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Emerging Adults. Who? When? Where ? Why ? So What?. Jerry Beavers P resbyterian A ssociation of C ollegiate and H igher E ducation M inistries www.pachem.org / www.ukirk.org. OUTLINE : What’s Ahead…. Who are Emerging Adults?

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Emerging Adults


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    1. Emerging Adults Who? When? Where?Why? So What? Jerry BeaversPresbyterian Association of Collegiate and Higher Education Ministrieswww.pachem.org / www.ukirk.org

    2. OUTLINE : What’s Ahead….. Who are Emerging Adults? Why they are different from previous generations (and why that is important). Where are Emerging Adults?Why they aren’t they in church or campus ministry. How can we reach Emerging Adults? Strategies for reaching them. Slides at: http://tinyurl.com/emergingadults

    3. Reaching this Generation Requires A New Way of Thinking Doing College Ministry Requires A New Way of Thinking Sustaining a College Ministry Requires A New Way of Thinking

    4. Reaching this Generation Requires A New Way of ThinkingHow are they different?

    5. How Do We Describe That Period of Time Between Childhood and Adulthood?

    6. Child Adult Dependent Independent Discovering Career Societal Role

    7. Child Adolescent Adult Dependent Growing Up Independent Live at home Live on Own Discovering Career Societal Role

    8. Child Adolescent Adult Dependent Growing Up Independent Live at home Live on Own Discovering Career Societal Role 1900s – “Young People” 1940s - “Teenagers”

    9. What does Adulthood mean?Significant Changes in the Last 50 years • Expansion of higher education • Delayed age of first marriage and childbirth • Accessible Contraceptives • Options for Women • Macro-economic changes • Parental Support • Technological Amplification • Influence of postmodern relativism and skepticism

    10. Child Adolescent Adult Dependent Growing Up Independent Live at home Live on Own Discovering Career Societal Role

    11. Child Adolescent Emerging Adult Adult Dependent Growing Up In-between Independent Live at home Live on Own Discovering Career Societal Role Emerging Adults ≡In-Between Adolescence and Young Adulthood Ages 18 - 29

    12. When do you become an Adult? Historically Specific EventsFinished EducationMarriage leaving parent’s house living with someone outside your family having sexParenthood For Emerging Adults ProcessBeing Self-sufficient Taking responsibility for yourself, Making independent decisions Becoming financially independent

    13. Emerging Adulthood is an Age of • identity exploration. Young people are deciding who they are and what they want out of work, school and love. • instability. The post-high school years are marked by repeated residence changes, as young people either go to college or live with friends or a romantic partner. • self-focus. Freed of the parent- and society-directed routine of school, young people try to decide what they want to do, where they want to go and who they want to be with. • in between. Many emerging adults say they are taking responsibility for themselves, but still do not completely feel like an adult. • possibilities. Optimism reigns. Most emerging adults believe they have good chances of living "better than their parents did," and even if their parents divorced, they believe they'll find a lifelong soul mate. Jeffrey Arnett

    14. Who Are Young Adults? • In the Library • In College • In Church • Developmental Life Stage Young Adults Are NOT Emerging Adults

    15. Who Are the Current Emerging Adults? The Millennial Generation born after ~ 1985

    16. Millennial Generation Core Traits • Special Neil and Strauss

    17. Millennial Generation Core Traits • Special • Sheltered Neil and Strauss

    18. Millennial Generation Core Traits • Special • Sheltered • Confident Neil and Strauss

    19. Millennial Generation Core Traits • Special • Sheltered • Confident • Team Oriented Neil and Strauss

    20. Millennial Generation Core Traits • Special • Sheltered • Confident • Team Oriented • Conventional Neil and Strauss

    21. Millennial Generation Core Traits • Special • Sheltered • Confident • Team Oriented • Conventional • Pressured Neil and Strauss

    22. Millennial Generation Core Traits • Special • Sheltered • Confident • Team Oriented • Conventional • Pressured • Connected Neil and Strauss

    23. Emerging Adults ≡In-Between Adolescence and Young Adulthood, ages 18 - 29 Characteristics of this PeriodIn-betweenExploration Instability Self-focus Sense of Possibilities

    24. This Is Not Your Mother’s College • Individualistic • Immediate • Competition? • Catering • Parental Involvement • Freedom • Communication

    25. Religious Characteristicsof the Millennial Generation of Emerging Adults

    26. Religious Characteristics of Emerging Adults A Congregation of One Authority is individualistic Pick and Choose Church is for moral education Behavior-focused Moralistic Therapeutic Deism Skepticism of Religious Institutions Evidence is Truth Exploration / Keeping Options Open

    27. Major Types of Emerging Adult Response to Religion 1. Committed Traditionalists (15%) - raised in religious traditional faiths, a lot of evangelical protestants and LDS – they embrace tradition and trying to follow through. 2. Selective Adherents (30%) - basically understand themselves to be religious, value it, believe some of it, practice to some extent, but highly selective (can be broken down into those who feel guilty about selectivity and those who don’t, about 50/50 - i.e.: I know I should go to church, or shouldn’t live with a boyfriend or girlfriend) 3. Spiritually Open (15%) - a lot come from not religious or borderline religious backgrounds, not pursuing religion, but open to it - I bet there is a lot more I have to learn about a higher power, etc. but not actually trying to deal with that yet.

    28. Major Types of Emerging Adult Response to Religion 4. Religiously Indifferent (25%) - just don’t care - will talk about it, but it doesn’t matter. 5. Religiously disconnected (5%) - not hostile, just don’t know – “I know it’s out there, just don’t really know anything about it.” 6. Irreligious (10%) - [this category wasn’t present in the teen study] - has decided that religion is BS, idiotic, etc. and are actively critical, skeptical, and make fun of it.

    29. Major Types of ER Response to Religion

    30. Major Types of ER Response to Religion 40% are neither Committed to Nor Open to Mainstream Religious Institutions

    31. Major Types of ER Response to Religion 60% are either Committed to Or Knowledgeable About Mainstream Religious Institutions

    32. Myths of Emerging Adult Spirituality

    33. Myth #1 They Drop Out During College, But Return to the Church When They Have Children

    34. Myth #2 College Erodes Their Faith Black = Attending College Gray = Not Attending College

    35. Myth #3 They are Spiritual But Not Religious Only 7% of Emerging Adults have high internal values of faith (spirituality) and low external value of faith and practices (religion) . Most are congruent. In addition, only 7% who were consistent high as teens dropped external but maintained high internal as Emerging Adults. Smith (NYSR)

    36. Identity Lockbox 85-90% of First Years make no effort to explore their religious identity. Those that do: a) future intelligentsia—aspiring thinkers and leaders of the academy and social sciences (1%) b) religious skeptics and atheists —those who think religion prevents the achievement of social justice and equity (1-2%)c) religious emissaries who engage their faith with the world. (10-15%, most often found in religious schools)

    37. Spiritual but Not Religious How question is framed? “Spiritual But Not Religious” implies that religious practices are latent – they will return Data doesn’t support either implication Spiritual and Religious Congruency Substituting religious practices Trajectories

    38. Myth #4 They are Rebelling 65 -85% of American teenagers do not have negative views of religion; in fact, they have an openness and curiosity about religion. They tend to reflect the religious beliefs and traditions of their parents and are not particularly interested in rebelling or seeking alternate religious paths. This emphasizes again the importance of adults. But what about worship differences?

    39. “Emerging Adult Participation in Congregations” Hackett, www.changingsea.org “Emerging Adult Participation in Congregations” Hackett, www.changingsea.org

    40. Doing College Ministry Requires a New Way of Thinking From Program to PeopleFrom Banquet to Cafeteria From Receiving to ReachingFrom Camp to Bridge From Youth Group to Worshiping Community

    41. College Ministry as College Mission

    42. Ministry Helps Emerging Adults Own your niche Transparency, humility, integrity Connect with faith community adults Influence of (Helicopter) Parents Authenticity over Orthodoxy Questions over Dogma / Life Issues Concern for Others – Service and Reflection In religious education, you can never aim too low.

    43. Ministry Helps Emerging Adults Own your niche Transparency, humility, integrity Connect with faith community adults !!!! Influence of (Helicopter) Parents Authenticity over Orthodoxy Questions over Dogma / Life Issues Concern for Others – Service and Reflection In religious education, you can never aim too low.

    44. Sustaining a College Ministry Requires a New Way of Thinking The Campus Ministry as a Missionary Outreach of the Congregation

    45. A Congregation Supports Missions • The Congregation Reaches Out Beyond Themselves • Congregation provides resources • Congregation works to support the Mission • Representative (missionary) uses resources on site • Missionary reports on use of resources • Expected Outcomes • No direct physical connection • Spiritual enrichment • Education Ministry to Students in Kenya

    46. A Congregation Supports Missions • The Congregation Reaches Out Beyond Themselves • Congregation provides resources • Congregation works to support the Mission. • Representative (missionary) uses resources on site • Missionary reports on use of resources • Expected Outcomes • No direct physical connection • Spiritual enrichment • Education Ministry to Students in College