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Developing Trusted Relationships and Nurturing Communities

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Leading theologians and pastors explore the importance of creating an environment where youth can develop trusted relationships with peers and adults, and the value of nuturing communities.

Dr. David White David White

David White is the C. Ellis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Professor of Christian Education and Professor in Methodist Studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. His recent publications include Dreamcare: A Theology of Youth, Spirit, and Vocation and Awakening Youth Discipleship in a Consumer Culture, as well as a number of journal articles.

Steven Argue Steven Argue

Steven Argue is an Applied Research Strategist at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Seminary where he teaches in the Youth, Family, and Culture program. He directs FYI’s cohort coaches and serves on FYI’s Advisory Council. He is also co-leading research projects on ministry innovation and spiritual formation for adolescents and emerging adults.

Steve served as a pastor and Theologian-In-Residence at Mars Hill Bible Church [Grand Rapids, MI]. He researches, speaks, and writes on topics surrounding adolescence, emerging adulthood, spiritual development, and spiritual struggle.

Dr. Chap Clark headshot Chap Clark

Chap Clark (PhD, University of Denver) is professor of Youth, Family, and Culture at Fuller Seminary, President of ParenTeen, Inc., and co-interim preaching pastor at St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach, CA. Chap is also chair of Christian Discipleship department. Formerly the senior editor of YouthWorker Journal, an administrative and senior pastor, a Sojourner contributing writer and “Red Letter Communicator,” and currently president of ParenTeen™, he’s also a speaker, trainer, consultant, as well as the author or co-author of 24 books, including the award-winning Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers, Sticky Faith, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Adoptive Youth Ministry: Integrating Emerging Generations into the Family of Faith and the forthcoming Practicing Adoptive Youth Ministry. Before teaching, Chap was on Young Life staff for 15 years as an area and regional director and training director; and for the last 25 years while a seminary professor, Chap has served as a consulting producer for a reality television production company. Chap and Dee have three grown children, one grandchild (and another on the way) and mostly live in Gig Harbor, WA.

Wes Ellis Wes Ellis

Wes Ellis is a Member in Discernment in the United Church of Christ and an M.Div. student at Princeton Theological Seminary. He has served in youth ministry and adult Christian education in UCC, UMC, and PCUSA settings, as well as evangelical ministry settings. He is passionate about theology and youth ministry and is convinced that the two belong to each other.

Sharon Ketcham Sharon Galgay Ketcham

Dr. Sharon Galgay Ketcham is associate professor of theology and Christian ministries at Gordon College in Massachusetts. She earned her Ph.D. in theology and education from Boston College. Sharon’s two decades of experience in ministry include serving the local church, researching, writing, teaching, and mentoring. As a practical theologian, she is a scholar for the Church and invites people to reflect theologically on lived Christian faith. She is currently writing a book (Summer 2018, InterVarsity Press) that examines the community-forming practices essential for a maturing faith among teenagers and adults. Sharon lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two children.

Kenda Creasy Dean Kenda Creasy Dean

Kenda Creasy Dean is an ordained United Methodist pastor and the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. She is the author of Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church and What Theological Education Can Learn from Youth Ministry—If We Let It (co-editor with Christy Lang Hearlson), among many others. A graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, Kenda served as a pastor and campus minister before earning her doctorate at Princeton Theological Seminary in 1997. In 2013 she founded Ministry Incubators, Inc. with Mark DeVries, a consulting and teaching organization to help churches turn hare-brained ideas into joyful, sustainable ministries. Kenda was blessed by incredible youth leaders and camp counselors as a teenager who saw God at work in her before there was any real evidence that they should, and she’s spent forty years trying to pay that forward. She and her husband Kevin love hanging out with their two grown children, Brendan and Shannon, and to binge-watch every beltway drama on Netflix. You’ll find her hanging out at the beach as much as is humanly possible.

Justin Forbes Justin Forbes

Justin serves as the director of the Youth Ministry program at Flagler College and has been involved in youth ministry since 1998. Currently a candidate for his PhD from the University of Aberdeen, Justin is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary earning a Masters of Divinity as well as a Masters of Arts in Youth Ministry. He also attained a Masters of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. Having spent 12 years working for Young Life, and serving locally in his church, Justin brings a broad base of experience across different types of youth ministry to include urban, multicultural, suburban, special needs, and college ministries. He is the co-founder of http://kindredyouthministry.com, a youth ministry resource organization, and is a proud foster parent. His passion is teaching and mentoring youth ministers. He and his wife Bethany live in St. Augustine, FL with their 4+ children.

Kara Powell Kara Powell

Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch”, Kara serves as a Youth and Family Strategist for Orange, and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences. Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including Growing Young, The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.

Mike Park Mike Park

Rev. Mike Park is pastor at Hope West Side Church in New York City. Previously, Mike served on the pastoral staff at Hope Midtown and has been in pastoral ministry for 15 years. A SoCal native, Mike has a B.A. in Political Economy from UC Berkeley and a M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary. His passion is to see generations transformed through an encounter with Jesus and the power of the gospel. Mike is married to his amazing wife, Jeanne, and they live on the Upper West Side with their daughter, Jordyn.

Kate Hyde Katherine M. Hyde

Katherine Hyde is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in mental health psychotherapy for children, adolescents, and families. She completed her graduate work at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, and held a Clinical Fellowship at Boston Children’s Hospital, a teaching hospital of the Harvard Medical School. Kate worked closely with Dr. Nadja Reilly at the Swensrud Depression Prevention Initiative providing training and consultation around adolescent depression and suicide awareness and prevention. She participated in the development of the Break Free from Depression documentary and school curriculum. Kate is a Clinical Supervisor and also provides direct mental health services for adolescents and their families in an urban school district in Hartford, Connecticut. She is a member of the Adjunct Faculty at the School of Graduateand Professional Studies at the University of Saint Joseph. Kate has worked with the Yale Youth Ministry Institute since 2013 as a Lecturer and Program Coordinator, and served as a youth minister for a thriving youth program.

Greg Ellison Gregory C. Ellison II

The Rev. Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II joined the Candler School of Theology faculty in 2009. His teaching draws primarily from his work with the organization he founded called Fearless Dialogues, a non-profit organization that creates unique spaces for unlikely partners to have hard, heartfelt conversations on taboo subjects like racism, classism, and community violence. Ellison’s research focuses on caring with marginalized populations, pastoral care as social activism, and 20th and 21st century mysticism. He is the author of Cut Dead but Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men, and has two books in progress with Westminster John Knox Press – Fearless Dialogues: The Civil Rights Movement of the 21st Century and Anchored in the Current: The Eternal Wisdom of Howard Thurman in a Changing World.

Georgette Ledgister Georgette Ledgister

Georgette Ledgister is a PhD Candidate in religion, and social and theological ethics at Emory University. A native of the Democratic Republic of Congo, her research interests focus on the intersection of religion, violence and peacebuilding, and locating agency in conflict and post-conflict contexts amongst the most vulnerable and marginalized of populations. Her dissertation research explores marriage as agency in practice amongst young women in the Mai-Mai resistance movement of the southeastern Democratic Republic of Congo, to interrogate the traditionally passive roles attributed to young African women in contexts of conflict. She received her Master of Divinity degree from the Candler School of Theology in 2010, and is a candidate for ordination as an elder in the Methodist Church of Congo. She resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her spouse, André, and their daughter, Zuri.

Dr. David Anderson Hooker David Anderson Hooker

Dr. David Anderson Hooker is Professor of the Practice of Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a mediator and peace builder with over 30 years of experience including serving as Senior Program Associate for the National Institute for Dispute Resolution (NIDR) in Washington, DC and Senior Fellow for Community Engagement Strategies at the JW Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia. Hooker is a PhD graduate of Tilburg University in the Netherlands, a graduate of Emory University’s School of Law (J.D.) and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology (M.Div) and a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta Georgia. Mr. Hooker’s work has taken him to Bosnia, Croatia, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, South Sudan, Myanmar (Burma), Kenya, Uganda, and Cuba. He is the author of The Little Book of Transformative Community Conferencing (2016) and co-author of Transforming Historical Harms (2012). Hooker’s primary interest is in conscious and unconscious impacts of narratives in the creation, understanding, and resolution of conflict.

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.

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