This essay reflects upon the application of a field of scholarly study—ascetic theology— to a ministerial context: youth ministry. The goal here is to offer an example of and reflections upon the application of a personal scholarly interest to ministerial contexts.

The essay begins with an assessment of the ministry context, illustrating the problems that demanded attention and solution. It then outlines the sociological and theological theories of asceticism that informed the proposed solution. Having discussed the foundational context and ideas, the next section describes in detail the proposed solution named "Haven" and elaborates on the ascetic theory behind it. The essay concludes with practical and theological reflection on "Haven" as an application of theoretical research to ministerial practice.

Author Bio

Brandon Pierce is married to Sierra (McDuff) Pierce (2006). They have two sons: Oliver (5) and Elliott (3). Brandon received a B.A. (Biblical Text) and M.A. (History and Theology) from Abilene Christian University in 2008 and 2012 respectively. He began full time-ministry as the youth and family minister at the University Avenue Church of Christ in Austin, Texas from 2010-2014. He has been the preaching minister at College Street Church of Christ in Junction, Texas since November 2014.

Brandon’s research interests include: primitivism in the history of Christianity, asceticism and monasticism, the work of Søren Kierkegaard, and the intersections of academia and ministry.