Welcome to the New Year, 2021. We face the winds of health, economic, financial and political crises. We seem to lurch from one crisis to another. The disciples in the time of Jesus faced similar crises–status, occupation, ethnic bias, and psycho-social challenges. There was one element that sustained them, however, that of faith maturity. Various scholars and theorists have now proposed several crises periods that must be accomplished in the tweens, teens and into adulthood and beyond–Kohlberg (1958), Erikson(1968), Cross (1971), Marcia(1980), Holland (1993) and Helms (1995) among others. Identity is formed and matures when youth successfully negotiate these critical areas of development. Identity is best realized, HOWEVER, when the youth are able to integrate faith maturity processes with all the other areas of psycho-social, occupational-vocational, ego identity, racial-ethnic, and cultural (Lacy, 2012).
Faith maturity development remains the significant factor that lends color and robustness to the mix. It is critical that students be in an environment where this brew can consciously and deliberately be fostered through academics, service, positive customer experiences and branding, and the mentorship of church, school and home and leadership opportunities in Pathfinders, Adventist Youth, Junior Church, Sabbath School and then the Adventist school-house to pull together all the elements. It is not the person that gets the highest and best degrees, whatever that means, but the inspiring element of faith development that can energize the whole person. .This then is the distinguishing and differentiating essence of Christian Seventh-day Adventist education. The base begins in K-12-leadership training opportunities, work and service opportunities that leads to robust identity development.