As research into character and virtue development (or CVD) in adolescence grows, one dissemination portal with immense untapped potential is local congregations. The primary goal of the Character and Virtue Development in Youth Ministry (or CVDYM) Planning Project is to help Christian congregations better instill in young people key virtues and components of character. This project seeks to accomplish this goal by identifying the 3-8 virtues especially relevant for youth ministry today and generating commitment to CVD among scholars, practitioners, and national youth ministry leaders. Activities of the project include a thorough review of CVD research centering around areas requiring contextualization in order for interventions to be implemented in congregations, a two-day CVD summit uniting 20-30 church leaders and academics that will help reveal those virtues that are most needed in youth ministry contexts, and the creation of an RFP process for including 4-8 mid-sized organizations and/or church denominations in the next step of research and resource development. Concrete deliverables are an online summary of existing research, a 2-4 part article series summarizing the summit discussions and findings shared with 30,000 leaders connected to the Fuller Youth Institute network, and the development of a proposal for a subsequent project to launch and assess cohorts of CVD-focused churches, sharing findings through a major trade book. The CVDYM Planning Project lays the groundwork to mobilize church youth pastors to focus their teaching and relational capital on CVD, unleashing a new wave of empowered adolescents to impact churches, families, and communities nationwide.
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