Rawlings School of Divinity
Doctor of Education in Christian Leadership (EdD)
Jerry Duane Hall
mentorship, leadership, training, development, youth ministers, and non-denominational
Crayton, Christina K., "An Exploration of Mentorship Among African American Male Youth Ministers Within the Nondenominational Church" (2023). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 4936.
African American male youth ministers in the non-denominational church, lack long-standing career mentorship. The thought which suggests the most significant reason this deficiency exists, is due to the non-denominational church being independent of a larger denominational structure. While individual mentorship is obtained based on personal preference, it only takes one person to imbed generational seeds of wisdom, faith, hope, and love into the hearts and minds of an individual or a generation (Quick, 2020). To determine if lifespan career mentorship is needed in African American male youth ministers in the non-denominational church, extensive research was conducted to understand what the church, Christian leadership, and career mentorship means for participants within the researched community. For instance, the goal of mentorship is to provide guidance to individuals, with the overall purpose of aiding in their personal development, spiritual growth, and uncultured skill set (University of Washington, 2022). Additionally, mentorship may continue long after an individual advances in their professional careers, as a great deal of learning occurs outside of the classroom (Smith, 2014). Author Mark Ward Sr. (2019) believes, “nearly two-thirds of Americans are involved in regular places of worship, making congregations by far the nation’s most common form of association, group, or club” (Ward, 2019, p. 120). Yet, when inadequate training and improper curriculum are exploited, a targeted population becomes withdrawn, further hindering essential elements of spiritual growth; baptism, temptation avoidance, mentorship, daily devotion, and regular church attendance (Stetzer & MacDonald, 2020). The purpose of this qualitative ethnographic research study was to explore if there is a need for lifespan career mentorship for African American male youth ministers in the non- denominational church. This study was sought, due to the concern which suggests, an absence in lifelong training and mentorship leads to increased doubt in Christian believers, a decreased presence in gaining non-believers, and stunted spiritual growth within congregants of the non- denominational church (Easum et al., 2006). At this stage in the proposed research application, non-denominationalism will be generally defined as churches which hold no affiliation to a larger denomination.