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The goal of this final project was to design a multifaceted, intentional academic strategy to equip youth ministry majors at Malone University that effectively addresses the potential problem of disconnection between theory and practice. The initial part of the strategy includes developing an understanding of the context and the historical precedent of disconnection. Also considered is the impact of an extended adolescence, among other relevant psychosocial features that affect the current Christian college population. Loss of supportive adult relationships as well as rapid cultural changes are taken into account in order to develop a more effective strategy to train youth ministry students. The theological premise undergirding students’ call to God and their discernment of a specific calling to minister to young people is discussed as a key feature in the intentional academic design. An academic year, over a four-year youth ministry major provides natural boundaries to the strategy. Specific classes combined with the implementation of an internship requirement and the recent addition of a Ministry Portfolio make up the content of the design.

The Ministry Portfolio, a current pilot project, was added to provide a place for certain assignments and projects, to encourage experiential learning with reflection, to be used as an assessment tool for departmental faculty and youth ministry supervisors, and as an exceptional future ministry resume ́. This final project concludes that a multifaceted, strategic, academic design can indeed resolve the problem of disconnection between theory and practice for youth ministry majors at Malone University if the training occurs both within and outside the classroom. Further student and faculty testing of the Ministry Portfolio is required, yet the ministry project commends the use of this same design for the training of future youth ministers in the larger Christian academic community.

Content Reader: Chap Clark, PhD

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

First Advisor

Clark, Chap

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Malone University; Church work with teenagers; Church work with youth; Universities and colleges; Curricula


Missions and World Christianity


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March 2018

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