Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Research has pointed out a factor essential to the spiritual guidance of youth and young adults in the Seventh-day Adventist Church: How teenagers think is dependent (Fields & Robbins, 2007) on how they are spoken to and how effective the messages are delivered; however, a majority of youth from New Life SDA Fellowship do not receive adequate mentoring that would pair them up as a support for each other or that would build good interpersonal relationships with their peers. While the Fellowship offers a designated staff for church services, there is no provision for youth to mentor each other under supervised adult leadership.
In order to address this problem, a peer-mentoring program was implemented. Students were selected and given five weeks mentoring training followed by six months of peer mentoring experience. During this time, communication was maintained with the students through face-to-face meetings, phone calls, texts, and e-mails. The students were surveyed before and after the peer mentoring project regarding their opinion of the importance of mentoring in their lives while in attendance at the church. The responses from the surveys were analyzed and recommendations to New Life Fellowship are forthcoming.
This program started with four males and two females and lasted for six months. While this is a small portion of student participation, their participation helped to broaden the understanding that peer mentoring is more widely accepted and most effective for students between the ages of 18 to 35 years of age. Before the implementation of the survey I first asked about their opinion of peer mentoring programs and activities and if they thought it would be helpful in their life. The participants responded by identifying that bible study, sharing their Christian faith, devotion, and their belief in God was important in their everyday life.
The project demonstrated that: (1) there is a greater felt need for peer mentoring in students who are in freshman and seminary graduate classification; (2) youth are willing to work with mentors if the program is relevant; and (3) prayer is a vital component in the lives of the students. These observations substantiate the value of peer mentoring, and should cause pastors, youth leaders, and parents to promote it.
Church work with youth--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with youth--Michigan--Berrien Springs; Church work with young adults--Seventh-day Adventists; Church work with young adults--Michigan--Berrien Springs; Seventh-day Adventist youth--Religious life; Mentoring in church work; New Life Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship (Berrien Springs, Mich.)
McEachchrane, Hollis H., "Developing a Model for Spiritual Guidance and Peer Mentoring for Youth and Young Adults in the New Life Seventh-day Adventist Fellowship in Berrien Springs, Michigan" (2011). Dissertation Projects. 535.
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