Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
Nancy J. Vyhmeister
Werner K. Vyhmeister
Each year, the Seventh-day Adventist Church in India spends large sums of money on youth and Pathfinder camps. These camps provide recreation and interaction among the youth, but often fail to lead the campers to conversion and commitment. The program, the methodology, and lack of trained resource personnel contribute to these poor results yearly. Retreats can provide a better alternative to youth camps. Retreats provide seclusion in which the retreatant becomes aware of self and God. The biblical-retreat models of the Old and the New Testaments form the foundation of the study.
For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church has required retreats of religious orders. The Protestants have used camp meetings. These attract large crowds but provide spiritual nurture. Camp meetings have become an Adventist heritage. To care for the children and youth, summer camps were introduced. The summer camp idea spread around the Adventist world. For decades the youth camps fulfilled the evangelistic goals of the church. Today, youth camps in India are activity oriented, and fail to provide an environment conducive to spiritual formation. Hence, an alternate program is needed.
In search of the alternate program the researcher attended three interdenominational retreats: Blessing Youth Mission, Divine Retreat Center, and Inter-Collegiate Evangelical Youth Camp. These retreats were well planned; their main objectives were spiritual growth and missions. The programs of the retreats and dedicated resource personnel helped many accept Christ. The biblical foundation of retreats, the instructions for camp meetings, along with the personal experience of the interdenominational retreats, helped to develop a youth retreat model. This model was implemented in the summer of 2000, and twenty-three retreatants testified to its positive influence on them, particularly in the area of spiritual growth.
Youth--Religious life--India; Church work with youth--India--Seventh-day Adventists
Jesudass, Maywald, "Spiritual Awareness and Growth of Indian Adventist Youth Through Retreats" (2000). Dissertation Projects. 636.
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