On May 18, 2013, I graduated from Lincoln Christian Seminary (at Lincoln Christian University) with my Master of Arts degree in General Ministry with a focus in Youth Ministry and Counseling. In order to complete my degree, I was tasked with writing a thesis. Below is the main idea, a periodic log of my progress, and a list of the sources used in my research. If you would like read the entire paper, let me know, and I can send you a PDF.

The Main Idea:

The main idea behind my M.A. thesis is mentoring — specifically adult-to-teen mentoring. My goal is to prove its importance (necessity?) in a church’s ministry to teens. I looked into how the church ministers to teens, with the underlining idea that we should make mentoring the groundwork of the ministry. I talked with organizations like “Big Brothers Big Sisters” and “The Mentoring Project,” as they are two of the top mentoring organizations in the country. In the end, I learned a great deal about mentoring from the Bible, secular culture, and church practices. I also formed a solid groundwork for mentoring within the modern church. In fact, my original beliefs were changed a bit, as I learned that while mentoring is incredibly important, experts say an official mentoring ministry is suggested to run alongside other efforts to minister to teens. Nonetheless, I also learned that the concepts of mentoring are the best way to disciple teenagers. Below the “progress updates” section is the full list of resources I used for my research.

Progress Updates (newest posts at the bottom of list):
(Last update: May 21, 2013)
*I apologize for not time/date stamping the older updates.

  • The majority of my research is complete. I am still waiting to hear back from 2 mentoring organizations.
  • I am working on setting up interviews with Big Brothers Big Sisters and The Mentoring Project.
  • I have completed my thesis proposal, only to find that I have started off incorrectly. I am in the process of rewriting the proposal.
  • I have rewritten the proposal and awaiting my advisor’s comments.
  • My proposal was approved! I received some pointers, and I have been given the green light to work on my first chapter.
  • I sent in the first draft of my first chapter and waiting to hear back from my advisor.
  • I am currently working on my second chapter.
  • I sent in the first draft of my second chapter and now waiting to hear back from my advisor on it, as well.
  • I did an e-mail interview with Big Brothers Big Sisters and gained a TON of new research from both their website and mentor.org.
  • I am about half-way through the research needed for my third chapter. I hope to start writing soon, and it looks like I am still on pace to finish it by the end of March.
  • I started my third chapter, but I was a bit confused on the format, so I am waiting to discuss the situation with my advisor, who is also supposed to return my first two chapters soon.
  • I am approximately halfway through writing my third chapter.
  • Good news and bad news: I got my first two chapters returned, and I only have a few things to correct and expand upon. The bad news is that I was just informed that I must change my writing style/format to Chicago/Turabian instead of MLA. This will mainly affect my citation style and bibliography format.
  • Just finished updating my Works Cited (MLA) to a Bibliography (Chicago). Thankful that it was not too difficult. Now to go back and edit my first two chapters, putting in some footnotes and other recommendations from my advisor.
  • Sent in the second draft of chapter 1 with a ton of new footnote citations. Beginning to work on the second draft of chapter 2.
  • I finished the second draft of chapter 2, fixed a few things I noticed I mixed up in the second draft of chapter 1, and sent them both to my advisor. Now, back to chapter 3, switching over my MLA citations for Turabian, and then finishing it.
  • So… Good news bad news. I was informed that my deadline is now earlier than originally planned. Basically, the next 2 weeks of my life are basically going to be filled with thesis, thesis, and more thesis. However, I will be done earlier than planned.
  • Chapter 3 is done and sent off to my advisor!! Wow… I’m not going to get much sleep “tonight.” (4:15 AM on 3/24/13)
  • I am currently on the sixth page of chapter 4, with the goal of finishing by this weekend. (10:21 PM on 3/27/13)
  • Just started the eighth page of chapter 4. I’m on a good pace, so it is time for bed. (12:38 AM on 3/28/13)
  • Starting the tenth page for chapter 4. Getting tired, so I think I’ll call it a night, especially since I’ve got most of tomorrow to work on it. (12:07 AM on 3/29/13)
  • I just finished chapter 4 and sent it in to my advisor. (8:30 PM on 3/29)
  • After a couple days off to rest and serve at RCC for our Easter festivities, I’m back to writing. Currently on the second page of chapter 5, the final chapter. (4:25 PM on 4/1/13)
  • I’m on page 9 of my final chapter. Time for bed soon. (2:40 AM on 4/2/13)
  • I’m on page 11 of my final chapter, with just one section left to write, before going back for clean-ups and proofreading! (5:50 PM on 4/2/13)
  • I just sent off my final chapter (5) to my advisor! Now, I wait to hear back from him on re-writes, edits, and formatting before I start to put it all together in one document, add my updated table of contents, write a preface and abstract, and include anything else that might be missing. (10:20 PM on 4/2/13)
  • After having a couple friends proofread my final document, I have compiled all chapters into the final format, and I have added the table of contents, preface, abstract, appendix, and bibliography. I just sent it off to my advisor, and I am hoping to hear back from him soon. (2:35 PM on 4/9/13)
  • I received some minor edits from my advisor on late Friday evening, and I plan to start completing those edits tonight, with the goal of finishing them and turning in the final product by Wednesday. (7:50 PM on 4/29/13)
  • All edits are done (except a couple tiny things I had questions about), page numbers added, and just emailed… all 99 pages of it. Feeling good! (9:35 PM on 5/1/13)
  • I just heard back that my second reader found a couple VERY small things I needed to correct (capitalization, one misspelled quote, and a 2-sentence paragraph), so I fixed those things and sent it back in. I think this might be it! (11:45 PM on 5/5/13)
  • I graduated on May 18, 2013, with my M.A. in General Ministry, with a focus in youth ministry/counseling! Praise God!!

Research Bibliography: