Training Modules

Cultivating Resilience, Well-Being and Authentic Happiness in Youth

Dr. Rodger Nishioka
Jannah Scott
Sanghoon Yoo
Laurie Santos
Rev. Dominique Robinson
Photo by Dimitri Houtteman

Theologians, psychologists and youth leaders discuss the importance of cultivating resilience in youth.


Dr. Rodger Nishioka Rodger Nishioka

Rev. Dr. Rodger Nishioka became the director of Adult Educational Ministries at Village Presbyterian Church in March of 2016. He is also serving as senior associate. Born in Honolulu and raised in Seattle at the Japanese Presbyterian Church, Rodger is the son of a retired Presbyterian minister. He is one of the most sought-after and inspiring preachers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Previously, Rodger taught at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta for 15 years. In that ministry, he taught pastors to be teachers and leaders in the church’s educational ministry, specializing in particular on youth and young adult ministry. On June 5, 2018, Heartland Presbyter approved him for ordination and installation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 26, in the Village on Mission Sanctuary.

Prior to teaching at Columbia Theological Seminary, Rodger was the national coordinator for Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1986-1999) and taught English and Social Sciences at Curtis Junior High School (1983-1986). Rodger received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Social and Cultural Foundations of Education from Georgia State University. He earned his Master of Arts in Theological Studies with an emphasis in biblical studies and theology) from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and a Bachelor of Arts in English with Minor in History and a Teaching Certificate for Secondary Education (Grades 6-12).

Jannah Scott Jannah Scott

Jannah Scott is a Strategist, Planner, Advisor, Public Policy Expert, who has served in many capacities with faith, government, business and the nonprofit community.

For eight years, Jannah served in President Obama’s administration as Deputy Director, Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. In that role, Jannah guided the engagement of faith-based and community groups on issues of resilience integration, emergency preparedness and response; countering violent extremism; religious accommodations in homeland security; H1N1 and other issues within Homeland Security. 

Her most recent endeavors included an assessment and engagement process in cities across the nation to promote the affiliation of diverse faith-based & community groups with local police, fire and emergency management agencies (Building Resilience with Diverse Communities).

Jannah also helped groups get connected with President Obama’s White House Office for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the other federal centers for faith-based and community initiatives. She also served as the Policy Advisor on Faith and Community Initiatives to former Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano, where she represented the Governor with community investment coalitions, faith leaders, cities and counties to establish local initiatives aimed at serving in international missions and among the poorest and most vulnerable citizens of that state. 

As part of her international work, Jannah has been an Arizona delegate on several faith and civil society exchange journeys with Arizona government and business leaders. She also hosted, with the Bush White House, the first-ever jointly –sponsored faith-based and community convening, bringing together over 2,000 faith and community leaders, elected officials and philanthropy organizations to seek solutions to common problems.

Jannah is an associate with the International Foundation and a host to the annual National Prayer Breakfast. 

She has a graduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley in Public Health Planning and Policy, and an honorary Doctorate of Theology from the Gateway International Bible College in Phoenix, Arizona. Jannah has five children and ten grandchildren.

Sanghoon Yoo Sanghoon Yoo

Pastor Sanghoon Yoo, the founder of The Faithful City (TFC), has led ministries and social services at Arizona State University (ASU) and the Phoenix metropolitan area over two decades. He holds Master’s degrees in Social Work (MSW) and in theology (MDiv). He launched “Arizona Trauma Informed Faith Community (AZTIFC),” collaborating with Arizona ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Consortium that he is serving as a board member. He organizes a statewide conference and mobilizes trauma informed community movement, working with many organizations from diverse sectors.

With Arizona ACEs Consortium, he contributed to the authorship of training modules for opioid and substance use prevention and creating statewide standardized ACEs training of trainers modules. Serving South Mountain WORKS Coalition in Phoenix as vice-chair, he has been training schools and their districts to build a trauma informed school system for the youth, raising resilient servant leaders and forming a safe and healthy living community.

Laurie Santos Laurie Santos

Dr. Laurie Renee Santos is a cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology at Yale University. She is also Director of Yale’s Comparative Cognition Laboratory, Director of Yale’s Canine Cognition Lab, Head of Yale’s Silliman College, and she is also the host of “The Happiness Lab” podcast. Her course, “The Science of Well Being” is the most popular in Yale’s history.

Rev. Dominique Robinson Dominique Robinson

Rev. Dominique Robinson currently serves as the Youth & Young Adult Pastor at Shaw Temple AME Zion Church (Smyrna, GA).

Yale Youth Ministry Institute