Date of Award

February 2018

Access Restriction

Campus Access only Research Projects

Degree Name

Master of Arts



School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Karen Enriquez


We need young people, because without them the Catholic Church will have no future. Increases in disaffiliation are seen in different races, genders, generations and countries. Using the Pew Research Center and Forum data, and Richard Osmer’s four tasks of practical theology, this paper will study first who are the disaffiliates, nones, and deconverts and then why they left the church. The Christian Church is based on a community of faith and worship, with evangelization at its heart. Christians need to participate, and evangelize to fully live as Christians. We will review several solutions on how to attract people back into church life. In becoming ‘cultural missionaries’ we can connect with modern culture, and use contemporary approaches to make the voice of the Lord accessible and comprehensible to all people. Unless we truly welcome modern culture, the young, divorced and transgendered into all parts of the Church, we are doomed to become just an anachronistic cultural curiosity.