The changing face of U.S. higher education – from the Gates Foundation

Although Thien Chau and Danyelle Parrish were born worlds apart—Chau in Vietnam and Parrish just outside of New Orleans—they have arrived at similar places in their education. Both students don’t fit traditional categories of college-goers, and demonstrate how today’s colleges and universities need to adapt to fit the needs of learners with various backgrounds and needs.

Read the entire article here.

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From the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Here are some key points:

  • Diversity is now a fact of life in U.S. postsecondary education. There are more students of color, first-generation students, full-time workers, students from low-income backgrounds and those who must balance studies with parenting.
  • The academic world can be a maze for students with no parents or siblings to provide guidance from past experience.
  • A significant percentage of students return to school years later to seek a credential or degree. And nationwide, an estimated 28 percent of full-time students at four-year degree programs have children.

What does this mean for those who minister to emerging adults both on college campuses – and off?

Campus and church ministries who cater to the “traditional” college student, may need to broaden their vision to reach those who do not fit the mold.

If you want to become essential to their lives, provide emerging adults with vocational and educational guidance and resources.

The world is changing, and we must change and adapt if we are to successfully met the needs of emerging adults.  If we can help your community understand emerging adults, contact us at gdavid@earesources.org.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit that seeks to equip parents and churches to meet the needs of emerging adults.

 

The Gap Year(s): Why I’m Glad I Took Time Off From Higher Education

When I graduated from college, countless classmates were headed to grad school — M.Eds, MDs, MBAs, MAs, MDivs, you name it. Well-intentioned professors urged me to do the same. I wanted to be a people-pleaser (and certainly a professor-pleaser!) as always…but just couldn’t shake the feeling that for some reason I wasn’t ready yet.

Kate's pic_graduationEmbarrassed, I moved home to my parents’ house (and later to a house with a few friends my age), got a job, and settled in.

It’s been 2 years since I wore a cap and gown. And each year, especially in the springtime, Facebook fills up with giddy grad school acceptance posts. There’s pictures of college hoodies and white coat ceremonies, comments of new seasons and new opportunities.

First, I feel happy for them; I really do. Then, the social comparison sets in, and I feel jealous, less-accomplished, one-step-behind. And, finally, when I think about it? Grateful. Grateful for the time I’ve had to live and work and learn some things like this:

  1. Being comfortable working with people significantly older than myself. In college, I worked, lived, and ate almost entirely with people approximately my age. But that’s not how most of the world operates. Now, I love sharing ideas and projects and meals with people in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, and on upwards.
  2. Keeping up with cooking, cleaning, and grocery shopping. In college, I had just half a dorm room to take care of and a meal plan to nourish me. Again, that’s not how most of the world operates. But now that I’ve taken the time to practice, I’m grateful to be able to do these “adult” things at least semi-decently.
  3. Writing not only essays but cover letters, resumes, professional emails, newsletters, thank you letters, grants, and the list goes on. I know some of these things were taught at my university’s Career Center. And probably in the Business school. But nothing beats experience (especially since, as an English major, most of my prior experience was with William Wordsworth and T.S. Eliot). Now, I love being able to confidently tell potential employers that, whatever type of writing they need done, I can probably figure it out.
  4. Having fun. Yes, it may be backwards, but I’m a nerd and have learned how to have fun more after college than during it. In college, if a friend asked me to go on a walk just for fun, I’d nervously eye my to-do list and likely say no. Now, when a housemate asks me to sit on the porch and do nothing with her — nothing but sip our tea and talk and watch the sunset — I still have the to-do list but more likely say, “sure.” I love that doing nothing, which used to elicit a resounding “why would I do that?!” now elicits a resounding “sure, why not?!” This strikes me now as socially, spiritually, mentally, and physically healthy.
  5. Reading and writing for fun. By the end of college, poetry had lost its pizzazz and novels no longer seemed like a novel idea. They were assigned, analyzed, and amounted to a lot of work. Had I started grad school immediately, my reading and writing would have been burdensome from the get-go, which could easily have taken a toll on both my schoolwork and my mental health. Now, I love reading and writing more than ever.
  6. Focusing on what I should do and not being as distracted by what I could do. In college, I was a young arts & humanities major interested in lots of things. Ask me what I wanted to do professionally, and the answer got more and more muddled by the month. But, give me a job to do for a while, and the answers begin to settle. I’ve asked myself questions like “What is it that you can’t help but do? What is it you daydream about doing? What exactly could you see working on in-depth for a long while?” And I love that the answers have gotten clearer.

I’m sure this isn’t everyone’s experience of college and life-after-college. Plenty of people have practical experiences, fun, focus, and their own cooking and cleaning during college. And plenty of people struggle after college. But this has been my experience.

If you’re thinking about taking time off from higher education, I’d so strongly encourage you to do it. I never thought I’d say this but: I’m grateful I’ve done it.

This post originally appeared on juliapowersblog.com.

View More: http://kristianewebb.pass.us/julia-headshotsJulia Powers is Blog Developer at EA Resources. A writer and seminary student at Duke Divinity School, Julia enjoys contributing an emerging adult voice to EA Resources and blogging at her own site www.juliapowersblog.com.

From Washington Post – To attract young people to your church, you’ve got to be warm. Not cool.

I am thankful for the work and research that is happening at Fuller Youth Institute.  Here is an article promoting their up-coming book – Growing Young.  It is written by Kara Powell, Jake Mulder and Brad Griffin.

For our book “Growing Young,” we researched more than 250 congregations. When we spoke to more than 1,300 young churchgoers, ages 15 to 29, they told us what they want: authenticity and connection.

When we analyzed the terms that young adults used to describe the churches or parishes that they chose, we noticed repeated words:welcoming, accepting, belonging, authentic, hospitable and caring. We began to call this the “warmth cluster.”

Read the entire article here.

Young people sing and pray at Together 2016, a Christian revival in July on the Mall in Washington. (Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

 

If you have a heart for ministering to the needs of emerging adults, you should stay connected to what is happening at the Fuller Youth Institute.

I only have one comment about the article, and it is the picture which I assume was not picked by the authors.  Large Christian events are not what I would classify as the “Warm” sought out by the authors, but from my perspective would fall under the “Cool” method of doing ministry.

5 Important Talks to have with your High School Grad – from Huffington Post

There is so much that you want to say to your child in those final last days before dropping them off on campus.  When the time arrives, some parents respond by going into a last-minute cram session with their child while others are so overwhelmed with their own thoughts and emotions that they are left speechless.

  • What should you say?
  • What do you NOT say?

Here is an article from the Huffington Post that can equip parents for making sure that they have addressed some of the important issues.

The five conversations listed by Dr. Gail Gross are…

1.  Drugs and Alcohol

2.  Sex

3.  Consequences

4.  Money

5. Your support

If you want an article on any of these topics, click the link.

 

 

 

From Faith & Leadership — Teen’s online church draws young people from around the world

By Joely Johnson Mork, freelance writer and contributor at Faith & Leadership, a publication of Duke Divinity School

“Like many teenagers, Daniel Herron, 16, of Tacoma, Washington, has a busy life. He’s a member of the Sea Scouts, the nautical branch of the Boy Scouts of America. He serves on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Youth Philanthropy Board, helping to award thousands of dollars to local organizations. He’s active in his high school’s Bible study group.

And he’s also the founder and pastor of an online church that has attracted more than 4,500 members. Not a “pretend” or “make-believe” church, but a real — albeit virtual — church where teenagers from across the country and around the world gather to worship, pray and connect with one another.

Known as The Robloxian Christians, or TRC, this nontraditional congregation has important lessons for those who lead traditional churches and church institutions, theologians and youth ministers say.”

Click here for full article — it’s worth the read!

Included are a few reflection questions regarding the nature of an online church, definitions of church, the needs of young people, and the abilities of young people:

  • What does The Robloxian Christians tell us about the capacity of young people for imaginative leadership in the church?
  • What spiritual and faith formation needs of young people is TRC meeting that “real world” churches are not?
  • How do “bricks and mortar” church experiences inform the practices of The Robloxian Christians? Why are “brick and mortar” churches still an important part of Daniel and other members’ lives?
  • Is TRC a “real” church? What makes a church “real”? What are the essentials of church?
  • Are the children and youth in your church agents of ministry, or objects of ministry? What is the difference?
  • How can your church provide a safe space for unchurched people to ask questions and have dialogue?

Let us know what you think!

Youth Pastor Promoted To Real Pastor

SAN ANTONIO, TX—After years of toiling in a not-quite-a-real-pastor job, local youth pastor Chet Walden received an offer for a real pastor position Thursday, sources confirmed. According to reports, Walden immediately accepted the offer without reading any of the details, commenting to friends that he had “arrived” and his time of pre-pastorate testing was at an end.

Another funny article from the Babylon Bee – Click Here!

I cannot tell you how many times people would ask me when I was planning on becoming a “real” pastor.  Other friends were more careful, and would “encourage” me by stating how they could see me becoming a senior pastor some day.

While my faith in God and passion for the church remain, my life experience and view of scripture has led me away from working as a “pastor,” so I guess that I never was a “real” pastor.

But I share this for all my friends who work in youth and young adult ministry, may it cause you great joy and laughter.David - Prof 2

Dr. G. David Boyd is the managing director of EA Resources, and the Founder of the EA Network.

The Forgotten Half: Reaching those who don’t attend college.

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Here is an article that I wrote that was recently featured on the Youth Specialties Blog.  If you have a passion to change the future of the church, join me in conversations about emerging adults at the National Youth Workers Conference.

In the United States, the societal expectation to attend college can be intense.  Any graduating senior can attest to the pressure.  In the fall of 2015, approximately 20.2 million students attended American colleges and universities.  (SOURCE)

BUT IS EVERYBODY REALLY ATTENDING COLLEGE?

The Forgotten Half of emerging adults refers to emerging adults who do not go to college.  Jeffrey Arnett used this expression during an address at the 2015 Conference of the SOCIETY FOR THE STUDY OF EMERGING ADULTHOOD).  Although college remains a popular choice, many emerging adults do not attend, and are often forgotten in research conducted on college campuses.

Read the rest of the article – HERE!

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit that seeks to equip parents and churches to meet the needs of emerging adults.  If he can help your community, contact him at gdavid@earesources.org.

Glorifying God as a Student – By Amanda Babcock

As students head back to school and we pray for emerging adults particularly during their #first2weeks on college campuses, it can be helpful to remember that being a student is so much more than learning to read and write, decipher and discuss, calculate or conjugate. Being a student involves learning to glorify God.

Emerging adult Amanda Babcock has written a reflection on how to glorify God as a student.

“There are so many days that I barely even have time to eat or sleep. Being a college student is a full-time job. And then everyone expects you to also have a job to afford living, be involved, sleep, eat, and exercise. It’s basically an impossible task. I’ve been prone to complain about how much work I have, or how stressed I am, or how overwhelmed I am. But the last few days, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can use everything I do to glorify God.

In fact, it’s pretty simple. I realized that putting my best foot forward in all I do brings glory to God.

Click here for full article on using our gifts and talents, classes and callings, to glorify God.


 

Amanda BabcockAmanda Noelle Babcock is a student at Bethel University studying Environmental Science in hopes of doing Environmental Restoration with missions. She loves the outdoors, being Minnesotan, and everything about camp – including flannels, chacos, and sharing the gospel. To read more by Amanda, check out her blog.

New Research Projects regarding Science and Emerging Adults – Coming from Fuller

I have always had a love/hate relationship with science.  I still remember the day in 3rd grade when I called a frog a toad in class. Science is also the only class in high school where I completely bombed a test.  Yet, I did love my high school science teacher, and I am thankful for how she daily wrestled with issues of science and faith.

When I saw the news earlier this year that Fuller Institute was doing research on the lives of Emerging Adults – I became ecstatic.

There are three major reasons why this new research excites me:

1.  The use of the word emerging adult shows an awareness and acceptance of how the human life phase has shifted.

2.  Research is being done to help us understand the Millennial Exodus, and how the church can respond.

3.  Fuller Youth Institute has recently launched some great material – including Stick Faith.  (Which has brought attention to the question – Why do some emerging adults stick with their religious faith while others leave?)

Here are some great lines from the announcement:

  • Nonetheless, engaging the Gospel with science is critical because, according to Barna’s David Kinnaman, one primary reason that one-third of 18-30 years olds are leaving the church is that it’s seen as “anti-science”.
  • Bring mainstream science to church, create communities that discuss the integration of faith and science, and there God will be revealed.

You can keep up with this research by checking out the STEAM website.  (STEAM – stands for Science and Technology for Emerging Adult Ministries.)

There is so much that we do not understand about emerging adults, and how their faith is changing individually during this life phase.  At EA Resources, it is our passion to encourage research, and provide resources to parents and churches who seek to minister to emerging adults.

 

 

 

Do we still believe in rape?

This news story has made me ask the question, “Do we still believe in rape?”

An 18-year-old accused of sexually assaulting two high school classmates is facing two years of probation despite the district attorney’s office’s recommendation of two years in prison.

PHOTO: Pictured is David Becker, 18, of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.David Becker, of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, was charged with two counts of rape and one count of indecent assault and battery, according to court documents, after an April 2 incident in which he was accused of digitally penetrating two girls who were sleeping in a bed after a house party. Becker and the alleged victims, who are not being identified, were all seniors.

You can read the rest of the article here!

Image result for brock turnerI hope that our nation still believes in rape.  Several high profile rape cases among young adults have received alarmingly light sentences.  A Stanford University student named Brock Turner received a six month sentence for what his father described as “twenty minutes of action” when he rapped an unconscious woman.

In David Becker’s case, the judge stated that “The goal of this sentence was not to impede this individual from graduating high school and to go onto the next step of his life, which is a college experience.”  The judge’s statement makes the assumption that all emerging adults go to college, and that college is an inherent right to young adults.

But the judge also believes that this sex offender has the right to a “normal” life.

I do believe in forgiveness and restoration.  However, I also believe in the importance of personal autonomy – which is the ability to make decisions and deal with the consequences.

Whatever lies ahead in this young man’s future (and I do hope it includes forgiveness and restoration), I do not imagine that this young man’s future will remain unaffected by his crime.  In spite of his light sentence, the social and psychological affects to his crimes will follow him for many years.

As I reflect on the judge’s assumptions and perspective, I see another viewpoint.

I am wondering about the victims.  Do his victims have the right to a “normal” life?  How will these events affect their college experience?

I am wondering about the growing number of victims from sexual crimes that fill our schools, homes, and churches.  I wonder if their stories are slowly being altered.  I wonder if their cries are being muffled.  I wonder if their wounds are bleeding anew.

I hope that our society can still see the benefit of morality.  In a world where sexual bondage is presented as appropriate (50 Shades of Gray) and where we promote and glorify the connection between sex and power, I hope we can find the God-ordained purpose of sex.

I hope that in this darkness, we can remove sex from the obsession it has become in our society and realize that sex will never fulfill us.

I hope that we still believe in rape.

 

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the manager of EA Resources, and the Founder of the EA Network, a network for those who minister to emerging adults.