Fuller Youth Institute Receives Grant to Research Character and Virtue in Young People

Fuller Youth Institute aims to provide relevant youth ministry resources to train young people in character development.

The John Templeton Foundation recently awarded Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) with a $234,797 grant to help Christian congregations better instill in young people key virtues and components of character.

As research into character and virtue development (or CVD) in adolescence grows, the local congregation is often an untapped resource to help disseminate this work. The Character and Virtue Development in Youth Ministry Planning Project (or CVDYM) seeks to help local congregations by providing relevant youth ministry resources to train young people in character development.

“The Fuller Youth Institute is excited about the opportunity to bring the wealth of character and virtue development research to the youth ministry world,” says Kara Powell, executive director of FYI. “Through this project, we hope to provide youth ministry leaders with resources that are both based on the highest-quality research and readily applicable to their ministry. We look forward to gathering with national and denominational leaders to hear how further research can be best conducted in their contexts and what resources are most needed by youth leaders.”

The CVDYM Planning Project will identify three to eight virtues especially relevant for youth ministry today and generate commitment to character and virtue development among practitioners and national youth ministry leaders. Activities of the project include:

• A thorough review of CVD research centering on 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 a Request for Proposals process for including four to eight mid-sized organizations and/or church denominations in the next step of research and resource development.

The CVDYM Planning Project will provide helpful resources for congregations based on the project’s outcomes, including an online summary of existing research, a two- to four-part article series summarizing the summit discussions and findings shared with leaders connected to the Fuller Youth Institute network, and the development of a proposal for a subsequent multiyear project to launch and assess cohorts of CVD-focused churches and create further resources.

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For more information, go to Fuller.edu.