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The purpose of this doctoral project is to assist late adolescents of Trinity Baptist Church to progress into healthy adulthood while developing a mature faith by participating in the Adoption Discipleship Model. Statistics from many sources support the fact that late adolescents have left the Church, and many will not be returning. A better way of discipling late adolescents is needed to keep them engaged in their faith. The Adoption Discipleship Model (ADM), based on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous’ programmatic Twelve Steps, can be a more effective way to nurture the faith of late adolescents.

This project is presented in three parts. Part One describes the development of the stage of late adolescence and examines the specific qualities of late adolescents in Raleigh, North Carolina. It surveys the findings of sociologists to establish a new stage of adolescence, supported by recent research on brain development and theories on the process of individuation. Part One concludes with an in-depth description of the culture specific to late adolescents in Raleigh and the unique pressures they face.

Part Two develops the theological foundation for the Adoption model and Alcoholic Anonymous’ 12-Step Program. It describes the different types of discipleship models used in the past and provides support for the model of adoption as the most effective. In addition, it gives the history and theological support of the 12-Step Program that will used to develop the Adoption Discipleship Model.

Part Three combines the adoption style of discipleship and principles of the 12-Step Program to develop the Adoption Discipleship Model for late adolescents. It highlights the vital role of the mentoring community and gives a specific outline of how the Adoption Discipleship Model can be implemented at Trinity Baptist Church in Raleigh.

Content Reader: Chap Clark, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Clark, Chap

Document Type





Trinity Baptist Church (Raleigh, N.C.); Church work with teenagers; Christian teenagers; Spiritual formation; Discipling (Christianity); Twelve-step programs


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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