Course Summary

Integrating Youth Ministry into the Wider Congregation

Group of smiling friends against white background

This course explores the place of youth ministry within the congregation and how the church can better thrive when youth ministry is woven into its greater mission. Theologians and pastors offer advice on how to bring together different generations through worship, service, and preaching in ways that are beneficial for youth and adults alike.

Rev. Lillian Daniel Lillian Daniel

Rev. Lillian Daniel is a preacher, teacher and writer in Iowa. While she has taught preaching at a number of schools, including Chicago Theological Seminary and Yale Divinity School, she can’t be held responsible for everyone who falls asleep in church. ​Her new book, Tired of Apologizing for a Church I Don’t Belong To is generating international conversation about the changing religious landscape. ​It continues the theme of her 2013 book When ‘Spiritual But Not Religious’ Is Not Enough about the growing number of people who claim “none” as their religious preference.

Lillian Daniel has spoken at the National Cathedral, Duke Chapel, Kings College, London and Queen’s College, Ontario, but on Sundays you can find her preaching at First Congregational Church in Dubuque, Iowa.

Tom Troeger Thomas H. Troeger

Thomas H. Troeger is the J. Edward and Ruth Cox Lantz Professor of Christian Communication at Yale Divinity School. Professor Troeger has written twenty books in the fields of preaching, poetry, hymnody and worship, is a frequent contributor to journals dedicated to these topics, and is a monthly columnist for Lectionary Homiletics and The American Organist. His most recent books include Wonder Reborn: Preaching on Hymns, Music and Poetry; God, You Made All Things for Singing: Hymn texts, anthems, and poems for a new millennium; So that All Might Know: Preaching that Engages the Whole Congregation (with Edward Everding); Preaching While the Church Is Under Reconstruction; Above the Moon Earth Rises: Hymn Texts, Anthems and Poems for a New Creation.

He is also a flutist and a poet whose work appears in the hymnals of most denominations and is frequently set as choral anthems. For three years Professor Troeger hosted the Season of Worship broadcast for Cokesbury, and he has led conferences and lectureships in worship and preaching throughout North America, as well as in Denmark, Holland, Australia, Japan, and Africa. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church in 1970 and in the Episcopal Church in 1999, he is dually aligned with both traditions. He has served as national chaplain to the American Guild of Organists and is a former president of the Academy of Homiletics (the North American guild of scholars in homiletics) and the immediate past president of Societas Homiletica (the international guild of scholars in homiletics). He was awarded an honorary D.D. degree from Virginia Theological Seminary. Professor Troeger is a fellow of Silliman College.

Roland Martinson Roland Martinson

Roland Martinson came to Luther Seminary in 1977 and has held numerous academic and leadership roles. Now Professor Emeritus, he most recently served for five years as Luther Seminary’s Vice President for Academic Affairs and Academic Dean. He was ordained in 1968. “Rollie” was the project director of the landmark Exemplary Youth Ministry Study and a participant the Search Institute’s original “Effectiveness of Christian Education” study. His works include: The Spirit and Culture of Youth Ministry (2010); OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook (2010); Coming of Age (2006); Gearing Up for Youth Ministry in the 21st Century (1992); Effective Youth Ministry, A Congregational Approach (1988); Bringing Up Your Child and Ministries with Families (1986); and A Joyful Call to Ministry (1982). He serves on the Board of Directors for Vibrant Faith. Rollie lives with his wife in New Brighton, MN.

Dr. Frederick Edie Frederick Edie

Fred Edie grew up on the Isle of Hope just east of Savannah, Ga. He holds a B.A. degree from Furman University, an M.Div. from Vanderbilt University, and a Ph.D. from Emory University. Edie is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and has served congregations on both coasts in youth and educational ministries. At Duke Divinity School, Edie teaches courses in Christian Education, youth ministry, and practical theology. His research interests include exploring the relationships between Christian Worship and Christian identity, creating rich contexts for the formation of Christians, and constructing “full-bodied” epistemologies.

Edie’s book, Book, Bath, Table and Time, explores what goes on at Duke Youth Academy and, in particular, suggests how congregational youth ministries may benefit from attention to corporate worship as a crucial zone of formation for youth.

Edie is married and a parent to two teenagers. He professes something of an addiction to cycling.

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).

Mark DeVries Mark DeVries

Rev. Mark DeVries is the founder of Youth Ministry Architects and oversees the youth ministry at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee. His books include Sustainable Youth Ministry and Family-Based Youth Ministry.

Rev. William Mathis Headshot William Mathis

Rev. William Mathis serves as Director, Black Church Studies and Lecturer, Supervised Ministries at Yale Divinity School. Rev. Mathis serves as Pastor of Springs of Life-Giving Water Church (The Springs), an American Baptist Church in New Haven, CT. He is also the CEO of WLM Ministries, Inc., a non-profit devoted to providing consulting services for the development of community and faith-based initiatives with a specialty in the areas of Criminal Justice/Neighborhood Safety, Community Building, Youth Empowerment, Social Justice, and African Diaspora Collaboration.

Dr. Anne Wimberly Anne E. Streaty Wimberly

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly is Professor Emerita of Christian Education at the Interdenominational Theological Center and Executive Director of the Youth Hope-Builders Academy, a youth theology program funded by the Lilly Endowment. Her publications include In Search of Wisdom: Faith Formation in the Black Church and Soul Stories: African American Christian Education.

Rev. Canon Chris Russell Chris Russell

Rev. Canon Chris Russell was schooled at a comprehensive school in Nottingham and after spending a year working at a church on a council estate in Birkenhead, went to Durham university where he did an undergraduate degree in Theology [1988-91]. He then went to work for Paul Boateng MP as a researcher [1991-93]. In 1993, he went to theological College to train for the Ordained Ministry at Ridley Hall. Whilst there he did an M Phil in Dogmatic Theology at Cambridge University. In 1996, he was ordained and served his title post at St Johns with Holy Trinity Deptford [Southwark]. Chris married Belinda in 1998. On the way to Reading, he served on staff at Soul Survivor Watford for a year, and in 2001 became vicar of St Laurence Reading. The church is in the centre of town and they began to work to the mandate of being a multi-generational community with a particular mission amongst young people. Chris’ First book, Ten Letters was published by DLT in 2012 and in July 2013, Chris was surprised, honoured and thrilled to be invited by Justin to serve him in this role as Adviser on Evangelism and Witness at Lambeth Palace. Chris & Belinda have three daughters [Hope, Jessie & Dora] and a very scruffy dog [Bernie]. He enjoys growing things [vegetables], chopping things [wood], listening to things [Dylan, Springsteen, Cash] and eating and drinking things in good company.

Rev. Skip Masback headshot Skip Masback

Skip Masback is the Founding Director of the Yale Youth Ministry Institute and the former Associate Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He came to Yale after serving for 19 years at The Congregational Church of New Canaan. Skip retired from Yale in December 2018 and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Continuing Education at Yale Divinity School.

In addition to the customary responsibilities of preaching, teaching and pastoral care, Skip’s ministry has always included substantial emphasis on deepening and broadening youth ministries both in the church and beyond. He has lectured and consulted on youth ministry issues in denominational settings and at Yale Divinity School, where he serves on the school’s Dean’s Advisory Council and the school’s Ministerial Studies Committee Working with Dean Harry Attridge, Skip developed the Yale Divinity School Bible Study program for local churches. He has contributed essays on preaching texts from Paul’s Letter to the Romans for publication in Feasting on the Word, Volume XI.

Skip came to the ministry after practicing law for fourteen years. He graduated from Williams College and Columbia Law School before joining the Washington law firm of Hogan & Hartson in 1976. His national litigation practice included representing major corporate clients and public interest clients such as the National Wildlife Federation, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and the Democratic National Committee. Skip helped start the National Endowment for Democracy in 1983 and was the founding general counsel for the Commission on Presidential Debates. Skip founded the Legal Services Board for the Whitman Walker Clinic and started a legal services clinic there for people living with HIV/AIDS. After resigning from Hogan & Hartson in 1983, Skip and colleagues founded the firm of Ross, Dixon & Masback, a firm which grew to include 115 lawyers in four cities across the country.

Skip left the practice of law in 1991 to enter Yale Divinity School, graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree in 1994. While at Yale, he was the founding chair and president of “I Have a Dream,” New Haven, Inc., an after school enrichment program. Skip and his wife, Amy, have three children, Owen, Katrina and Elisabeth.

Maria Liu Wong Maria Liu Wong

Maria Liu Wong is the Dean of City Seminary of New York.

Discussion

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