Abundant grace: The religious educational dimensions of peer ministry programs at Catholic colleges and universities

Helen M Wolf, Fordham University

Abstract

This qualitative study explores the religious educational dimensions of peer ministry programs at Catholic colleges and universities. Specifically, the role peer ministry plays in fostering the religious development of peer ministers, as well as the role student ministers play in the faith development of their peers, are examined. This project offers conceptual and theological foundations for peer ministry formation based on the theology of baptism and the universal call to holiness, incorporating an interfaith perspective that honors students of traditions other than Christianity. ^ The empirical research for this study has shown that peer ministry informs, forms, and can transform peer ministers, who, in turn, can contribute to the transformation of other students. The research also revealed several areas of concern that underscored the need for an intentional, religious educational plan for peer ministry programs which provides a guide for program administrators to facilitate a viable, religiously educative peer ministry program. The framework is grounded in pedagogical practices found in the Hebrew Scriptures: the Torah, Prophetic, and Wisdom models of education. ^ The guiding question of this study is: How can peer ministry contribute to a student's faith development as well as her/his abilities to integrate faith intentionally and reflectively into everyday life? A comprehensive overview of the faith dimensions of the developmental stages of adolescence and emerging adulthood, with a special focus on characteristics of the Millennial generation, is offered in light of the dynamics of religious development in the postmodern world. ^ The study's purpose is to expand current understandings of religious education to include an exploration of peer ministry as a setting for religious education. This study also provides original research that outlines the types of peer ministry programs that exist at today's Catholic colleges and universities. In addition, this study offers a unique religious educational framework for peer ministry programs with a comprehensive definition of peer ministry that address the roles student ministers and program administrators play in fostering religious understanding and lived faith in the postmodern era.^

Subject Area

Education, Religious

Recommended Citation

Wolf, Helen M, "Abundant grace: The religious educational dimensions of peer ministry programs at Catholic colleges and universities" (2014). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3630503.
https://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3630503

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