, the project director studied curriculum design and lesson writing resulting in a curriculum to use in the project workshop presenting the reproducible behaviors of making disciples discovered through phase one research. Phase three followed curriculum development. Phase three included organizing and hosting the training event to equip workshop participants in the cognitive, affective, and psychomotor learning domains. The project director measured goal achievement at each stage by a number of means including expert evaluation, course completion, knowledge testing, evaluated practice, and personal assessment by learners related to concepts and practices addressed in the workshop as well as the workshop itself.

The Role of Transformational Leadership in Preparing Youth as Future Church Leaders

Author
Michael Kiju Paul D.Min.
Abstract
The membership of St. Peter's Episcopal Church has been on the decline. The most affected members of the church congregants are the youth. In return, this threatens the future of the ministry. The issue is mainly attributed to the failure of former and current church leaders to prepare youth as future ministry leaders. The biblical and theological foundation of the study was based on various passages, such as Gen. 17:4-5, Exod. 3:11, Luke 10:1-16, John 20: 11-18, and 1 Corinthians 11:1, among others. The researcher depended on the above listed biblical passages since they offered insights into Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Apostle Paul’s transformational leadership. The researcher also reviewed literature about transformational leadership traits exhibited by Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Apostle Paul. The researcher also reviewed examples of the actual practice of transformational leadership in the church setting. The review revealed that transformational leaders promote individual development of their followers, empowers followers, encourage creativity by being open to new perspectives, and offer individual mentoring and coaching. A case study approach was employed for the thesis project. The researcher collected primary data from seven pastors and seven youth aged between 18 and 25 years using a self developed interview protocol. The collected data were analyzed using thematic analysis, where main themes were identified. The results revealed that transformational leadership practices, including empowerment, delegation, appreciation, encouraging creativity, and articulation of clear goals, have the potential to help youth to take up church-related roles and promote their church attendance. The thesis project plays a significant role in shaping and challenging the youth ministry at St. Peter's Episcopal Church. God challenged me to work on church growth in terms of attendance and youth participation in leadership roles. He also called me to address the issue of declining youth congregants as posing a threat to the continuity of the ministry.
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