The Christian Education Journal is a publication of Talbot School of Theology in cooperation with the North American Professors of Christian Education (you can find more info at www.biola.edu/cej). This particular volume came out in Spring 2008, and it focuses on a special “mini-theme” of college and young adult ministry, something I’m extremely interested in. In addition to the mini-theme, articles also covered topics like small groups, Christian education in Nigeria, technology, and a series of book reviews covering a range of subjects.
The reasoning for this mini-theme was the ever increasing gap between high school ministry and middle adult ministry… where did those in between go? Many congregations who focus on “families” often have huge problems addressing this transitional period… and although families are good, and a great thing to celebrate, in this day in age, we have to tweek our methods in order to meet the spiritual needs of this age group, 18-40. Many are staying single for longer periods of time, waiting to get married and waiting even longer to start a family. So, this article addresses the needs of this age group, as well as ideas on what the church and institutes of higher education can do to better meet this group.
Although I enjoyed and learned a lot from most of the articles, my favorite was the one entitled, “A Long Adolescence in a Lame Direction: What Should We Make of the Changing Structure and Meaning of Young Adulthood?” which was written by Chris Kiesling, a professor at Asbury Theological Seminary. He discusses such trends as focus on the individual, career changing, and distrust towards Scripture and the Church. Many can be quite critical and discouraging, but Kiesling remains positive that the Church can meet the needs of these young people, and gives some good suggestions on where that can begin.
For anyone who works with young adults and wants to stay up on the research going on in this area, this journal volume is a key one to check out.