Rawlings School of Divinity


Doctor of Philosophy


Gary J. Bredfeldt


generational theory, learning styles, youth ministry, teaching methods


Educational Leadership | Educational Methods


The evolution of time and approaches to addressing the learning styles of students were influential in designing and redesigning educational programming to meet the needs of each generation. The theory that guided this study was the Strauss-Howe generational theory which proposes that each generation has a personality and characteristics that shape how they learn. However, literature described current-day youth congregants as being taught with the same or very similar teaching methods as those that were implemented to teach previous generations. The purpose of this quantitative descriptive study was to discover the teaching methods being used by youth ministry leaders and teachers that serve Generation Alpha within Christian churches in Central Texas. Further, this study sought to determine if there was an association between the teaching methods being used and Generation Alpha learning styles as well as between those teaching methods and select church, survey participant, and youth group demographic variables. A researcher-designed online survey instrument was used. Invitations were electronically mailed to 342 Christian churches, comprised of 39 religious affiliations, in the three metropolitan areas of Central Texas. A sample of 24 youth leaders participated in the study. Results showed the five most commonly used teaching methods were service-learning, technology, student presentations, question-and-answer, and student peer teaching. An analysis map demonstrated that the most commonly used teaching methods accommodate Generation Alpha learning styles. There was a statistically significant association between the commonly used teaching methods and certain church, survey participant, and youth group demographic variables.