Date of Award

2005

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Education

Program

Curriculum and Instruction PhD

First Advisor

Jimmy Kijai

Second Advisor

Hinsdale Bernard

Third Advisor

Alfonso Valenzuela

Abstract

Problem. A survey of the literature revealed that there was little by way of empirical study on the relationship between youth ministry and attitudes, beliefs, and values held by young people. We empirically tested the anecdotal evidence that youth ministry is effective in the transmission of beliefs and values. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether Seventh-day Adventist youth ministry in North America makes any difference in the lives of youth in the Seventh-day Adventist school system.

Method. The sample for this study was 10,832 10- to 19-year old students enrolled in SDA schools in 2001. This study used the data collected by the Valuegenesis study team in 2001. The survey instrument contained 396 items and included a number of questions on youth ministry. A youth ministry scale was developed. Chi square, t tests, and analysis of variance were performed to investigate the relationship between the youth ministry scale and individual youth ministry factors, and Christian orthodoxy, SDA fundamental beliefs, faith maturity, understanding grace and works, intrinsic and extrinsic orientation to religion. The same tests examined the relationship of youth ministry to at-risk behavior, intention of future church involvement, church standards, the perceived influence of the pastor, and perceptions youth hold of the church.

Results and conclusions. The results of the study indicated that youth ministry has a significant relationship with the development of attitudes, beliefs, and values in adolescents attending Seventh-day Adventist schools in North America.

There is a relationship between youth ministry and commitment to Seventh-day Adventist fundamental beliefs and values. Youth with high exposure to youth ministry had a lower likelihood of involvement in at-risk behavior than their peers. More exposure to youth ministry meant a greater likelihood of the youth's satisfaction with their church and also of intention to be involved in it in the future. They showed higher levels on concurrence to church standards, saw the Pastor as having more influence in their faith development, and were much more positive in their perceptions of the church.

Subject Area

Church work with youth--North America--Seventh-day Adventists, Seventh-day Adventist youth--North America--Conduct of life

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