This research aims to construct a strategy for the support and care of students coping with entrance examination and academic stress within the South Korean Youth Ministry, through a relationship-oriented care ministry. For the purpose of this research, the researcher has adopted Osmer's practical theological methodology, and has used focus group interviews, in the context of qualitative research.
The structure of this research is as follows:
Chapter 1 defines essential concepts: it begins with a statement of the problem; it follows with the formulation of the problem and its purpose, the hypothesis of this dissertation, an outline of its structure, a description of various pertinent concepts and the various research tasks.
Chapter 2 looks at university entrance examinations and their role in the education system in South Korean society, and the entrance examination stress that high school students are experiencing as a result of the pressure placed on them by the pressure to excel in the entrance examination. The chapter describes both young people in the local churches, and the life they are facing as a result of the pressure placed on them by entrance examinations in the context of Korean society.
Chapter 3 describes the concept and characteristics of young people, and also provides a general theological foundation for an understanding of the youth ministry in the local church. The chapter also deals with the relationship between caring for and supporting young people, and the youth ministry, as part of the body of Christ, as it occurs in in the local church.
Chapter 4 strives to heed the voices of the young people in South Korean churches who are experiencing some sort of anxiety related to Entrance Examination Stress Syndrome, in order to ascertain precisely what is taking place. The focus group interview results indicate that young people's identities include a belief in being called by God to take the university entrance examination. This interpretation is from a reformed worldview perspective, and was identified by means of dialogue with the social support theory. As a new theological concept, the researcher also establishes the important role of the congregation that cultivates friendship and open channels of communication within its youth ministry, to establish the youths' identity as being called by God to the entrance examination.
Chapter 5 is a discussion of the pragmatic task, which is the last of the four tasks of practical theology presented by Osmer (2008): the process of strategic action. Here, the researcher has attempted to create strategies, based on the relationship-oriented care ministry, to support students facing entrance examinations. These strategies are based on the concept of youths' identity as involving being called by God, and the inclusive congregational approach presented by Nel (2000:77-98).