Developing Your Praxis for Building Diverse Youth Communities

In this interactive presentation and dialogue, we explore youth identity development from understanding the synergies between holding multiple identities, for example, Black, neurodivergent, LGBTQIA. Geared toward youth leaders, layperson, and youth ministers we develop approaches of how oppression, power, and privilege may operate across systems. The overall goal is to develop approaches of how to create safer spaces for youth in their relationships and community building efforts.

Learning Objectives:

Understand the relationship between oppression, power, and privilege
Review key findings from State of Mental Health of Youth of Color – Aakoma Project
Assess and understand developmental challenges of identity development in today’s social political […]

Church Shoes: Thinking and Rethinking our Steps for Youth Ministry in the Black Church

Have you considered what ministry in the Black Church looks like for youth and young adults today, especially Black girls and children who are queer? How might we wrestle with the ways that churches have supported and failed black children? How might we develop forms of pastoral care that offers redress to the current state of youth ministry?

Through a panel discussion sponsored by Andover Newton Seminary at Yale, the Black Church Studies Program, and the Yale Youth Ministry Institute, Dr. Kishundra King, Ph.D. ’15 M.Div. and Rev. Whitney Baisden-Bond will offer paths, prompts, and prophetic witnesses that students might implement […]

Spiritual Care for Young People in the Climate Crisis

Climate change is creating a spiritual emergency that is hitting generation Z harder than any other. Today’s climate crisis calls people of faith to a communal spiritual practice of care, as we must learn how to offer care that is informed by the spiritual-ecological crisis of their generation. Rev. Aho guides us with her pastoral and chaplain experience to keep young people at the center of our communities and listen to the troubles they have to share.

Slides for the event are here: Spiritual Care for Young People in the Climate Crisis Presentation

Handing Down the Faith: Parents, Congregations, and Religious Socialization

Professor Adamczyk is coauthor of Handing Down the Faith: How Parents Pass Their Religion on to the Next Generation (Oxford, 2021). Drawing on key findings from the book, she will discuss how parents view the role of congregations and how they feel that their own experiences growing up shaped their perspectives on childrearing and religious socialization. Data are taken from several nationally representative surveys and over 200 interviews conducted with parents from different religious backgrounds across the United States. Practical information will be provided on parents’ perspectives (placed within the context of ‘Intensive’ parenting, which has become the norm for […]

Internal Welcome and External Witness: LGBTQ Youth Ministry

Churched youth in the LGBTQ+ community are, in many ways, like all youth: they are passionate, curious, and (we hope and pray) intrigued by the story God’s love. But the road that LGBTQ+ youth have to walk is also different in a few key ways. The Church has, historically, not been welcoming towards this community. The wider community has often followed suit, leaving LGBTQ+ youth with a higher risk for depression, suicide, and other mental health challenges.

And: the unique road that LGBTQ+ youth walk also means that they have so much joy, and so much perspective to offer […]

Creating Communities of Inclusion and Belonging for Youth with Disabilities

Erik Carter, Ph.D.

Many faith communities still struggle to welcome and weave youth with disabilities into the ministries and relationships that make up the life of their congregation. Yet we are called to be communities without asterisks. Dr. Carter will share a powerful framework for reflecting upon and fostering belonging within youth and other congregational ministries. Together, we will explore the implications of this work on the ways we support youth with disabilities and on the ways we spur our own churches to be more inclusive and welcoming.

Talking about Sex, Tech, and Faith with Teens

Kate Ott

Digital innovation has rapidly changed the landscape of sexual experience in the twenty-first century. Moral mandates, uncomfortable avoidance, or simple silence by faith communities on these issues leave teens ill equipped to bring their faith values to sexual and digital decision-making. This event will provide a nuanced approach that prioritizes honesty and discernment over fear and judgment. In addition to raising participants digital and sexual literacy, faith leaders/youth ministers will be resourced with curricular practices that draw on core values of the Christian tradition to help teens develop a just and flourishing sexuality in the digital age.

The Storm Isn’t Over: Ways to Support the Social Emotional Needs of Youth

Szu-Hui Lee

While everyone is eager to get “back to normal”, the social emotional needs of our youth tells us we must recalibrate our expectations. In this presentation, we will discuss the key social emotional impacts of the public health pandemic and social cultural epidemic we’ve all been experiencing and witnessing. Concrete strategies to foster resilience and help our youth thrive in the current climate will be presented. Following the presentation, participants will engage in an interactive learning opportunity to put skills into immediate practice in their work with youth.

Why Ministries Innovate and How to Start: Knee Deep in Flotsam

Knee Deep in Flotsam - Why Churches Innovate and How to Start

We’re all innovators now. Only a year ago, “sustainability” and “innovation” described extracurricular activities for churches – mostly niche projects that had minimal impact on the daily work of ministry. As of 2020, innovation is what we all do–ready or not.

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 […]

Empowering Young People Toward Beloved Community

Montague Williams

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.

Empowering Parents to Practice Faith at Home: A Ministry Leader Workshop

Traci Smith

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 presents four videos that talk about practices for mindfulness, serving others, dinner time, and bedtime.

Talking about Race with Young People

Talking About Race with Young People Background

Talking about race with the young people you serve can be challenging. This workshop is for leaders, parents, and church members who want to have conversations about racism and prejudice. Also, for those who want to help young people faithfully explore issues that are important to God and relevant for one of our most racially and ethnically diverse generations yet. At times it can feel easier to shy away from complex topics and avoid highly charged conversations. In this workshop we will cover vocabulary to know, history to be mindful of and will end with practical next steps so that […]

Yale Youth Ministry Institute