Princeton Lectures on Youth, Church on Culture

The Princeton Lectures on Youth, Church, and Culture

The Princeton Lectures on Youth, Church, and Culture, are delivered at the Forum and published annually. The lectures are designed to foster original scholarship pertaining to youth and the contemporary church. Lecturers include scholars who are not directly involved in the practice or study of youth ministry, but who can bring the fruits of their respective disciplines to bear on ministry with the young. The 2013 lecturers will focus on the theme, “Follow Me.”

St. Simons Island, GA


Shane Berg is assistant professor New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary. He earned his MDiv at Princeton Seminary and his PhD from Yale University. In his teaching and research, Dr. Berg strives to read the New Testament faithfully and well by paying special attention to its context in ancient Jewish culture and thought. His first book, a technical study of concepts of revelation in the Dead Sea Scrolls, is due out sometime in 2013. He is currently working on a more popular book that will explore the origins and rise of the idea of "scripture" in ancient Judaism and earliest Christianity.


Rodger Nishioka holds the Benton Family Chair in Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary. As a tenured faculty member in an endowed chair, this means he will continue to be paid even after Jesus comes again. While teaching in the broad areas of Practical Theology and Christian Education, he focuses much of his research and energy on the Church’s ministry with youth and young adults. Rodger believes that when God is at God’s most energetic and authentic best, middle schoolers are the result. The son of an honorably retired Presbyterian pastor, Rodger is proof that you can be a pastor’s kid and still love Jesus and the Church.

Princeton, NJ


Elizabeth Drescher is a scholar, researcher, and writer. She is a faculty member in religious studies and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University. Her recent research and writing has focused on the spiritual and pastoral implications of the increasing integration of digital social media in everyday life. Elizabeth is the author of Tweet If You ♥ Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation (Morehouse, 2011) and, with Keith Anderson, Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible (Morehouse, 2012). Elizabeth recently received a journalism award from the Templeton Foundation for the Social Science Research Council’s “New Directions in the Study of Prayer” initiative. Her research on the prayer practices of religious nones will find its way into her latest book project, Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of Religious Nones (Oxford University Press, 2013). Learn more at and follow her on Twitter @edrescherphd.


Nicholas M. Shepherd is CEO and Team Leader for CYM – the Centre for Youth Ministry. CYM provides theological education and professional training for Christians working with children and young people and produces resources and research to support this work. Nick holds a PhD from King’s College London, where he undertook research into young people’s participation in youth ministry. A former Youth for Christ staff worker, Nick has been involved in youth ministry for over twenty years. He is the former editor of the Journal of Youth and Theology. Nick is married to Bridget and lives in South London.