Doctoral Thesis

An introduction to The Aging Process and How That Affects Judgement and Choices in Youth Ministry

A study such as this is needed in the church for many reasons; one reason is to help minsters to students understand that student ministry does not need to be a stepping-stone to the position of lead pastor. There is a hope; that, in doing this project, the author can influence search committees to not eliminate a candidate merely on the matter of age.  Another reason for this project is to help Student Ministers gain a better understanding of the aging process in ministry, and better move through the maturing process, while continuing in ministry.  In the area of the Student Minister, this project endeavors to give knowledge to the aging process; and, with that knowledge, better prepare him for a long tenure, remaining in student ministry. Through surveys, and the author’s own experience, it is hoped that the reader will see that longevity is attainable in student ministry and potentially desirable for kingdom work. If longevity is the goal for a lead pastor, so also this goal should exist in the position of the Student Minister

The survey was limited to full or part-time student ministers in the Southern Baptist Convention.

With the results of the survey compared to the chart on aging characteristics, norms for each age bracket of the ten-year aging groups were written. From these norms, recommendations were written for Student Ministers, Search Committees, Personnel Committees and lead pastors of churches. These recommendations are meant to help each of these groups better understand a student minister as he goes through the aging process.

This 2017 has been said to outline a “necessary understanding of aging in youth ministry” that will allow youth ministers to “make it in youth ministry” long-term.

Hear what others have to say

Just finished interviewing one of my doctoral candidates during the defense of his dissertation. His paper was on Youth Pastors and Aging and it was absolutely fascinating. He’s blown up […]

Dan Burrell / Professor

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“The information and research that Rick Harris has compiled concerning the aging process and how it influences youth ministry was very informative and enlightening to me as a pastor. I […]

Wes Belcher / Pastor

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“I’ve had the privilege of being a student ministries pastor in the same church for the last 20 years.  Rick has beautifully captured the stages that a youth minister goes […]

Joel Wegner / Student Pastor, Colonial Baptist Church

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