The purpose of this research was to develop the components of a theory for retention of young people after their high school years by examining the factors that contribute to continued spiritual vitality in Assemblies of God (AG) post-high school young adults. Data was collected from a stratified sample of ninety-five young adults in the United States during their senior year of high school in 2011 and two years later in 2013. In line with research by the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), continued spiritual vitality was operationalized by using the Religious Behavior Scale, the Religious Identity Scale, and the Risk Behavior Scale. The results identified nine elements from spiritual formation factors, social considerations, and high school youth group experiences that produced fourteen statistically significant correlations with higher levels of retention and spiritual vitality in the sample two years after leaving school. This research appears to suggest that it is the aggregated effect of intentional youth group experiences providing opportunity for the internalized guidance of the Holy Spirit, recognized as God's work, and not specific youth group programs or religious activities that have the potential to create a unique spiritual journey that would ensure spiritual vitality for the youth after they leave high school.
|Advisor:||Mostert, Johan H.|
|Commitee:||Clarensau, Michael H., Lewis, Paul W., Powell, Kara E.|
|School:||Assemblies of God Theological Seminary|
|Department:||Intercultural Doctoral Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Missouri|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Religion, Religion, Philosophy, Religious education|
|Keywords:||Adolescent retention, Church work with students, Discipleship, Faith development, Religious behaviors, Spiritual formation|
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