Upcoming Events › Past Events
We’re exhausted and disoriented by this newness, not just because innovation is unfamiliar to us, but because the shackles of normalcy are off, allowing us to hear God in new ways. As our institutions, practices, and assumptions about ministry (and ourselves) shed unnecessary weight in order to stay afloat, we're suddenly a much more nimble church than we were a year ago. We are awash in more possibilities than we can process.
In this seminar, we’ll consider how the events of the past two years are changing how we think about the church—and how it is surfacing new and long-forgotten possibilities for the work God calls us to. Come explore compelling stories of innovation, new tangible experiences from around the church, and the theology that undergirds healthy and passionate praxis in this new frontier!
Preliminary Schedule - The Old Refectory, Yale Divinity School9:00 am Welcome
9:10 Becoming a Christian Social Innovator: Confessions of a Youth Pastor
9:45 The Call to Innovate
11:00 Youth Ministry as Change-making: Tips for Starting
12:30 pm Lunch
1:15 Your Turn!
1:45 Getting Started in Your Context - Small Group Discussions
3:15 Closing thoughts
$25 per person registration fee includes lunch. We are committed to an in-person event, but should we have to go fully virtual, registrants will receive a full refund.
This seminar is free for current YDS students.
Proof of vaccination and masks will be required for this event.
This presentation will build upon the ethnographic and theological research in Church in Color to highlight practical steps congregations and other organizations can take to resist racism and embrace Beloved Community in the work of youth and young adult ministry. The practical theological framework is grounded in Kingian ethics that makes room for the particular stories, questions, and experiences of young people in distinct congregations or organizations.
Video and clips from the event are here: Empowering Young People Toward Beloved Community
So often our churches segment children’s ministry and youth ministry as if they were unrelated efforts. This presentation aims to equip lay and clergy leaders to take a wholistic view and approach to ministry with young people. We will discuss ways to join the programming we do with children to those programs offered to older youth, locate ways to integrate both into the life of the church, and discern where God is moving our ministries as we continue to emerge from the pandemic.
Video and clips from the event are here: Connecting and Integrating Children’s and Youth Ministry Across the Church
Slides from the event are here: Connecting and Integrating Children’s and Youth Ministry Across the Church
How well do you listen to youth's stories?
And how well do your young people listen... really listen to one another, and to God's work in their midst?
Long-time youth ministry worker Mark Yaconelli has spent his career engaging in the quieter nature of youth ministry. Through the use of contemplation and compassionate exercises, Mark has fine-tuned the art of listening. By modeling this for youth, youth workers impart a valuable skill set to their young people: how to listen to one another, and how to be attentive for God's work in their lives.
Video and clips from the event are here: I Hear You: Creating Listening Spaces with Youth
As youth leaders, we strive to be welcoming towards everyone. We want every young person to feel like they belong.
But what does “belonging” actually look like? What might it mean to prioritize actual belonging in your youth group?
We all want to belong to a community and that sense of belonging is elemental to our well-being. Join Dr. Margaret Clark for a conversation about just how much young people want to belong, how they strive to belong and what really makes people feel that they belong.Video from the event is here: Belonging
Slides from the event are here: Belonging
Video and clips from the event are here: Grief, we all feel it, but do you know what to do with it?
Slides from the event are here: Grief, we all feel it, but do you know what to do with it
Video and clips from the event are here: The Emotional Intelligence Factor: How to Apply EI to Youth Ministry
Slides from the event are here: The Emotional Intelligence Factor: How to Apply EI to Youth Ministry
"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another." -Proverbs 27:17
As you look ahead to the new church year, are you feeling excited? Are you feeling tired? Do you have your youth group schedule ready to go? Or, are you still tweaking?
Do you yearn for meaningful conversations with fellow youth workers who "get" it? Might your tools need some sharpening?
Come join us on Wednesday, August 25th, for a peer-led resource-sharing opportunity! This will be a space for colleagues to connect, and speak about what has worked for their churches in the past year. We will also look towards the fall, and together sharpen our tools for the year to come.
Faith formation can't happen if children and youth are spending just one hour a week at church - or much less these days, so what are the barriers families encounter when trying to establish faith practices at home?
The Rev. Traci Smith, author of Faithful Families, joins us on May 5 at 12:00pm to present the fundamentals of developing faithful family practices and outline the role that ministry leaders play in encouraging and supporting families. Discover how to help parents feel confident and well equipped as they nurture their children's faith development, at every age. We'll also spend time in an "Idea Lab" learning and sharing in small groups and we'll wrap up the webinar with Q&A.Now is the perfect time for families to develop real habits and practices of faith at home. Following the webinar, participants will receive links to several short videos and outlines of spiritual practices that you can share with your congregation.
Video and clips from the event are here: Empowering Parents to Practice Faith at Home: A Ministry Leader Workshop
Videos on different practices you can do at home are here: Empowering Parents to Practice Faith at Home.
Video and clips from the event are here: Adventures in Space-Making with the Rev. Phiwa Langeni
Video and clips from the event are here: Innovation, Imagination, and Frustration: New Directions for Youth Ministry.
Video and clips from the event are here: A Journey with LGBTQ+ and Immigrant Youth.
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.
- 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
- 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.
Slides from this event are here: Just Breathe: Resilience Strategies for Today’s Youth & Youth Workers
The video and clips from this event are here: Wrestling with Rest in a COVID-19 World with Nathan Stucky
Join Christopher Carter and Seth Schoen for a six-part seminar designed to guide participants through the Racial Resilience anti-racism training with the primary goal of becoming an anti-racist member of society. Addressing structural racism within the US in general and churches in particular requires an analysis of the theo-cultural ideologies that normalize/moralize racism and the development of tools/capacities that enable human beings to undermine these false ideologies. This seminar equips participants with the necessary tools to 1) be able to identify internalized, interpersonal, and structural racism, and 2) attend to the inner stirrings of their conscience (i.e. culturally racist ideologies) that have historically led people (especially white people) to the false conclusion that there is another plausible explanation to what they are witnessing other than what it appears to be – racism, and 3) discern how they might engage in theologically grounded compassionate anti-racism action(s) with youth.
The six sessions will occur on August 5, August 19, September 2, September 16, September 30, and October 14. Those who complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion from YDS.
- Authentic storytelling and research-based content
- Compassionate space for holding uncomfortable truths
- Forced participation
- Shaming, blame, or judgment
- Political agendas
Video and clips from the event are here: Racial Resilience: Anti-racism as Spiritual Praxis.