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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Assessing the impact of personal mentoring to develop members of the Millennial generation in biblical orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy
by Terrell, Marty, Ph.D., Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2016, 163; 10245978
Abstract (Summary)

The present study sought to discover the extent to which personal mentoring enabled members of the Millennial generation to develop as Christ followers in the areas of orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy. The precedent literature revealed that Millennials comprise the largest generation in American history. Church leaders must therefore engage this vital demographic and invest significant effort into making disciples among this generation. Such discipleship can be effectively accomplished through personal mentoring, as this relational means of passing on principles for spiritual growth finds precedent throughout Scripture as well as more recent history. Proper balance in biblical discipleship requires an emphasis on all three elements of orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy. While much has been written about the Millennial generation and the topics of mentoring and discipleship, no studies have been conducted to explore the extent to which Millennials experienced growth in orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy as a result of personal mentoring.

Numerous authors have argued that holistic discipleship encompasses right thinking (orthodoxy), right acting (orthopraxy), and right affections (orthopathy). Each of these realms must be consistent with biblical truth to produce spiritual growth. The doctrinal commitment of orthodoxy provides the necessary guidance to enable the believer to continually grow in his relationship with Christ. The practical element of orthopraxy empowers the believer to impact the world around him through demonstrations of faith and acts of service. The devotional sphere of orthopathy motivates the believer toward continued Christlikeness from a heart of deep love for God and others. While many of those who follow Christ emphasize one of these areas at the expense of the others, this imbalance impedes spiritual growth and diminishes gospel impact on the surrounding culture. To achieve optimal progress in discipleship and maximum influence for the kingdom of God, each of these three elements must be integrated into a holistic Christian experience.

To secure research results for this investigation, members of the Millennial generation who had experienced personal mentoring were asked to complete a Transformational Discipleship Assessment. This tool constructed by LifeWay Research was utilized to determine the extent, if any, to which these mentoring experiences enabled the participants to develop in each of the discipleship areas listed above. In addition to completing the assessment, respondents were asked to provide the researcher with information concerning their gender, age, and the number of hours they had invested in a personal mentoring experience. The researcher identified a purposive sample of survey participants with the assistance of ministry leaders within the Navigators organization as well as a number of churches. The church leaders who participated in the study were recommended by individuals serving in the LEAD222 and Leader Treks organizations. These ministries champion the value of mentoring and provide resources to assist churches in this endeavor.

Because the intent of this study was to discover the impact of mentoring upon members of the Millennial generation, this study was delimited to individuals born between the years of 1982–2004. A further delimitation was that study participants were students from churches affiliated with the LEAD222 and Leader Treks organizations, as well as those involved with the Navigators ministry. Because the sample population is restricted to members of the Millennial generation within the United States, the results can be generalized only to the Millennials of our nation. The respondents chosen to participate live in select regions of the United States, so the results will be limited in their applicability to other regions.

Upon receiving the survey results, the researcher organized the assessment scores into the categories of orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy. The data concerning participant gender, age, and mentoring hours were established as dependent variables, while participant scores in the three categories of discipleship served as independent variables. Statistical analysis was then performed to determine the strength and direction of the association among these variables. Further investigations were conducted to examine the relationships between participant gender, age, and mentoring hours, and the individual scores received in the areas of orthodoxy, orthopraxy, and orthopathy. This examination of the data permitted the researcher to investigate trends and patterns to address the research questions, and to pose suggestions for further research.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Reid, Alvin L., Purcell, Larry J.
Commitee: Wheeler, David A.
School: Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Department: Department of Graduate Studies
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-A 78/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biblical studies, Theology, Religious education
Keywords: Mentoring, Millennials, Orthodoxy, Orthopathy, Orthopraxy
Publication Number: 10245978
ISBN: 978-1-369-40074-8
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