Date of Award

2-2020

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)

Department

Seminary

First Advisor

Karen Tremper, PhD

Second Advisor

Randy Woodley, PhD

Third Advisor

Jason Clark, PhD, DMin

Abstract

This research presents the argument that Millennials and Generation Z are not leaving the church; they are reconstructing their faith and distancing themselves from fundamentalism. When exploring the history of evangelicalism, church history, and generational distinctives, one is given the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of generational dynamics in regard to faith, theology, and praxis.

Chapter 1 explores the various distinctions and biases that encompass each generation. It also provides background for how generational influence shaped the narrative of the church, faith, and purpose.

Chapter 2 tackles the generational shift in ecclesiology and gives readers a glimpse into the torrid past of Christian history. It also highlights some of the major historical events that shaped today’s perception of the church.

Chapter 3 explores the dynamics of generational disconnect and looks at the history of conservative evangelicalism and the influencers who shaped the movement. This section also provides a detailed history of Dwight L. Moody’s influence on evangelicalism, including his theory of Dispensational Premillennialism.

Chapter 4 explores the parallels between this new form of evangelicalism and the dissonance of Millennials and Generation Z. It also explores how evangelicalism became an entity characterized by sexism, racism, homophobia, and nationalism, instead of the foundational tenets of Christianity.

Chapter 5 builds upon this generational reaction and explores the variety of ways that Millennials and Generation Z differ from Baby Boomers and Generation X. It specifically looks at the varied generational differences regarding family, leadership, success, theology, and praxis.

Chapter 6 provides pastors and leaders with hope, resources, and formulaic ideologies that are implementable by most pastors and leaders regardless of geographical or denominational context. It also further defines diversity, inclusion, and equality within the context of generational understanding and implementation. Each of these traits are presented in the form of leadership examples.

Included in

Christianity Commons

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