Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Baby boomers are a cusp generation entering into the twenty-first century during the ending of the enlightenment era. As they enter different life stages and situations, baby boomers undergo changes in their faith. As supported in the biblical witness, faith is a journey with a trajectory that cannot be precisely defined or categorized. These elements support the premise of this work: Christian faith is a journey for the baby boomer generation.
Chapter 1 introduces the problem through baby boomer narratives, substantiated by statistical studies and sociological research. I establish that many current churches concentrate on salvation and the priestly role of Jesus Christ to the elimination of the rest of the Gospel and do not support growth in faith and Christ. In chapter 2, I present the biblical foundations of faith as a journey. God guided Abraham, the Hebrew people, and the prophets who gained strength in the wilderness as travelers who trusted in God. These themes continue in the New Testament through the teachings of Jesus and the faith journeys of Paul.
The third chapter presents faith journeys found in early Christian and medieval writings, pilgrimage accounts, and Augustine of Hippo. Those writers and pilgrims found God by not looking for him.
In chapter 4, I present the techniques found in James Fowler’s Stages of Faith as a tool to analyze the faith movements of baby boomers. I discuss criticisms, strengths, and weaknesses in application. Additionally I analyze baby boomers that leave church using Stages of Faith.
Chapter 5 applies the results from earlier chapters to explore the journeys of baby boomers through interviews with the lens of Stages of Faith. The concluding chapter explores possible solutions in light of the inability of many churches to accommodate people on a faith journey or to establish vibrant Christian communities within the congregation.
Stewart, William Henry Jr., "Faith Journeys in the Lives of Baby Boomers" (2011). Doctor of Ministry. 208.