Creating Space for God in the Lives of Millennials by Leveraging Technology to Practice a Spiritual Discipline Modeled by Christ


Today’s Millennials, the first generation to reach their majority in this millennium, often compartmentalize their faith lives from their social and work lives. MidAmerica Nazarene University (MNU) offers a course in Spiritual Formation once each spring. The enrollment for this elective course ranges from twelve to eighteen students per class. Each undergraduate must take three general education courses that inform their faith: Old Testament Literature, New Testament Literature, and Christian Beliefs. However, simple math shows that approximately just over one thousand of MNU’s 1,037 undergraduates are unable to take Spiritual Formation—the course that forms their faith.

This study offered online delivery of spiritual disciplines, a small yet vital part of the Spiritual Formation course. The twelve disciplines featured in the study are disciplines that were evident in the life of Christ. The local context for this study was MNU. Because of their affinity for technology and social networking, the target population consisted of all millennial undergraduate students. The purpose of this six-week study of Millennials was to evaluate the effectiveness of how MNU undergraduates leveraged social networking and new media to establish and develop the daily practice of a spiritual discipline that Christ modeled.

The findings suggest that (1) the practice of spiritual disciplines can be propagated through the use of technology, (2) Millennials are not as dependent on technology as culture portrays them, (3) Millennials prefer immediacy and convenience in the technology they use, (4) they value face-to-face relationships, (5) social networking caused a halo effect on accountability, (6) the use of technology varied over the course of the study, and (7) technology doubly drove accountability.


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