Woopee! That’s all I can say. 400 pages…171 books…over 375 footnotes. That’s all it takes to give you a taste of it. After MUCH encouragement from my community and family, I decided to take the month of August to finish the project. It was about 1/2 way through before August…now, I’ve crossed the goal line. The paper gets shipped out today to Dr. Sarah Sumner (Theology professor @ APU), who is my Mentor through this process. She will, most likely, have a few "comments". Then the paper gets shipped off to Dr. Keith Reeves (NT professor @ APU) and to Dr. Paul Alexander (who is the Doctoral Coordinator). So that’s the process.
My thesis will be explained more later…all I can say now is that it is over! Woopee! The topic is Adolescent Leadership Development and Spiritual Formation through a Variety of Praxis. To give you a taste for it, I’m going to attach the Conclusion of the paper which is a "homeletical" approach to summing up my arguement. The paper includes a look at "The Playing Field" (Postmodernity, Post-Christendom, Missional Paradigms, Liminality, the Historical realities of rabbinic discipling and the novitiate from the monastic movement). Then I move on to the "answer" to the presenting ministry problem that I addressed. That section is more complex to summarize…so I’ll let you look at the concluson and draw your OWN conclusions.
When I beginning to see the finish line of the Doctor of Ministry journey, friends of mine began to inquisitively and persistently nag me regarding my final project. They knew that I was a practical individual…someone who was not necessarily wired up for writing something that was only going to sit in some computer file, library shelf, or academic data base. I kept hearing the same questions, “what is the gist of your final project” and “who will want to read it?” Good questions for anyone dipping their toes into the waters of literature of any genre. I put those questions to intense thought. I simply do not want to impress (if that is even possible) people whom I admire and respect in academia that need to accept this project as a means of completing a degree program. I would be humbly pleased if that were to happen but my expectations are a bit more realistic. Yet, I would hope that someone outside of the University system would see that there are some issues that are being raised in this project and my attempt to “take the ball” of the conversation regarding youth ministry praxis to another realm. I deeply desire to put some “fuel on the fire” and to contribute to what is occurring across churches and programs throughout the United States, Canada, and other countries that are facing similar matters.