Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry
Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary
Doctor of Ministry DMin
In the Knoxville community, young adults who lack biblical knowledge and confidence struggle to accept question and answer Bible study guides without additional intellectual support. This struggle by young adults is attributed to a lack of knowledge and trust in the Bible as the Word of God. In addition, I have observed that when young adults read the Bible, it evokes feelings of alienation and distance from the spiritual conversation when underlying doubt in the Bible is present. One contributing factor is the lack of extra-biblical apologetics within question and answer study guides.
An apologetic-based curriculum was designed and introduced to groups of participants in Knoxville, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas in the Fall of 2020. Ten young adults with doubts and skepticism about the Bible went through four written lessons to help them grow in their confidence in the Bible and its teachings. Data was evaluated using a quantitative pre and post-intervention study and qualitatively with a post-intervention group interview.
The study revealed that an apologetic-based study using sources outside the Bible to address questions and skepticism about the Bible was positively received. In addition, learners developed a greater understanding of their own beliefs and the views of others. The study provided a process for learners to challenge and evaluate their foundational beliefs to accept the Bible. The lessons addressed the questions and skepticism of some, and for others, it re-affirmed their beliefs. Overall, there was an increased trust in the reliability of the Bible and a greater openness to studying it.
Based on the pre and post-intervention surveys and the group interview, the apologetic-based studies did appear to positively influence learners' trust in the Bible and willingness to study it. In addition, the study also catalyzed deeper conversations about views and beliefs with participants' families and friends. Consequently, further exploration of apologetic-based curricula as a tool to aid young adults in faith development is merited and recommended.
Church work with young adults; Young adults--Religious life; Bible--Study and teaching; Bible--Influence
Laue, Bryan, "Apologetic-Based Curriculum Addressing Intellectual Skepticism among Young Adults in Knoxville, Tennessee and the Surrounding Areas" (2022). Professional Dissertations DMin. 757.
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