Developing a Faithful Generation: On Faith Development with Youth

Class Number: 
Week One
June 7-11

Class Price: 

This will be an online course instructed via Zoom. This course is capped at 19 participants. 

Ethicists and Practical Theologian, James Fowlers starts his classic text, Stages of Faith with a series of provocative questions, including: What are you spending and being spent for? What commands and receives your best time, your best energy? What causes, dreams, goals or institutions are you pouring out your life for? As you live your life, what power or powers do you fear or dread? What power or powers do you rely on and trust? To what or whom are you committed in life? In death? With whom or what group do you share your most sacred and private hopes for your life and for the lives of those you love? What are those most sacred hopes, those most compelling goals and purposes in your life?

These are all questions of faith and questions that lead us to wrestle with how we can continue to invest in our own faith development and in the faith development of youth and young adults. During this seminar, we will take up some of these questions and begin to explore the theories and theology of faith development, as well as some practical ways of inviting youth and young adults into lives of faith, and by extension faithful living and service to the world.

Tentative Readings: (subject to change)

James Fowler, Becoming Christian, Becoming Adult.

James Fowler, Princeton Lectures on Youth, Church, and Culture, 1996:   “Perspectives on Adolescents, Personhood, and Faith”; “Adolescence in the Trinitarian Praxis of God”; “Grace, Repentance, and Commitment: Youth Initiation in Care and Formation”

Almeda M. Wright, “The Kids are Alright.” Journal of Youth and Theology 14.1 (2015): 91-110.

Almeda M. Wright, “Reflective Youth Ministry: Youth Ministry as Ongoing, Critical, Communal Reflection.” In Adoptive Youth Ministry: Foundations for Youth Ministry, edited by Chap Clark, 85-96. Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2016.

Almeda M. Wright biography to be posted soon.

Yale Divinity School

Almeda Wright