Youth--Religious life

Increasing Emotional Intelligence in College Youth Ministry Students Preparing for Ministry

Author
Johnson K Jason D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this research was to seek improvement in the area of Emotional Intelligence (EI) for undergraduate students preparing to enter youth ministry. The project tested the hypothesis that a six-class emphasis on EI followed by four weeks of journaling exercises would increase EI levels in students preparing for ministry. In addition, the researcher established the link between wisdom in the book of Proverbs and its’ connection with EI. The researcher used an EI inventory, developed by Richard Boyatzis and Daniel Goleman (ESCI-U), designed for the university setting. Five categories are assessed by the ESCI-U: Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Management, and Cognitive Competencies. There are twelve competencies organized into four clusters. Self-Awareness is the first cluster area, and the competency measured is Emotional Self-Awareness. The second cluster is Self-Management. In this cluster, there are four competencies: Achievement Orientation, Adaptability, Emotional Self-Control, and Positive Outlook. In the third cluster, Social Awareness, Empathy, and Organizational Awareness competencies are assessed. Finally, the fourth cluster area includes five competencies: Conflict Management, Coach and Mentor, Influence, Inspirational Leadership, and Teamwork. Following the presentation of the class material, the students engaged in four weeks of practicing The Daily Examen and journaling. After the four weeks of reflection, the students retook the EI inventory. The beginning and ending scores were compared. The project successfully improved EI levels because each student showed an increase in at least three of the twelve competencies, according to the ECSI-U inventory. Four students (67% of the class) showed an increase in at least half of the competencies, and two of the four increased in nine and ten of the competencies, respectively.

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.

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.

TRAINING SMALL GROUP LEADERS TO LEAD THE EMERGING ADULTS OF TRINITY CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE

Author
John Michael Barefield D.Min.
Abstract
This Doctor on Ministry project created a training program to train small group leaders to lead the emerging adults for Trinity Church of the Nazarene in Charlotte, North Carolina. This project shared the concerns of the church in losing emerging adults after they graduate from high school. The project explored the concerns of the emerging adult generation. The literature research included the writings of Chap Clark, Kara E. Powell, David Kinnaman, Corey Seemiller, Meghan Grace, Pew Research, and others.

This qualitative research project focused on how to train leaders to lead a small group of emerging adults. This project was conducted in three phases. The first phase presented in a six-part sermon series to the congregation. The second phase interviewed emerging adult participants. The third phase trained small group leaders to lead emerging adults.

This project helped the congregation, and small group leaders, to have a better understanding of emerging adults. The small group leaders gained confidence in leading emerging adults. The pastor learned to be sensitive to the needs, interests, and values of the emerging adults in his congregation.

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.

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.

How a Study of Biblical Individualism and the Body of Christ Affects Young People’s
Willingness to Engage in Church Leadership at First Presbyterian Church, Alliance,
Nebraska

Author
Kim Y Jay D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis researched the issue of an independent and individualistic mindset of young people in their 20s to 40s at First Presbyterian Church Alliance in Nebraska. This mindset is associated with their unwillingness to participate in church leadership. Understanding the biblical and literary foundations of individualism and collectivism are the core approach to confronting this mentality which is exhibited in behaviors of egocentricity, selfishness, or egoism. The biblical and literary principles of individualism and collectivism are intrinsically harmonized with a sense of unity which is actualized in a recognition of self-value as an autonomous being. An individual as an autonomous and rational being should recognize his and her inner attributes and utilize them for the needs of others. The nature of unity is the corporate reality of all individuals which is represented in the characteristics of the body of Christ. Learning true individual value and unity would benefit the young people and encourage them to get involved in church leadership.

RESPONDING TO OUR HEMORRHAGING FAITH IN CANADA BY EXPLORING A FAMILY-INTEGRATED CHURCH MODEL AS A SOLUTION IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA

Author
Michael Thiessen D.Min.
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to respond to the identified crisis in disciple-making by exploring the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a Family-Integrated-Church ministry model.
To accomplish this SWOT analysis, there were four steps to this research project: A literature review, Biblical research on the family, twelve semi-structured interviews with FEB pastors, and an elders’ review of our FIC model at Grace Baptist Church in Alliston, Ontario. By doing this research project, I hoped to understand this ministry model better and sought to focus our local church disciple-making practices.

The information gleaned from this research project confirmed for me some of what I already knew anecdotally; there is a crisis in children’s and young adult ministry of which the family is a key part of both the problem and solution. The next generation needs to be able to follow their parents, who are worshipping, praying, and serving before them, in order to be made into passionate disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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.

Embodied Contemplative Practices Within a High School Religion Curriculm

Author
Diane Mercadante D.Min.
Abstract
This thesis-project explores whether affective, embodied contemplative practices enhance cognitive learning in a Catholic high school religion classroom and encourage behavioral changes in students’ lives. The researcher introduced embodied contemplative practices to high school seniors using the lens of Appreciative Inquiry and Osmer’s four questions for practical theological interpretation, then offering students an opportunity to find meaning in their experiences using the Killen and de Beer theological reflection method. This thesis-project enters into a conversation with student experience, Gen-Z culture, and the Christian theological tradition to name the importance of embodied connection, affirm the practice of embodied Christian theology, and address the desire and need for embodied contemplative practices.
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