Date of Award

2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Religion

School

Theological Seminary

Program

Religion, MA

First Advisor

Zoltan Szallos-Farkas

Second Advisor

Laurentiu Mot

Abstract

Problem

While available studies indicate that biblical world view among young adults decreases in years of secular education Adventist education system in Germany is struggling to address the needs of the young adults. The question arises what kind of needs can be identified why they leave faith and church behind and how the Church may counteract this process and provide valuable assistance. The urgency of this question emerges in considering the high rate of de-conversion among Adventist youth.

Method

This study analyzes various studies and statistical reports regarding the condition of the spiritual life of young adults in both the secular and Christian community, focusing especially on their unmet needs. To examine the target group of young German Adventists between 16 and 31 years of age specific data has been conducted by a questionnaire about the apologetic abilities among this group.

Results

The results of the study show that almost all de-conversions (96%) come about until the age of 35 and that among Adventist youth the de-conversion rate is around 50%. The underlying reasons of de-conversion are categorized in intellectual, emotional and spiritual aspects.

Conclusions

In a time of multitudes of contradicting world views and concepts, apologetics can be used to strengthen biblical world view among young Adventist adults. A systematic approach of apologetics needs to be comprehensive to meet the needs of young people in secular environments. Such an implementation of apologetics with components of intellect, affection, and spirituality can counteract the process of de-conversion by fostering a solid basis of faith, namely a biblical world view. It presents an effective instrument to educate the youth and can empower young people in well-founded and well-justified faith so they are able to defend their faith for themselves and others.

Subject Area

Church work with youth--Seventh-day Adventists, Youth--Religious life, Youth--Germany

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