Educational and religious sanctuary: The church and young adult identity negotiation

Karen P Byrnes, Fordham University


This is a qualitative study that employs a humanistic approach in its investigation of pastoral ministry and religious education of young adult Roman Catholics. Empirically based, it examines the experience of young adult leaders involved in peer pastoral ministry within the Church. It listens to their concerns about contemporary life-forms and examines the socio-cultural context in which they are immersed. The study explores the life-long and life-wide contexts in which human becoming takes place. Urie Bronfenbrenner's ecological theory of human development and Gabriel Moran's comprehensive theory of religious education form the framework for this research. The research pays attention to the ways in which religious education and religious practices assist today's young adults in the tasks of negotiating their life-world. In particular, it focuses on work and leisure, especially as these affect other forms of life. Finally, it uses the metaphor of "sanctuary" in order to suggest a context for how the Church should respond to the needs and concerns of this present-day generation of young adult Roman Catholics.

Subject Area

Religion|Adult education|Religious education

Recommended Citation

Byrnes, Karen P, "Educational and religious sanctuary: The church and young adult identity negotiation" (2014). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3630482.