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                            The Lived Experience of Conversion in the Broader Context of Experience of Faith Formation: A Phenomenological Study of Third- and Greater-generation Seventh-day Adventist Young Adults
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Andrews University Andrews University

Digital Commons @ Andrews University Digital Commons @ Andrews University

Dissertations Graduate Research

2016

The Lived Experience of Conversion in the Broader Context of The Lived Experience of Conversion in the Broader Context of

Experience of Faith Formation: A Phenomenological Study of Experience of Faith Formation: A Phenomenological Study of

Third- and Greater-generation Seventh-day Adventist Young Adults Third- and Greater-generation Seventh-day Adventist Young Adults

Edyta Jankiewicz
Andrews University, [email protected]

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Jankiewicz, Edyta, "The Lived Experience of Conversion in the Broader Context of Experience of Faith
Formation: A Phenomenological Study of Third- and Greater-generation Seventh-day Adventist Young
Adults" (2016). Dissertations. 1607.
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Scripture as foundational to their faith; however, they also experienced faith formation in

the affective domain. This was experienced primarily as growth in relationship with God.

Furthermore, they experienced faith formation as integrating intellectual and affective

experiences because intellectual knowing enhanced affective experience; because

affective experiences confirmed intellectual beliefs; and because affective experiences

were evaluated in view of intellectual knowledge. They also experienced faith formation

in the behavioral sphere, primarily in their relationships, values and decision-making.

Finally, the young adults in this study experienced the forming of their faith in terms of a

choice in the intellectual domain, through the decision to believe; in the affective domain,

through the choice to see God in the events and circumstances of their lives; and in the

behavioral domain, through the freedom to choose how faith will form life.

Thus, for the young adults in this study, the essence of the experience of faith

formation has been of a dynamic process that has integrated the intellectual, experiential

and behavioral domains of life. This process, which has been facilitated by community,

has necessitated personal choice. It is within the context of the experience of faith

formation that the participants in this study experienced conversion. Thus, it is to a

description of their lived experience of conversion that we now turn.



Experience of Conversion

Analysis of the data corresponding to the lived experience of conversion resulted

in four major shared themes.

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Process

For the young adults in this study, conversion is not a single turning point.

Rather, their experience of conversion can be described as a gradual process that is

facilitated by multiple significant moments. Furthermore, rather than having a definite

beginning or ending, their experience of conversion is ongoing. Each of these sub-

themes will be described as part of the first theme, i.e., conversion as Process.


Not a single turning point

In contrast to the sudden conversion experiences that have been described in

earlier studies, the young adults in this study did not experience conversion as a “turning

point” that occurred at just one moment in time. When asked how they experienced

conversion, most participants appeared somewhat uncertain about how to phrase their

response, seeming almost apologetic that their experience was “not a one moment;” no

“dramatic moments;” no “individual time;” “no big things;” “no exciting transition point;”

“no one piece [that] was the magic moment;” no “specific time when I made a decision;”

no “key moment that was, like, wow!” Daniel, who up to this point had spoken very

articulately about his faith experiences, responded in this way:

For me, conversion, I don’t know [pauses]. There are instances where I felt that

God was closer, more distant, you know . . . I’m trying to think of portions where

I felt that I was converted, but I don’t know if I can [chuckles] . . . I don’t feel like

a had one moment where it was, like, this is it. I’ve had a few moments, you

know, here and there and stuff.



He went on to explain that “even though [he] believe[d] that conversion can be a point in

time to some people, as is evident in [the Apostle] Paul’s life,” this was not his

experience. Daniel’s uncertainty was mirrored in Joseph’s voice as he explained,

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267







VITA



Edyta Jankiewicz

10395 Range Line Rd.

Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Phone 269 473 1126



Education:

2010 - 2016 PhD (Religious Education)

SDA Theological Seminary, Andrews University,

Berrien Springs MI



2001 - 2005 MMin (Family Life)

Avondale College,

Cooranbong, Australia



1996 - 1998 MA (Religion) – Incomplete

SDA Theological Seminary, Andrews University,

Berrien Springs, MI



1983 - 1986 BASc (Physiotherapy)

South Australian Institute of Technology,

Adelaide, Australia



Professional Experience:


Fall 2012 - present Adjunct faculty, SDA Theological Seminary,

Andrews University, Berrien Springs MI



Sep. 1986 - Aug. 2000 Physical therapist



Publications:


2013 “Horace Bushnell: Guided by his Wesleyan Heritage.”

Co-authored with Darius Jankiewicz.

Wesleyan Theological Journal, Vol. 48, No. 2, Fall 2013

Page 283

268

2011 “Let the Little Children Come: Toward a Seventh-day Adventist

Theology of Childhood.” Co-authored with Darius Jankiewicz.

Andrews University Seminary Studies, 49 (2), Autumn 2011



2011 Review of Stonehouse, Catherine, and May, Scottie, Listening to

children on the spiritual journey: Guidance for those who teach and

nurture, Baker Academic, 2010.

Journal of Research in Christian Education, 20, 232-236, 2011.



2011 “Are children born sinners?” Memory, Meaning and Faith Blog,

May, 2011.



2010 “Ellen White and Family Life: My Journey.”

Adventist World: An International Paper for Seventh-day

Adventists, December 2010.

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