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The Rev. Dr. David C. Mahan on Youth Ministry and Contemporary Culture

November 5, 2014, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


“The Youth Minister as [Cultural] Diagnostician”

The Rev. Dr. David C. Mahan delivers a lecture entitled, “The Youth Minister as [Cultural] Diagnostician.” The difficulties of connecting young people with faith requires every minister to become an able diagnostician of contemporary culture. With the glut of generational profiles, however, we often strain to figure out how to make that connection with the individuals in our churches and ministries. This talk will offer a different model, called “Faultlines,” that will help us not only to make faith relevant, but resonant with young people today.



Dave Mahan David C. Mahan

“It is at the level of the imagination that the fateful issues of our new world-experience must first be mastered” (Amos Wilder, Theopoetic).

This observation reflects a conviction that has inspired Dr. Mahan’s work as the Executive Director of the Rivendell Institute and a Christian scholar over the course of his nearly 30 years as a campus minister at Yale. In his commitment to serve the university, its students, faculty and staff he promotes a thoughtful, creative engagement with Christian faith in contemporary culture. Dr. Mahan’s fascination with the relationship between theology, the imagination and other academic disciplines has similarly guided his research, teaching, and writing. He is the author of several works on this subject, including his book An Unexpected Light: Theology and Witness in the Poetry & Thought of Charles Williams, Micheal O’Siadhail, and Geoffrey Hill (Princeton Theological Monographs, 2009).

He serves as a Lecturer in Religion and Literature at the Institute of Sacred Music, Yale Divinity School, where he teaches courses focused on reading literature theologically and the connections between modern poetry and fiction and the tasks of an engaged theology.

Dr. Mahan is a Fellow of Berkeley College, Yale, a longstanding member of Yale Religious Ministries, and a co-founder of the Consortium of Christian Study Centers, serving as a member of their Board of Directors. He and his wife Karen, a Director of Spiritual Formation with the Rivendell Institute, live in Hamden, CT.