Teenagers: "Almost Christian"

Kara Powell | Aug 31, 2010

I took a bit of time off last week to enjoy some summer-end fun with family and when I checked my e.mail, several of you had sent me this CNN article highlighting the research of my friend, Kenda Creasy Dean at Princeton, as described in her new book, Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church. Kenda and I get to see each other about once a year at a conference and we make it a point to have dinner together. She is so fun and so wise!

I thought this statement in the article was especially interesting: “No matter their background, Dean says committed Christian teens share four traits: They have a personal story about God they can share, a deep connection to a faith community, a sense of purpose and a sense of hope about their future.”

This research echoes many of the themes in our FYI College Transition Project, namely the importance of connection to the faith community (aka church) as well as parents’ modeling AND parents’ self-descriptions of their faith and the impact their faith has had on their life.

Kara Powell

Dr. Kara Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary, and Fuller's Chief of Leadership Formation. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women You Should Know,” Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or coauthor of a number of books, including Growing Young, Growing With, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum. Kara lives with her husband Dave and their three children, Nathan, Krista, and Jessica, in Southern California.


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