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Qualitative Research Key Learnings, Including a Basic and Hopeful Discovery!

We’re excited to share with you the key learnings from The Confirmation Project’s qualitative research! The most basic, and hopeful, discovery was that youth confirmation (and equivalent practices) matters and is thriving and resilient in a wide range of settings across the church! This is particularly good news for the denominations in this project as each navigates the contemporary reality of declining religious affiliation in the United States. Drawing on a formation model, confirmation was about faith maturation, or faith connecting knowledge, belief, and action into one’s life and identity. Starting with the ideas youth have at least minimal familiarity with the Christian story, Christian practices, and the church’s theology, this maturation happened as young people engaged in learning activities within a community of faith and concluded with a personal commitment as part of a public rite.

Underneath this understanding, four dimensions surfaced regarding the design, leadership, ecology, and curriculum of confirmation. Check out the infographic below for a few more details about those four dimensions. Over the next four weeks, we will be exploring each of these dimensions more fully and looking at how they play out in particular congregational and camp contexts. Feel free to comment or ask questions as we go!

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