March Newsletter

March Newsletter

Innovation, Imagination, and Frustration: New Directions for Youth Ministry


YDS Summer Study – Online in 2021
The Center for Continuing Education is pleased to announce that the YDS Summer Study program will be online this year! Taught by renowned YDS faculty, Summer Study offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in courses essential to practical church ministry and personal enrichment. Courses will meet Monday – Friday via Zoom, at either 9:00-11:30am or 1:30-4:00pm. This program is open to the public.

Optional activities include daily worship; a keynote address – Five Decades of YDS, by David Kelsey, Luther A. Weigle Professor Emeritus of Theology, on Tuesday, June 8; and Andover Newton at Yale Founding Dean Sarah Drummond will offer a workshop, Leading Change – Three Schools of Thought, on Wednesday, June 9.

Find information on all classes and registration here. Participants receive a Yale Certificate of Completion at the end of the week.


Laurie Santos “Good Life Lessons” – Now Available for High School-aged Students
YMI was thrilled to host Laurie Santos, Yale Professor of Psychology at our November Lunch & Lecture webinar where she discussed the mental health struggles of youth and strategies for living a more satisfying life. Her course has now been created in a modified form for high school students. For more information on how to get this course in your local high schools, see the article here.

To view the webinar to learn the strategies for helping youth live a more satisfying live, watch it here.


New Sermon Resources on the YMI Website
YMI Founder Skip Masback has generously shared several of his sermons focusing on faith formation for youth and families, and how the health of our children impacts the health of congregations and communities. Scroll down to the Articles and Readings section of our resources on Worship, Bible Study and Formation to read them here.


2021 Upcoming Events and Offerings


A Conversation About Easter and Passover with YDS Professor Joel Baden and Berkeley Divinity School Dean Andrew McGowan
The spring holidays of Passover and Easter have been intertwined since the earliest periods of Christianity. Each represents the defining event of Judaism and Christianity, respectively: the Exodus from Egypt and the resurrection of Jesus.

YDS Professor Joel Baden and Berkeley Divinity School Dean the Rev. Dr. Andrew McGowan have created a 4-week Yale Bible Study on the biblical origins of the two holidays. We encourage you to take advantage of this free study in the weeks approaching Passover and Easter, and then join them for a webinar on Tuesday, April 13 at 12:00pm where they will discuss how Easter grew out of Passover and how these observances have changed over the centuries. Don’t miss this opportunity to ask the experts your questions about the relationship between these ancient holidays. This webinar is free of charge and questions can be submitted in advance to Megan Lukens.

Register for this webinar at A Conversation About Easter and Passover.


March 3; 12 – 1:30pm: Innovation, Imagination, and Frustration with Rev. Matt Overton

This webinar will stimulate your imagination about how to best engage the teens/young adults in your community. We will look at an innovative model of ministry that has been developed in the Pacific Northwest and it’s engagement in the world of social enterprise. We’ll also explore how to finance new forms of ministry to help reach and enrich the lives of your youth.

Register for this webinar at Innovation, Imagination, and Frustration with Rev. Matt Overton.


April 7; 12 – 1:30pm: Adventures in Space-Making with the Rev. Phiwa Langeni

Rev. Phiwa Langeni shares their experiences in youth ministry and, most recently, founding Salus Center, Lansing, Michigan’s only LGBTQ+ resource and community center. In addition to learning practical tips regarding language, pronouns, and other queer-related issues, you’ll gain insights on simple changes you can make in your own practices to create space for LGBTQ+ youth and others you intend to serve.

Register for this webinar at Adventures in Space-Making with the Rev. Phiwa Langeni


YDS News From OASIS
by Jack Davidson

“Daddy, look! It’s your church!” shouted my 3 year-old.
“No, honey, it’s your church,” I counter in vain.
“No, it’s your church.”
“No. It’s your church!”
“It’s everybody’s church!!!!” she finally declares.This back and forth has become a dependable script almost every time we pass our church. Both of my children went through this phase. And it really highlighted for me an important part of ministry for youth & children. A big part of why we play silly hide & seek games like “Sardines” with youth groups, and why we do lock-in sleep overs, and why we collaborate with them on Youth Sunday, is to give our youth the deep-seeded understanding that this is their church. A big part of why we lose youth after they get confirmed or graduate, is that many youth experience church as their parents’ church. Whether you have 2 kids or 500 kids in your church, one of the markers of successful youth ministry is when the youth feel like the church space is their space, the church members are their community, the ministries are their ministries. Sardines isn’t just Sardines. It’s a chance for our youth to learn the literal and metaphorical nooks & crannies of our churches better than our adult members do. Read more here.
Yale Youth Ministry Institute