Exploring the Benefits of Group Theological Refection within Youth Ministry

This Study explores the benefits of small groups of volunteer youth leaders engaging in Theological Reflection (TR) together. The first chapter begins by setting the context TR in a Youth Ministry setting including defining TR, identifying key existing research and the impact of the group work setting.
In the next chapter, action research is highlighted as the primary research methodology. This research aimed to about change in the participants and in the wider practices of youth ministers in Ireland. It used qualitative research methods to explore the thoughts, feelings and behaviours of participants as they engaged in models of group TR.
The next chapter outlines the findings of the action research by looking at a number of different areas including: an overview of the groups involved and their response to the processes; an exploration of the development of the individual participants; the development of the group as a whole and the impact of the group work process; and participants’ attitudes towards TR and their future engagement.

Finally, the study concludes by identifying key learning and recommendations to those working in Youth Ministry seeking to engage with TR in a meaningful way with their colleagues. This section also contains recommendations for future research in the area. The study supports the link between effective team youth ministry and engagement in Theological Reflection.

Jim McDowell

Jim graduated from CYM in 2014 with a MA in Reflective Practice and Applied Theology.