Why Youth Ministry? A Beacon of Joy in the Midst of Suffering
June 5 - 9, 2017
This weeklong course is designed for pastors, seminarians, lay leaders, and youth ministers. Each night from 6:00 to 9pm, we will gather for evening fellowship dinners, lectures, and workshop breakouts to name and discuss some of the adversities our youth face every day. Throughout the week, we will learn with and from one another some concrete ways combat these adversities to better nurture the foundations of joyful, flourishing lives. Yale Divinity School’s standard charge for a Summer Study course is $400. The Youth Ministry Institute is providing each registrant for this program a $350 scholarship, reducing the tuition for each registrant to $50 for the entire weeklong program.
This event has rolling registration that continues during the week of the event. Learn more about the Adolescent Faith and Flourishing Program at the Yale Youth Ministry Institute.
Each Evening: 6:00pm - 9:00pm
MONDAY, JUNE 5 - Family Instability
Dr. Chap Clark and Dr. Sharon Ketcham will deliver a lecture entitled, “Incubators for Joy.” God created us to flourish. Yet family instability can rob many young people of joy-filled lives when unattended painful experiences give rise to sorrow-filled lives. We will explain how family instability disrupts adolescent joy and empower youth ministers to care for hurting teenagers by creating communities that act as “incubators” for the joy God intends. Dr. Clark is professor and Chair of the Youth, Family, and Culture Department in the School of Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary. Sharon Ketcham is Associate Professor of Theology and Christian Ministries at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. She earned her Ph.D. in theology and education from Boston College.
TUESDAY, JUNE 6 - Fear
The Rev. Dr. Gregory Ellison and Georgette Ledgister will deliver a lecture entitled, “Forging Fearless Communities: Seeing and Hearing to Overcome Fear.” Fear undercuts one’s ability to fully experience or express joy by muting and rendering one invisible. This session explores the four fundamental fears that inform generational divides and acts of exclusion. Participants will learn strategies to see every member of our communities of faith as whole persons. The Rev. Dr. Ellison is Associate Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Emory’s Candler School of Theology and founder of Fearless Dialogues. Georgette Ledgister is a PhD Candidate in religion, and social and theological ethics at Emory University.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7 - Depression & Suicide
Dr. Nadja Reilly, Dr. Sarah Farmer and Kate Hyde will deliver a lecture entitled, “Nurturing Joy: Supporting the Emotional Lives of Adolescents.” Youth ministers are critical sources of early identification and support for adolescents dealing with mental illness. Participants will learn about adolescent anxiety, depression, and suicidality along with concrete ways that a theological community might offer assistance. Dr. Reilly is the Associate Director of the Freedman Center for Child and Family Development at William James College. Dr. Farmer is on the faculty of Yale Divinity School as an Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. Kate Hyde is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in mental health psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and families.
THURSDAY, JUNE 8 - Sexual Dimensions
Dr. Kate Ott and Lorien Carter will deliver a lecture entitled, “Sex Ed in Church: Why and How?” Sexuality and relationships are a major aspect of teen development. Instead of embracing the joy that healthy, holistic and ethically and developmentally appropriate sexuality can manifest in our lives, many youth ministry programs treat any expression of sexuality as a risk to be suppressed. Together, we will address why and how to integrate sexuality education throughout the faith formation experiences of teens. Dr. Ott is Assistant Professor of Christian Social Ethics at Drew University Theological School in Madison, NJ. Lorien Carter is an associate professor of practice at the George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis.
FRIDAY, JUNE 9 - Violence
Dr. Patrick Reyes and Dori Baker will deliver a lecture entitled, “Joy in the Aftermath of Violence.” Like the writers of Lamentations and Psalms, adolescents cry out to God and to the leaders of the community to deliver them from interpersonal and structural violence. Using an interdisciplinary framework to understand how violence affects youth psycho-spiritually, we will offer practices that promote flourishing for youth pastors, community workers, and youth themselves. Dr. Reyes is a Latino practical theologian and Director of Strategic Partnerships for Doctoral Initiatives at the Forum for Theological Exploration. Dr. Baker is Senior Fellow for Research and Learning at the Forum for Theological Exploration.
You are invited to print and share the Youth Ministry Summer Program Flyer (pdf).