Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Spiritual Formation Strategies for Generation Z Students in a Secondary Christian School
by Yoder, Amy Christine, Ed.D., Grand Canyon University, 2020, 563; 22621273
Abstract (Summary)

Adolescent spiritual formation continues to decline despite the intentional efforts of religious organizations, including Christian schools. Christian schools remain tasked with fostering spiritual development in the lives of students with spiritual formation strategies (SFS), despite generational changes. The following qualitative single-case study examined how 20 Generation Z students perceived their personal spiritual formation and the influence of SFS within a single Christian school in the southwestern United States. Fowler’s stages of faith theory and Westerhoff’s spiritual development theory served as the frameworks in this study to examine the spiritual development of adolescents. Through purposeful sampling, the case unit of analysis for this study included Grade 10 and 11 Generation Z students. Three sources of data included school documents, questionnaire, and semi-structured interviews. Clarke and Braun’s thematic data analysis strategy was used to develop codes and themes. Nine themes that emerged as findings from the data: faith community, relationships, Bible relevancy, owned faith, personal awareness, faith matters, faith requires action, faith must be owned, and faith involves trust. Results indicated that the SFS of Christian schools could reach all stages of faith development. However, SFS that included mentoring relationships with teachers, relevant Bible teaching and application, support during spiritual struggles, and authenticity served as the greatest spiritual catalysts in the lives of Generation Z students. These results implicate that Christian schools do not need to adopt new SFS for Generation Z, but rather they need to modify and change the approach of these SFS.

Keywords: Generation Z spiritual formation, adolescent spiritual development, Christian education, spiritual formation strategies, spirituality, Bible classes

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Lentz, Cheryl
Commitee: Polk, Roselyn, Markette, Jo Ann
School: Grand Canyon University
Department: College of Doctoral Studies
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 81/4(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Religious education, Spirituality, Educational leadership
Keywords: Adolescent Spiritual Development, Christian Education, Generation Z, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Formation Strategies, Spirituality
Publication Number: 22621273
ISBN: 9781687927590
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