Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Dr. Randy Woodley
The research of this project is concentrated on the integration of the disciplines of leadership, developmental psychology, and spiritual formation to inform a nine-month Christian leadership formation process for postmodern emerging adults. As the Staff Development Facilitator for an Outdoor Science Camp ministry (OSS), my task is twofold: (1) In regards to our mission, I aspire to help staff members develop leadership skills that prepare them to be excellent experiential educators; (2) in regards to formation, I desire to facilitate relevant spiritual growth for emerging adults. I believe the overlapping and pragmatic connection between these two goals is the art of discernment. While attempting to engage in a discussion on discernment, I have found that emerging adults struggle with proverbial “rocks” of plurality, development, and disconnection in the “soil” of their hearts in a cultural context that differs from the one that shaped my own formation process. This has provoked the question of, “How do I facilitate Christian leadership formation of emerging adults in a way that communicates to their postmodern context?” I believe the answer to this question can be found in the monastic methodology synthesized in the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius of Loyola. Ignatius provides an image of embracing life rather than resisting it and a means based upon an experiential pedagogy that draws upon both the rational and experience for meaning making. Its ecumenical approach provides a way for emerging adults to participate in a commitment to theosis, explore communal Scripture reading, and grow in maturity as participants learn to pray through both exterior and interior means, and in time, will discern who they are and where they belong together in the embodied, shalom- filled, and freedom giving, mission of God. In the following pages, I will extrapolate these concepts and indicate how they can be utilized for the leadership formation of emerging adults in a Western American and postmodern context.
Clark, Todd Dustin, "Embracing Maturity: An Ignatian Christian Leadership Formation Model for Emerging Adults" (2014). Doctor of Ministry. 73.