"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.
"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.”
"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.
"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?
"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.
"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.
"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.
"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."