Four Dimensions of Confirmation: Key Learnings from the Qualitative Research
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 surface regarding the design, leadership, ecology, and curriculum of confirmation.
Underneath these four dimensions (see infographic below) there are nine sub-themes that provide the threads that, when woven together, create the tapestry of confirmation as discovered by The Confirmation Project.
Other Findings from The Confirmation Project
- Most important to learn: death & resurrection, the Bible, God (Father/Creator, Son/Jesus/Redeemer, & Holy Spirit/Sanctifier)
- Least important to learn: abortion, gay marriage, church governance, drug abuse
- Parents and youth placed more importance on Lord’s Prayer than leaders. In follow-up, youth reported learning more about this topic than all others except the Bible and God.
- Leaders placed much more importance on the sacraments than both parents and youth. However, in the follow-up, communion and baptism were among the top 7 topics youth reported learning most about.
- Youth considered topics related to the immediacy of God as much more important than leaders or parents. These topics included miracles, experiences of / or encounter with God, and the meaning of life. However, youth reported that in learning about these topics they felt they were less important compared to other topics learned.