Date of Award
Doctor of Ministry (DMin)
Edward Donalson III
Rebecca Jeney Park-Hearn
Paul Blankenship and Vanya Stier-Van Essen
This doctoral project addresses the phenomenon of faith deconstruction and explores the experiences of millennials in the United States who have left the evangelical church and have found a new spiritual home in alternative forms of spiritual belief and expression, whether inside or outside of Christianity. This phenomenological study seeks to identify the qualities, perspectives, and experiences shared by millennials who have left their evangelical faith of origin and have found new spiritual homes and identities. To support this research, the philosophical concept of deconstruction as introduced by Jacques Derrida is used as a framework along with spiritual development theory from Richard Rohr, psychological development theory from Carl Jung, and mystical and process theological perspectives. Data were collected through interviews and the reading of memoirs as artifacts of this phenomenon and this study’s focus within it to reveal central themes identifiable in the shared experiences of research subjects. Once data collection was complete, the role of reconstruction within deconstruction was then explored and discernible guideposts for reconstructing spiritual identity and beliefs were identified. This research is conducted for the benefit of spiritual directors and companions offering soul care to seekers in faith deconstruction as well individuals navigating this experience independently in order to cultivate an imagination for the many ways seekers who desire continued spiritual engagement experience the Divine and find new meaning after leaving the evangelical church.
Ellman, Lacy Clark, "Home by Another Way: The Possibility of Reconstructing Spiritual Identity Within the Deconstruction of Millennial Exvangelical Faith" (2022). Doctor of Ministry Doctoral Projects. 5.