Lunch & Lecture Series

Not Your Mother’s Youth Group:
Ministry to Youth in 2020-2021

Join us for a series of lectures on the changes that the future holds as it relates to the youth today and how youth ministry has changed from COVID-19. We will hold all of the gatherings on Zoom. Our speakers include: Nathan Stucky, Laurie Santos, Jannah Scott, Andrew Wicks and Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer. As always, the lectures are free and open to the public. Additional details to follow shortly!

Upcoming Events

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Past Events › Lunch & Lecture Series

November 2012

Dr. Chap Clark on the Church and Today’s Adolescent

November 6, 2012, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Sticky Faith: The Church and Today's Adolescent"

Dr. Chap Clark delivers a lecture entitled, “Sticky Faith: The Church and Today’s Adolescent.” There is no question that life is changing, and changing rapidly. As a consequence, for lots of reasons, we live in an increasingly adult-centric society that without thinking, relentlessly subjects children and adolescents to the pressures of adult-driven agendas. Like no time in history, today’s youth grow up knowing that the only way to survive is as a tribe apart – and it’s our systems and structure, even in the church, that contributes to this increasing isolation. In this lecture, we’ll discuss the ways that we can connect with our youth and provide the foundational support they need to reflect on their dreams, their relationships and their lives.  
Video

December 2012

Dr. Rodger Nishioka on Bible Study That Transforms

December 4, 2012, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Bible Study That Transforms"

Dr. Rodger Nishioka delivers a lecture entitled, “Bible Study That Transforms." Information is important. We live, after all, in the so called “information age.” But ultimately, we engage young people with the Bible not simply for information but for transformation. This lecture will focus on practices of opening the Bible with young people in ways that change lives and liberate.  
Video

January 2013

Rev. Skip Masback on Transformation Through Pilgrimage

January 8, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Transformation Through Pilgrimage: Planning and Leading Mission Trips that Build More than Houses"

Rev. Skip Masback delivers a lecture entitled, “Transformation Through Pilgrimage: Planning and Leading Mission Trips that Build More than Houses.” Youth long for experiences that will take them outside of their cramped, every day experience and connect them with something larger than themselves, with the transcendent love of God. In this session we’ll explore the theory and praxis of planning and leading mission trips as pilgrimages. We’ll explore the nuts and bolts “best practices” that prepare the ground for mission trips in which our young people are “pilgrims not tourists, learners not teachers, listeners not talkers and receivers not givers.”  
Video

February 2013

Dr. Roland Martinson – Kids Need More than Each Other and a Pied Piper

February 5, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Kids Need More than Each Other and a Pied Piper"

Dr. Roland Martinson delivers a lecture entitled, “Kids Need More than Each Other and a Pied Piper.” At its best, youth ministry develops generative, intergenerational Christ communities that cultivate transformative faith and life in each other and make a difference in God’s beloved world. How do you create intergenerational practices that work? We’ll explore together how to bridge the generational divide in our ministry to our youth.  
Video

March 2013

Rev. Michael A. Bird on Nurturing Spiritual Habits with Youth

March 5, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Nurturing Spiritual Habits with Youth"

The Rev. Michael A. Bird delivers a lecture entitled, “Nurturing Spiritual Habits with Youth.” Youth don’t so much want to be lectured about God as they want to experience God. This experience comes from walking with God each day, not just on Sunday mornings. What are the spiritual disciplines, practices and traditions that help bring us closer to God and how do they work for today’s youth? We’ll explore ways to support our youth in developing and following their own “rule of life.”  
Video

April 2013

Dr. Andrew Root on Talking About Sin With Young People

April 2, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Talking About Sin With Young People"

Dr. Andrew Root delivers a lecture entitled, “Talking About Sin With Young People.” When ministries look at how they discuss sin with young people it frequently gets framed as “doing bad things.” When sin is framed in this way we try to bend their will and push them towards obedience turning youth ministry into sin management and an attempt to make young people be better. Andy Root encourages us to look at sin as a state of brokenness and isolation rather than just “bad things”. Sin is a state of being and loss of relationship whereas sinning is the bad things that we do.  
Video

May 2013

Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Troeger on Preaching Across the Generations

May 7, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Preaching Across the Generations"

Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Troeger delivers a lecture entitled, “Preaching Across the Generations.” Good preaching is good preaching – to any age group, but bringing a message to young people requires particular attention to several fundamentals of effective communication. One of the nation’s leading preachers and teachers of preachers will help us reflect on the importance of crafting messages are fully embodied, that engage multiple intelligences and that are attentive to the different stages of cognitive development among our listeners.  
Video

July 2013

Dr. Andrew Root on Ministering to Youth Growing up in a Screen-Based World

July 10, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Ministering to Youth Growing Up in a Screen-Based World"

Dr. Andrew Root delivers a lecture entitled, “Ministering to Youth Growing Up in a Screen-Based World.” The church is different for a generation of people raised in the digital age.  With so much time and attention focused on the computer, TV, iPad and cell phone, how do young people experience spiritual life in a “hyper-real” world and how can we minister to them?  
Video

October 2013

Dr. Chap on Sticky Faith and Other Ways to Love Kids

October 2, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Beyond Hurt 2.0: Sticky Faith and Other Ways to Love Kids"

Dr. Chap Clark delivers a lecture entitled, "Beyond Hurt 2.0: Sticky Faith and Other Ways to Love Kids."  For the past decade adults have wrestled with understanding and responding to the needs of Millennials. Labels abound, mostly blaming kids for being who they are: entitled, consumers, self-focused, even narcissistic. Yet we know that they are who we have made them to be, and they are only responding to the world we have handed them. Our kids are not the problem, how we think about them, encourage them, lead them and love them is what matters. This session will focus on what is good and powerful about the emerging generation, and what adults – and especially those in the church – can do to celebrate, encourage and help to guide our young into becoming strong leaders for the future.  
Video

November 2013

Rev. Skip Masback on The Arc of a Year: How Mission Drives a Youth Group Program Schedule

November 6, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"The Arc of a Year: How Mission Drives a Youth Group Program Schedule"

Rev. Skip Masback delivers a lecture entitled, "The Arc of a Year: How Mission Drives a Youth Group Program Schedule." Youth Ministry is more than wacky games and mission trips, and it’s even more than programs earnestly planned on the fly late Tuesday night after you’re done with the confirmation class and before you stagger home. Effective youth ministers work with their colleagues, youth group members and their parents to discern the youth ministry’s mission before turning to their calendars. As the saying goes, “We mostly hit what we’re aiming at in life”. This session will focus on alternative mission statements and how to craft a cycle of programming to drive those respective missions.  
Video

December 2013

Dr. Andy Root on Interpreting the Experience of Divorce for Youth Ministry and the Church

December 4, 2013, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"The Children of Divorce: Interpreting the Experience of Divorce for Youth Ministry and the Church"

Dr. Andy Root will deliver a lecture entitled, "The Children of Divorce: Interpreting the Experience of Divorce for Youth Ministry and the Church." This presentation will explore the impact of divorce on young people.  Usually (both in the church and culture) we have seen divorce as a painful occurrence that can nevertheless be overcome if the young person can be taught to think correctly about the divorce of his or her parents (“it isn’t your fault!”). Yet, such a perspective tends to distract us from larger realities.  Divorce at it core thrusts young people into questioning their very existence, “if I exist because of the relationship of these two people, who I am, and how can I be in the world, if they are no longer together?”  This presentation will examine this all too common cultural reality from a philosophical and theological perspective, seeing what difference this makes for our ministries.  
Video

January 2014

Dr. David White on Missional Practices for Youth Ministry

January 8, 2014, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Participating with God: Missional Practices for Youth Ministry"

Dr. David White delivers a lecture entitled, "Participating with God: Missional Practices for Youth Ministry." Mission encounters are a staple in youth ministry and constitute an essential practice of Christian faith.  This lecture will briefly survey the theological significance of mission, reveal the historical and developmental significance of missional activities for adolescents, and will suggest best practices for missional youth ministry.  
Video

March 2014

Dr. Rodger Nishioka on Youth Ministry and Technology

March 12, 2014, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Youth Ministry and Technology"

Dr. Rodger Nishioka delivers a lecture entitled, "Youth Ministry and Technology." 25 years ago we pretty much thought the only creature on the face of the earth that could legitimately create a “website” was a spider.  Six years ago we thought the only creature that could “tweet” was a bird.  Now we know differently.  There is no such thing as “high tech” with youth ministry.  Technology is the norm.  It is the standard.  So how do we do youth ministry in this technological age?   Do we just join them on Twitter and Instagram?  What about friending them on Facebook?  What about the emerging trend of technology sabbaths?  This session will focus on the opportunities and dilemmas surrounding technology and youth ministry.  Together, we will explore basic guidelines and best practices around technology for our ministry with youth and their families.
Video

April 2014

Rev. Mark DeVries on Sustainable Youth Ministry

April 2, 2014, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Sustainable Youth Ministry"

Rev. Mark DeVries delivers a lecture entitled, "Sustainable Youth Ministry." In the world of youth ministry, there are a handful of constant factors that thrive over the long haul.  This seminar introduces participants to those factors and offers a strategic design for instilling these foundational patterns into the fabric of any youth ministry, regardless of its model. Mark DeVries identifies patterns that persistently show up in “stuck” ministries and introduces proven principles for moving beyond stuck-ness and progressing toward a ministry characterized by strategic forward motion. Sustainable youth ministries are led by successful systems leaders.  Transformation of traditional person-centered/ program-centered ministries requires leaders who are equipped to make the leap from a short-term, patchwork ministry to one that promises staying power long after the current leadership team has moved on.  
Video

May 2014

Dr. Yolanda Smith on Exploring the Bible with Contemporary Youth

May 7, 2014, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Exploring the Bible with Contemporary Youth"

Dr. Yolanda Smith delivers a lecture entitled, "Exploring the Bible with Contemporary Youth." Many things capture the minds and imaginations of today’s youth—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, virtual games, flickr, tumblr, and so much more. In a media and technologically savvy world, how can today’s youth find time to explore the Word of God? This workshop will explore multiple ways of teaching the Bible with contemporary youth. Attention will be given to the nature of youth, creative approaching to teaching the Bible, and equipping youth to engage the text in a way that is meaningful and transformative in their lives.  
Video

October 2014

Dr. Christian Smith on Parents: The REAL Pastors

October 22, 2014, 2:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Parents, the REAL Pastors: The Absolute Centrality of Parenting in Passion on Religious Faith and Practice to the Next Generation"

Professor Christian Smith delivers this year's Yale Divinity School Ensign Lecture, entitled, "Parents, the REAL Pastors: The Absolute Centrality of Parenting in Passing on Religious Faith and Practice to the Next Generation."  
Video

November 2014

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

November 5, 2014, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"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.  
Video

December 2014

Tim Walsh on Awareness, Prevention and Empowerment

December 3, 2014, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Awareness, Prevention and Empowerment: A Discussion on the Role of Ministry & Teenage Substance Abuse"

Tim Walsh delivers a lecture entitled, "Awareness, Prevention and Empowerment: A Discussion on the Role of Ministry & Teenage Substance Abuse." In a time when substance abuse is being declared an “epidemic,” let us gather to learn more about the facts, the fallacies, and most importantly, the role youth ministry plays as a part of the solution.  
Video

January 2015

Dr. Matt Croasmun on Engaging Music in Youth Ministry

January 7, 2015, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Engaging Music in Youth Ministry"

Dr. Matt Croasmun delivers a lecture entitled, "Engaging Music in Youth Ministry." Music is an important component of the lives of our youth and of our congregations. And yet, music is often a point of disconnect for youth in our churches. Matt Croasmun describes practical ways that music can become a powerful nexus of connection through corporate worship, songwriting, and mentorship. The lecture will involve examples of music created in a modest, local youth ministry, as well as opportunities to engage together in musical worship.  
Video

February 2015

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel on Rigorous, Reasonable and Real Youth Ministry

February 4, 2015, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Rigorous, Reasonable, and Real: Youth Ministry"

The Rev. Dr. Lillian Daniel delivers a lecture entitled, "Rigorous, Reasonable, and Real: Youth Ministry." With the rise of the “nones” and the “spiritual but not religious,” it often seems that the church is answering questions no one is asking.  Many churches are still defining themselves in terms of what they are not (“We’re not like those other Christians who….”) in a world where people don’t know or care who those “other Christians” are. In an age of individualism and personal choice, how do we do youth ministry in community, within a tradition older and larger than ourselves? How do we make a claim for religious community that is respectful of other paths but compelling enough to warrant a young person’s time and attention?  
Video

March 2015

Dr. Nadja Reilly and Kate Hyde on Nurturing the Emotional Lives of Adolescents

March 4, 2015, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Nurturing the Emotional Lives of Adolescents: Identifying and Ministering to Youth at Risk for Depression"

Dr. Nadja Reilly and Kate Hyde deliver a lecture entitled,"Nurturing the Emotional Lives of Adolescents: Identifying and Ministering to Youth at Risk for Depression." Approximately 1 out of 5 adolescents will struggle with depression before the age of 24. Youth ministers are critical sources of early identification and support for adolescents dealing with mental illness. During this lecture, participants will learn about adolescent depression, how to identify symptoms, and how to access services. We will also discuss how to foster open communication and healthy coping in support of a flourishing life.  
Video

May 2015

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly on The Church’s Role in Reaching Disconnected Black Youth

May 6, 2015, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"The Church's Role in Reaching Disconnected Black Youth"

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly delivers a lecture entitled, "The Church’s Role in Reaching Disconnected Black Youth." This session will include an overview of meanings assigned to the term “disconnected youth,” also called “unchurched youth,” and will highlight profiles of disconnected youth, internal and external relational challenges churches face in reaching these youth, and examples of effective ministry paradigms that build bridges of connection between these youth and churches.   The lecture will draw on preliminary data uncovered in the Youth Hope-Builders Academy (YHBA) research project entitled “Building Bridges of Hope: The Church’s Role in Reaching Disconnected Youth.”  
Video

October 2015

Dr. Evelyn Parker on Conversations about Race with Youth

October 1, 2015, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm

"The Elephant in the Room: Conversations about Race with Youth"

Dr. Evelyn Parker delivers a lecture entitled, "The Elephant in the Room: Conversations about Race with Youth." What’s on a youth pastor’s list of tough topics to talk about with teenagers? Teen suicide? Sex? Violence in dating relationships? While pastors struggle to find words for these tough topics with teens, occasionally race and racism surface when youth speak about interracial dating, hate crimes at schools, and growing up biracial. What is the tacit message about the church, the congregation, and its leaders when a youth pastor avoids talking with teens about race? What are best practices that maintain ecclesial and communal integrity? This lecture will focus on ecclesial, anthropological, and practical ways to tackle the tough topic of race with youth.  
Video

January 2016

Dr. Amanda Drury and Rev. Matthew Beck on Testimony

January 6, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Inside Jokes in an Outside World: Helping Adolescents Lead Joyful Lives Through the Practice of Testimony"

Dr. Amanda Drury and Rev. Matthew Beck deliver a lecture entitled, “Inside Jokes in an Outside World: Helping Adolescents Lead Joyful Lives Through the Practice of Testimony.” They speak on the importance of Testimony: cultivating community and individual flourishing through telling our stories and listening to the stories of others.  
Video

February 2016

Dr. Rodger Nishioka and Rev. Dominique Robinson on Resilience

February 3, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Resilience & Joy: Helping Adolescents Bounce Back in the Face of Adversity"

Dr. Rodger Nishioka and Rev. Dominique Robinson deliver a lecture entitled, “Resilience & Joy: Helping Adolescents Bounce Back in the Face of Adversity.” They speak on Resilience: nurturing attitudes, practices, and virtues, which facilitate recovery from - even flourishing in the midst of - mistakes and misfortunes.  
Video

March 2016

Dr. Frederick Edie and Ms. Alaina Kleinbeck on Worship

March 2, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Youth, Christian Worship and Joy: Deeper Soundings"

Dr. Frederick Edie and Ms. Alaina Kleinbeck deliver a lecture entitled, “Youth, Christian Worship and Joy: Deeper Soundings.” They speak on Worship: forming individuals through Eucharist, song, praise, and other liturgical practices through which they connect with transcendent reality.  
Video

April 2016

Dr. David White and Rev. John Leedy on Beauty

April 6, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"The Fire That Burns at the Heart of Creation: Joy and Beauty as Foundations for Youth Ministry"

Dr. David White and Rev. John Leedy deliver a lecture entitled, “The Fire that Burns at the Heart of Creation: Joy and Beauty as Foundations for Youth Ministry.” They  speak on Beauty: inspiring engagement with the transcendent through attention to and creation of beauty; illuminating the beautiful in the ordinary.  
Video

May 2016

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly and Dr. Sarah F. Farmer on Hope

May 4, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"The Courage to Hope: Empowering Adolescent Joy Amidst the Challenges of Life"

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly and Dr. Sarah F. Farmer deliver a lecture entitled, “The Courage to Hope: Empowering Adolescent Joy Amidst the Challenges of Life.” They speak on Hope: grounding a sense of the possibility and reality of joy and flourishing in the midst of the challenges of this life, as well as in the life to come.  
Video

October 2016

Dr. Pamela Ebstyne King and Dr. Steven Argue on Vocation

October 5, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Joy on Purpose"

Joy vs. Happiness. Given that feelings of happiness are fleeting and the complexities of youth culture today, joy does not happen on accident. Dr. Pamela King and Dr. Steven Argue contend it occurs on purpose. Joy is dependent on knowing what matters most in life and making a meaningful contribution to something beyond the self. Purpose is forged through encountering God’s grace and discovering one’s role in God’s ongoing work in this world. Stories define us. When we know our story and our role in the story—we discover our purpose. God’s ongoing story of creation, redemption and perfection is the ultimate story. Drawing on their backgrounds in ministry, theology, psychology, and education, Pam and Steve, offer insights and practical suggestions for enabling youth ministers to nurture a sense of purpose through discovering one’s place in God’s story. Faith lived on purpose is flourishing.  
Video

November 2016

Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and Mr. Wesley Ellis on Friendship

November 2, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"The Joy of Untamed Friendship:  Rescuing Youth Ministry from The Little Prince"

Youth ministers have long placed the practice of friendship at the center of youth ministry. But what makes our relationships with young people in church any different from their relationships anywhere else? In this session, Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and Mr. Wesley Ellis dive headlong into the practice of holy friendship with teenagers, and whether being “tamed” by another is what Jesus had in mind. Is joy the end goal of friendship in youth ministry? Are church relationships “special”? Is this dangerous territory—or precisely the terrain we are on?  
Video

December 2016

Dr. Mark Gornik and Miriam Acevedo on Sacred Narrative

December 7, 2016, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Sing for the Joy of the City"

In this presentation, Mark Gornik and Miriam Acevedo discuss the role of “singing the sacred story” in learning and transmitting Christian faith across generations and cultures. To make their case for the sacred story of Christian Faith through the practice of singing, as well as reading Scripture, praying, dancing and testifying in a church community, they will share stories from New York City and of the Taizé Community in Europe.  
Video

January 2017

Dr. David Rahn and Ms. Ebonie Davis on Sabbath Rest

January 4, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Gritty Sabbath Rest: Shaping a Keystone Habit for Adolescent Faith & Joy"

When our experience of joy is tethered to an identity-centering relationship with Jesus Christ its promise is assured by Christ’s resurrection. Learning how to live more fully in the presence of Jesus helps us to experience resilient joy, inextinguishable in the face of untimely or chronic adversity. As Brother Lawrence taught in the 17th century, joy from the ever present Christ is accessible even amidst life’s tedious tasks, like washing dishes. Today’s fast-paced lifestyles may exacerbate the natural challenge of capacity limitations but they need not hijack the promised joy of Christ’s indwelling presence in our lives. Learning to live with Jesus is joyfully transformational, but it takes deliberate practice. Gritty Sabbath rest, shaped as a keystone habit that works for spiritually unsophisticated adolescents, may be just what we need to learn how to flourish with Jesus in joy.  
Video

February 2017

Dr. Courtney T. Goto and Ms. Lakisha Lockhart on Playfulness

February 1, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Holding Lightly: Cultivating Playfulness in Youth"

In this presentation, Dr. Courtney Goto and Lakisha Lockhart explore playfulness as holding lightly, a spiritual practice that is both purposeful and necessary for the faith and flourishing of adolescents. We investigate what playfulness means and how the practice can help young people cope with everyday challenges and reflect deeply on questions such as: who am I, what are my gifts and passions, who has God created me to be, and what is my purpose. We offer ways in which, we, as ministers and educators can provide adolescents spaces that not only allow for playfulness but welcome it.  
Video

March 2017

Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and Ms. Abigail Visco Rusert on Purpose

March 1, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Moved to Joy: Purpose, Awe & Wonder"

To live the life of a young person is to live a life in motion. Propelled by a frenzy of activities, the young people in our care long to be “moved” beyond their selves and situations. Every day, the lure of achievement and the spectacle of entertainment promise to elevate them to new levels of joy and importance. Meanwhile, Christian theology promises a different kind of movement—the movement of God towards us, revealed when we do the unthinkable in our culture of perpetual motion and “wait” upon the Lord.  
Video

April 2017

Dr. Andrew Root and Mr. Christian Gonzalez on Self-Sacrificial Love

April 5, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Nurturing Relationships that Truly Transform: Self-Empowering Love and Adolescent Joy"

In this presentation, Dr. Andrew Root and Mr. Christian Gonzalez explore how faith is passed on and what, if anything, this has to do with theology. We’ll ask specifically, what exactly does it mean to take a theological turn in youth ministry? Looking at the biblical theme of kenosis, we’ll turn away from a technological perspective that sees youth ministry as providing solutions, or faith-formation as getting the knowledge of theology in young people’s heads.  Instead we will explore how faith-formation, theology, and ministry are held together, drawing particularly from the life and youth ministry of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, to see how youth workers today can be kenotic guides.  
Video

May 2017

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly and Dr. Almeda M. Wright on Memory

May 3, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Memory and Joy"

The lecture by Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly and Dr. Almeda Wright provides historical material and pedagogical perspectives on nourishing youths’ joy by connecting them with the past in ways that foster truth-telling, communal and personal identity formation, agency, lament, and a vital life of faith and hope. The lecture draws on findings from research undertaken by the lecturers entitled “Finding Joy in Adolescence: African-American Stories from the Past for the Present.”  
Video

October 2017

Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and Mr. Justin Forbes on Belonging

October 4, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Trace My Hand: Joy and Belonging in Youth Ministry"

Dr. Kenda Creasy Dean and Mr. Justin Forbes deliver a lecture entitled, “Trace My Hand: Joy and Belonging in Youth Ministry.”  
Video

November 2017

Dr. Robert Emmons and Mr. Marc Afshar on God, Grace, Gifts & Gratitude

November 1, 2017, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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"God, Grace, Gifts & Gratitude"

Gratitude comes from the recognition that gifts are not rights, privileges, or accidental outcomes but emerge when the mind is turned toward contemplation of God's incomprehensible goodness. Dr. Robert Emmons and Mr. Marc Afshar talk about how youth ministry contexts can actualize gratitude’s role as a social glue that binds people together, boosting joy in settings where flourishing often remains a potentiality rather than a reality.  
Video

December 2017

Dr. Kara Powell and Mr. Mike Park on How Your Church Can Grow Young

December 6, 2017, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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"How Your Church Can Grow Young"

Dr. Kara Powell and Mr. Mike Park deliver a lecture entitled, “How Your Church Can Grow Young.” Based on a landmark investigation on congregations who love and are loved by young people, this lecture will explore community’s relationship to joy, and offer a host of practical ideas to help our young people grow, and our church to “Grow Young”.  
Video

January 2018

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore and Yara Gonzalez-Justiniano on the Wisdom of Youth

January 10, 2018, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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"Youth Speaking to Joy"

Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore and Ms. Yara Gonzalez-Justiniano deliver a lecture entitled, "Youth Speaking to Joy: Fiesta, Resilience, and the Wisdom of Youth." The lecture draws from 70 youth interviews, exploring portraits of joy in young people and analyzing the relationship between celebration and resilience in their stories. Their narratives are placed in dialogue with traditions of fiesta in Latinx communities and theologies of hope.
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February 2018

Dr. David F. Ford and Rev. Canon Chris Russell on Praise

February 7, 2018, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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"Praise: Being Transformed in Joy"

Dr. David F. Ford and Rev. Canon Chris Russell present a lecture on what it means to live a life of joyful praise today, drawing on many sources and personal experiences, and facing some of the challenges to wholehearted praise that young people meet in our culture.
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April 2018

Dr. Tony Campolo & Shane Claiborne on Grace

April 4, 2018, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Abounding Joy: Grace and Its Consequences"

Dr. Tony Campolo and Mr. Shane Claiborne deliver a lecture entitled, “Abounding Joy: Grace and Its Consequences.” This lecture explores how grace not only creates joy through mystical conversion experiences but also examines the joy that arises when young people engage in evangelism and social justice efforts.
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Dr. Stephanie Paulsell and Ms. Vanessa Zoltan on Imagination & Creativity

April 11, 2018, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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"Matches Struck in the Dark: Imagination and the Joyful Life”

Dr. Stephanie Paulsell and Ms. Vanessa Zoltan, MDiv deliver a lecture called “Matches Struck in the Dark: Imagination and the Joyful Life.” Drawing on a range of religious and literary resources, this lecture explores the creativity at the heart of the life of faith as well as practices that help us cultivate it.
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May 2018

Dr. Almeda M. Wright and Nyle Fort on Agency

May 2, 2018, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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Online Event

"Young, Active & Faithful: Exploring Joy and Agency in Adolescence”

Dr. Almeda M. Wright and Mr. Nyle Fort will deliver a lecture entitled, "Young, Active & Faithful: Exploring Joy and Agency in Adolescence." This lecture explores both the necessity of empowering youth to be active agents in their own lives and communities, as well as examples of how to promote this type of active faith.

 
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October 2018

Frank Rogers, Christopher Carter and Seth Schoen on Compassion and Race

October 3, 2018, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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"Compassion-Based Approaches for Facilitating Difficult Conversations about Race and Racial Identity"

In this lecture, Dr. Frank Rogers, Rev. Dr. Christopher Carter and Dr. Seth Schoen describe the good life as both grounded empowerment in one’s racial identity, and relationships across racial identities of mutual respect, understanding, and commitment to a world where flourishing is not denied anyone by virtue of race. This lecture will introduce practices that are designed to facilitate compassion-based approaches to difficult conversations around race.  
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November 2018

David Anderson Hooker and Elizabeth Corrie on Peace-Making & Reconciliation

November 7, 2018, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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"Eight bowls, Four weeks, One RADICAL World"

In this lecture, Drs. Hooker and Corrie argue that peace, reconciliation, and, by extension, joy and the good life are communal achievements and not individual pursuits or possessions.  
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December 2018

Miroslav Volf and Paul Gorrell on Forgiveness

December 5, 2018, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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“Forgiveness and Joy”

Professor Miroslav Volf and Mr. Paul Gorrrell  deliver a lecture entitled, "Forgiveness and Joy." If you have seriously wronged someone, it is a joyous thing to be told: “It’s OK. I don’t count it against you!” But is there joy in offering apology and in restoring a measure of what your wrongdoing has taken away? And if you yourself have been wronged, is there joy in forgiving? Is not revenge – “sweet revenge” – more joyful than forgiveness?  
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February 2019

Dr. Matthew Croasmun on What’s Worth Wanting?

February 6, 2019, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"What's Worth Wanting?"

Dr. Matthew Croasmun, Associate Research Scholar and Director of the Life Worth Living Program at the Yale Center for Faith and Culture and Lecturer of Divinity & Humanities at Yale University delivers a lecture entitled, "What's Worth Wanting?"

 
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March 2019

Dr. Sarah F. Farmer, Dr. Nadja Reilly and Ms. Kate Hyde on Community

March 6, 2019, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Community"

Dr. Sarah F. Farmer, Dr. Nadja Reilly and Ms. Kate Hyde deliver a lecture on Community.

 
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April 2019

Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson on Seeking Sanctuary

April 3, 2019, 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
Rev. Dr. Debora Jackson presents on Realizing Effectiveness and Well-being by Seeking Sanctuary. This is an important topic for all who serve within their context, especially youth workers. It has been said that youth ministry is “burned out ministry.” Youth workers are always eager to learn how to help young people cope with stress, depression, anxiety, etc. However, how are we as leaders and ministers coping and caring for ourselves?
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October 2019

Rev. Skip Masback on Planning and Leading Retreats that Transform

October 9, 2019, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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Rev. Skip Masback delivers a lecture on, "Planning and Leading Retreats that Transform." Youth long for experiences that will take them outside of the cramped, everyday patterns of their daily lives and connect them with something larger than themselves, with the unconditional love of God and neighbor. In this session, we explore how the Christian tradition of pilgrimage can inform a vision of youth retreats that change lives.
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November 2019

Rev. William Mathis on Creating a Nurturing Community for Youth

November 6, 2019, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US

"Project Next Generation: Creating A Nurturing Community Space for Youth Empowerment"

Rev. William Mathis delivers a lecture entitled, "Project New Generation: Creating a Nurturing Community Space for Youth Engagement."  Sunday School...What is that? Youth Department...Where is that? Youth Ministry...When does that happen? Youth Engagement...How can we when they're not here? If there is going to be "the church of tomorrow" it will be one that is a living and moving organism that encounters, experiences, and engages the realities of the present so that we may yield a future generation of believers.

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December 2019

Dr. Andrew Root on Youth Ministry in an Era of Over-Parenting

December 4, 2019, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
Dr. Andrew Root delivers a lecture entitled, "Youth Ministry in an Era of Over-Parenting: Moving from the Thing to the Story." Lecture synopsis: Youth workers know what it is to watch parents and youth participate in  multiple other activities.  Most families have limited time and space for youth ministry activities or youth group. Often parent(s) (and youth) express desire to participate, but say they have no time. A parent might even say, "Sorry we haven't gotten to youth group in the last six months, it's just that gymnastics is kind of her thing, it's really who she is." This can be frustrating for youth workers and some respond by contending that youth ministry needs to up the commitment level and move higher up the ranking of things. In this presentation we'll explore together why this approach can't work because the decisions parents and young people make exist inside very deep conceptions of what makes for a good life. In a time of limited time and unlimited options, youth ministry can't - and shouldn't - compete in ranking of important activities. Youth ministry should not be just another thing (like basketball, violin, or debate club). Instead, we should turn toward story to re-imagine what you ministry can be for.  Dr. Root is Professor and Carrie Olson Baalson Chair of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary.  
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February 2020

Dr. Mary Moschella on Pastoral Care Fundamentals

February 5, 2020, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
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Dr. Mary Moschella delivers a lecture entitled, "Caring for Stories."  Just what is pastoral care? Providing spiritual and emotional care for youth and for their families is a major part of a youth leader's job, but many youth workers don't have specific training in this area. How do you have a pastoral conversation with youth group members and/or their families? Active listening skills can enhance your ability to care for youth and the stories they share. Learn how to provide a safe and supportive environment for those entrusted to your care.  We will also consider questions about referral: how do you know when to speak to a pastor or recommend the assistance of a health care professional? Dr. Moschella is the Roger J. Squire Professor of Divinity at Yale Divinity School.  
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March 2020

Rev. Mark DeVries on Sustainable Youth and Children’s Ministry

March 4, 2020, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
Rev. Mark DeVries will deliver a lecture on, "Sustainable Youth and Children's Ministries." In the the world of youth and children's ministry, there are a handful of constant factors that allow ministries to thrive over the long haul. This workshop introduces children's workers, youth workers, and senior pastors to those patterns that notoriously keep ministries stuck and to systems and strategies most likely to result in culture change. The thorny challenge of building healthy and engaged volunteer teams will be used as a culture-change case study for participants to workshop. Rev. Mark DeVries is the Founder and President of Ministry Architects.
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April 2020

POSTPONED: Dr. Angela Gorrell on Social Media and Working with Youth

April 1, 2020, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511
New Haven, CT 06511 US
POSTPONED - Dr. Angela Gorrell, "Always On: Social Media and Working with Youth." In a time when people feel like they have to be always on, what can do we? Angela will share tips for leading constructive conversations about social media with young people and practical things you can do to help teenagers use social media in ways that nurture their well-being as well as express their Christian faith. Dr. Gorrell is Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at Truett Seminary, Baylor University. This event has been postponed.  Additional information will be provided shortly.  

September 2020

Wrestling with Rest in a COVID-19 World with Nathan Stucky

September 9, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
In all our time in life and ministry, have our calendars ever looked like they look amid pandemic? So much simply disappeared: coffee dates, graduations, youth group, and soccer. All gone. So much to grieve. Our rhythms of work and rest have been utterly discombobulated. Is this Sabbath? Who are we when our calendars turn upside down? We feel acutely the difficulty of this moment, but we also sense the gifts this moment brings. Will we learn what we need to learn? Join the conversation as we wrestle together with work, rest, ministry, and pandemic, and as we imagine together the future to which God is calling us.

The video and clips from this event are here: Wrestling with Rest in a COVID-19 World with Nathan Stucky
Video

October 2020

Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today’s Youth & Youth Workers

October 14, 2020, 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
In the first six months of 2020, today’s children and youth have lived through so many soul-provoking experiences. With the advent of COVID-19 illness and death, quarantines, school closures, summers on hold, graphic depictions of violence, the prospect of not going back to school or going back in a socially distanced fashion, and difficult imagery and discussion around issues of race and justice, youth have a lot of questions—and some even have deep concerns and fears. Add this to the daily, already complex lives of many youth in this country and the resultant mixture cries out for a resilient response for both them and those who work with them.  This webinar will highlight various strategies for promoting resilience in, for and among today’s generations of youth. It will be presented in two parts. PART 1: Through a combination of academic, scientific and theological theories and studies, Jannah Scott will share information on:
    • What resilience is from both theoretical and practical perspectives
    • How resilience is weakened through adverse childhood experiences
    • How resilience can be strengthened
        • Physical - Natural methods
        • Mental, emotional methods
        • Spiritual methods
    • Highlights of promising practices in building resilience with youth
PART 2: Through a series of case studies and interactive exercises, Jannah Scott will:
    • Reinforce the importance of the connection between mind, body and spirit in strengthening (or adversely weakening) resilience.
    • Invited participants to join one of 2-3 breakout rooms to think together, discuss and model resilience interventions based on what they have learned about resilience, with application to various “composite” youth profiles.
    • Reconvene the group for brief share-outs of the models developed and questions/discussion sessions.
The video and clips from this event are here: Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today's Youth & Youth Workers.
Slides from this event are here: Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today’s Youth & Youth Workers
Video

November 2020

The Science of Well-Being

November 4, 2020, 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
The most popular course in the more than three-century history of Yale, “The Science of Well-Being” highlights research that reveals misconceptions about what makes us happy — and the concrete steps we can take to live a more fulfilling life. Yale Professor Laurie Santos has taken this course and created a new version specifically for high school aged youth. Join us for a conversation about how youth (and youth workers) can improve their mental and physical health.

Video and clips from the event are here: The Science of Well-Being.
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December 2020

A New Vision of Youth Ministry Beyond the Walls of the Church: Mission Work and Outdoor Ministry

December 2, 2020, 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
Andrew Wicks and the Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer will explore the ways in which outdoor ministry and mission work are evolving and engaging youth today. It will also provide tangible tools for youth ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic and more broadly in the 21st century.

Video and clips from the event are here: A New Vision of Youth Ministry Beyond the Walls of the Church.
The presentation slides for Andrew Wicks is here.
The presentation slides for Rev. Ryan Gackenheimer is here.
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