Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Catechesis, Discipleship, Baptism, Teaching, Experiential, Mennonite
Christianity | Religion | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion
Conn, Jeremy T., "Catechesis: Returning to a Deeper Teaching that Produces Transformed Disciples for Christ" (2020). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 2699.
This Thesis Project addresses the lack of commitment found in many new and young believers today by providing a catechesis that engages individuals emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and experientially. After a thorough review of many biblical, historical and contemporary approaches to religious teaching, this study developed an intervention plan that merged five essential elements: (1) A culture that emphasizes the importance of baptism; (2) Adequate time to instill spiritual habits; (3) The utilization of multiple volunteers; (4) The incorporation of experiential learning; and (5) Content that encompasses both theology and discipleship. Qualitative research was conducted through the interviews of fourteen participants in the intervention plan who evaluated whether this longer, deeper, and more experiential catechesis led to a more committed walk with Christ. This data was compared to the interviews of ten seasoned pastors who helped identify a variety of essential elements and effective tools utilized within Mennonite catechisms. When analyzing the data, the research showed that when church leaders utilize the giftings of multiple volunteers to supplement the essential catechetical elements with experiential learning over the course of several months, it can lead to a deeply committed faith. This project provides insight into a catechesis that not only transforms lives but potentially will help shape the way discipleship and spiritual formation is conducted in the future at Martins Creek and beyond.