Christian education of youth

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.

Visio Divina: In Light of the USCCB Curriculum Framework

Author
Eileen B Maggiore D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project involved working with eleven high school seniors from two schools while applying visual ethnographic research. The research method for ministry is attributed to Evelyn and James Whitehead’s attending, asserting, and responding. The study addresses three Catholic traditions-- the USCCB's Doctrinal Elements of a Curriculum Framework for the Development of Catechetical Materials for Young People of High School Age, emerging disciples, and Lectio-Visio Divina -- juxtaposed to learning styles and postmodern American teens who attend two Chicagoland area Catholic high schools. The students were asked about their social media usage, teaching preferences and definition of a disciple. The interviewed students elicited a visual image, upon request, which represents discipleship and through the process of lamination described their image. The students spoke to their preferences of teaching styles along with how they would teach younger students. Students conversed about the time when they most felt like a disciple.
The interviewed students exhibited transformative learning after generating visual images from their personal mobile phones. The interviewees’ definition of a disciple became more elaborate as they progressed with the visual ethnographic discussion. The initial feedback to discipleship prompted an intellectual answer and through lamination their response became more personal. The students utilized generative learning to create a thick description of their previous knowledge about discipleship.
The students’ desire is to have their lessons taught with visuals and other supportive techniques, including time to assess new epistemologies. These findings suggest that the students are interested in a more embodied teaching experience which could promote teens into becoming emerging disciples. Transformative learning tools are found not to oppose, but rather complement the USCCB's Framework. It is suggested that the Gospel Visual Creation or to Pray the Lesson are teaching techniques which could assist in the formation of disciples among Catholic high school students.

CAROL, KEVORKIAN, AND CHRISTINA YANG:
MORAL DEVELOPMENT THROUGH BIOETHICAL CASE STUDIES IN

Author
Derek Wilson D.Ed.Min.
Abstract
The thesis of this project argues that ethical education for too long has been a matter of principled approach built upon justice while neglecting moral development research of females through the works of Carol Gilligan. Bioethical education is best done in a balance of justice and relationships channeling both the works of Gilligan and Lawrence Kohlberg. By engaging with the people most affected by bioethics, those who are disabled, students are able to build empathy through case studies and thus make better informed ethical decisions. This project centers around a curriculum written for high school students studying bioethics. It lays out a groundwork for a theological basis for Christian education in bioethics as well as provides curriculum for the course.

Developing a Prayer Strategy to Enhance the Christian Spiritual Formation of High School Students at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School, Belden, Mississippi

Author
William Casey Hughes
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to develop a prayer strategy to enhance the Christian spiritual formation of high school students at Tupelo Christian Preparatory School, Belden, Mississippi. The project explored research in the field of prayer; constructed an distributed a survey to determine the beliefs and practices of Tupelo Christian Preparatory High School students related to prayer; led a workshop for a select group of students, parents, and faculty in the formulation of a prayer strategy; developed a multimedia presentation of the prayer strategy; and led the strategy team to prepare for a presentation to the Tupelo Christian Preparatory School Board for consideration. The evaluation methods for this project included expert opinions in the researched sources, the development of a prayer survey, the training materials, the formation of the strategy, and the presentation methods used for the strategy. The project director utilized the Strategy Model for this project.

Nature as a Means of Adolescent Spiritual Formation

Author
James D Thompson D.Min.
Abstract
The author researched what effect a ninety-day practice of journaling and guided contemplation of God in nature would have on an adolescent's sense of connection with God using the Convergent Parallel Mixed Method approach. Quantitatively, the intervention led to a statistically significant increase from the Daily Spiritual Experience Scale pretest to the posttest. Qualitatively, through student journals and reflections, five clusters of meaning emerged: the adolescent landscape, deeper connection with God, big questions, gratitude, and common nature. If God intends creation to point people to himself, then it is a significant problem if people have lost the capacity or the desire to pay attention to creation.

Youth Ministry Planning Tool for Smaller Churches

Author
Nathan Opsata D.Min.
Abstract
This major project created a step-by-step process to help youth ministry leaders plan their youth ministry year. The planning tool was especially designed to guide volunteer-led teams of smaller churches through the planning process in a systematic and complete way by recognizing the strengths and limitations of smaller churches and volunteer leaders. The main deliverables of the step-by-step planning process were to evaluate existing programming, divide the leadership team according to gifting, and to develop a set of guiding documents, including a directory, programming calendar, weekly template with job descriptions, and teaching schedule.

Five smaller evangelical churches were given the tool prior to planning their programming. Interviewing leaders from these youth ministry teams revealed that the tool was helpful in each church, especially for evaluating the success of programming objectives and generating ideas of changes to make. However, the step-by-step process did not allow teams to easily select which components they wished to use and was difficult to adapt for solo-led youth ministries. Furthermore, some ministries and leaders resisted implementing the systems-approach, especially formal job descriptions, in their smaller, family-style ministries.

The Role of the Roman Catholic Catechists in Shaping Adolescents Equipped to Address De-Womanization in Igbo Culture of Nigeria

Author
VIRGINUS Onyekachi OSUAGWU D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores to what extent the effective training/formation in transformative catechesis for Roman Catholic catechists of South Eastern Nigeria can equip them to form male and female adolescents who can contribute to building respect and upholding the dignity of Igbo women. It is intended to be a contribution to the conversation about social justice in the Igbo Roman Catholic Church, with regard to respecting the dignity of every human being, especially women.
The author employs the praxis-theory-praxis approach of practical theology in situating what effective social justice training/formation of Igbo catechists could mean within their unique ecclesial, social and cultural contexts around the theme of discipleship. The author concludes that effective training/formation of Igbo catechists in transformative catechesis (discipleship, witnessing, social justice) is key to the transformation of Igbo adolescents, the Igbo Roman Catholic Church and ultimately, the Igbo culture.

Learning to Pray Without Ceasing: Instilling the Importance of Prayer and its Connection to Social Justice in Youth

Author
Wesley Brian Jamison D.Min.
Abstract
Progressive churches continue to struggle with retaining youth, who often seen little merit in the church's traditions and rituals. These spiritual practices are essential to nurturing the strength and vision necessary to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable world. This project offers a model for integrating these practices into the regular activities of youth ministry as a way of reconnecting them to the struggle for justice. It was tested by adding the observance of the daily offices of prayer to a youth mission trip and examining the views of participants concerning prayer and its connection to justice before, during, and after the trip. Noticeable changes were measured during and after the trip, indicating that youth came to see spiritual practices are more important to the work of justice. These findings suggest that the church would do well to look to its own history of monasticism as a model for youth ministry in the post-Christian era.
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