As research into character and virtue development (CVD) in adolescence grows, one dissemination medium with immense untapped potential is local Christian congregations. The overarching goal of the Character and Virtue Development in Youth Ministry (CVDYM) Project is to equip congregations with resources to better cultivate in adolescents key virtues and components of character. The proposed project will investigate how congregations can best foster CVD, how spirituality and religion influence CVDYM, and how the collective work of key leaders can unite congregations and motivate a focus on CVD across the US. Activities of the proposed project include (1) an investigation of how church and parachurch communities are forming the character and virtue of adolescents (particularly the virtues that emerged as most significant and noteworthy during the planning project: compassion, forgiveness, hope, humility, love, and perseverance); (2) an articulation of a framework for CVD that integrates discipleship and research in ministry, theology, and psychology; (3) contextualized resources that both respond to felt needs and develop virtue among adolescents; (4) piloting resources; and (5) broad dissemination. Concrete deliverables include (1) summaries, articles, and presentations reporting findings; (2) a literature review, summit, and framework attending to the synthesis of CVD and ministry contexts; (3) a suite of ministry resources including a major trade book, assessment, curriculum, and training produced by the Fuller Youth Institute and sub-grantees; (4) feedback on piloted resources; and (5) promotional materials related to resource dissemination including web-based and social media marketing and ministry conference presence. The CVDYM Project will mobilize church youth pastors, key clergy, and lay leadership to focus their teaching and relational capital on CVD, unleashing a new wave of empowered adolescents to impact churches, families, and communities nationwide.
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