The relationship between transformational leadership in youth ministry and faith maturity of freshmen college students
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Church work with youth.
Church work with teenagers.
Christian college students -- Religious life.
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It has been determined that faith maturity is an essential part of what youth ministry leaders seek to accomplish in their work with adolescents. Research has proven that adult leaders do have a substantial degree of influence on adolescents and their development including their faith formation. Additionally, James McGregor Burns in his influential works introduces transformational leadership theory which seeks to transform followers to new heights of moral commitments and motivation. The purpose of this study is to analyze the relationship between transformational leadership in youth ministry and the faith maturity of freshmen college students. Data for this study was gathered using two instruments, the Faith Maturity Scale, produced by Search Institute and the Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire, copyrighted by Mind Garden Incorporated. First year freshmen college students enrolled in the University 101 course at Charleston Southern University were asked to complete the both the surveys. The Faith Maturity Scale was utilized to assess their own faith maturity level, which classified them as either having an underdeveloped faith, a horizontal faith, a vertical faith or an integrated faith. The Multi-Factor Leadership Questionnaire was used for the student to assess the presence of transformational leadership among their youth ministry leader or leaders. The data indicated that the majority of respondents indicated that they had a transformational leader within their youth ministry program. Of the five factors of transformational leadership idealized influence-behavior was found to be the highest scored and intellectual stimulation was determined to be lowest scored among the youth ministry leadership examined. The findings also indicated that 25% of students surveyed had an integrated faith, 48% had a vertical faith, .05% had a horizontal faith and finally 25% were found to have a underdeveloped faith. Further, it was found that there was no statistically significant relationship between the faith maturity scale score of the first year freshmen college student and the presence of a transformational leader within a youth ministry program. The study does show that this kind of leadership has an important presence within youth ministry programs and has a positive influence on the lives of the adolescents who are involved in Christian youth ministry programs.