THE SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT OF ADOLESCENTS IN THEIR EXPERIENCE OF DISCIPLESHIP

DIANA GENEVIVE A. HERHER
M.A. PSYCHOLOGY (JUNE 2012)
Department of Psychology

Abstract
This paper explores the spiritual development of adolescents in their experience of discipleship. Adolescents' understanding of sprituality and how they experience this in the discipleship process, as well as the factors that facilitate and impede their spiritual development in the process were looked into using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Six teenagers, all undergoing discipleship, were interviewed for the study. Using thematic analysis, the adolescents' understanding of their spirituality centered around four superordinate themes: exoteric practices, transcendence, relationship, and sense of purpose, while their discipleship experience emerged themes on nurturance, evangelistic orientation and morality checks. Factors that facilitate spiritual development are nurturance, exoteric religiosity, and transcendental experiences, while those that impede are life challenges, discouragement, negative feelings, and environmental influences. The adolescents generally have positive expectations in the process. A proposed conceptual model of spiritual development in discipleship is discussed at the end.

Keywords: spiritual development, adolescent spirituality, discipleship