Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Karen Tremper, PhD

Second Advisor

Randy Woodley, PhD

Third Advisor

Jason Clark, PhD, DMin


This research project seeks to examine the opportunity gaps facing the adolescents of Carpinteria for the purpose of suggesting a program that intends to address these challenges, in fitting with the mission statement to create pathways for children and youth to flourish, for the Pro Deo Foundation to fund and operate. Section One examines the problem that this dissertation seeks to address, specifically describing the difficult realities that teenagers in Carpinteria face in their everyday lives. Through research with human participants, including community members, leaders and administrators, this section gives the context of the subject matter, its history and the current opportunity gaps that exist for adolescents. Carpinteria is a unique small town with a complex biracial history.

Section Two details the ways in which various leaders and institutions have been seeking to address the opportunity gaps in Carpinteria. From government-funded after school programs, to non-profits and faith communities, this section describes the needs that are currently being addressed. This research reveals where gaps continue to be present, posing a new opportunity for the community.

Section Three uses socio-cultural and developmental theory as dialogue partners for practical theology. In light of the insights gained from local research, this section proposes a thesis that integrates place identity, discovery of passion, and development of vocation as a pathway for teenagers in high risk environments to imagine a positive future for themselves. This thesis calls for a new Christian social entrepreneurship program for adolescents, in the heart of the community.

Section Four describes this program as the artifact, including the vision, values, design, budget, and all components of the program. The program includes mentoring, micro-business, financial education, product-making, and family services.

Included in

Christianity Commons