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Wes Ingram

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In order to move Parkway Heights United Methodist Church (hereafter, PHUMC) towards embracing a communal paradigm of youth ministry, the church’s mental model of youth ministry must be reframed. Therefore, the goal of this project is to launch Team 51 Ministry, including a training system for equipping adults that incorporates the most pertinent aspects of practical theology, psychosocial development of adolescents, and the ecology of adolescent development, as a framework for communal youth ministry.

As part of the ministry vision, PHUMC’s leaders are currently developing a holistic discipleship model for family ministry, ministry to children and youth included, that has intergenerational mentoring at its core and that incorporates the United Methodist Church (hereafter, UMC) tradition of confirmation as a rite of passage and vehicle for strategic adoption into the missional life of the Church. However, PHUMC’s move towards implementing this discipleship model will be significantly hampered if the congregation retains a departmentalized paradigm of youth ministry. In this project, a plan for reframing the congregation for communal youth ministry using Team 51 Ministry will be presented.

Part One of this project will consist of an analysis of the ministry context, including an overview of adolescent development, a description of the culture of abandonment and its implications for adolescent development, and an analysis of PHUMC and youth ministry in the UMC. Second, in response to the culture of abandonment, Part Two will consist of a practical theology of adoption and an evaluation of historical and current models of youth and family ministry, including an overview of the UMC tradition of confirmation. Lastly, Part Three will present the plan to launch Team 51 Ministry, including the training system for equipping adults to be mentors for PHUMC. Also discussed will be the adaptive changes facing PHUMC and a plan for implementing these changes.

Theological Mentor: Kurt Fredrickson, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Fredrickson, Kurt

Document Type





Parkway Heights United Methodist Church (Hattiesburg, Miss.); Church work with youth; Church work with teenagers; Adolescent psychology


Missions and World Christianity


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April 2018

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