Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry
Princeton, NJ
April 23-26, 2013

Extended Seminars

Extended seminars are three-day courses, 75 minutes each day.
Participants should select one extended seminar.

A. The Power of Voices in the Faith Formation of Youth Reggie Blount

Voices are powerful in a young person’s life! The socializing forces of family, friends, school, popular culture and even Church are “voices” that serve as conversation partners in the lives of young people wrestling to discover who they are. This Extended Seminar will explore the importance of cultivating the “Voice of the Faith Community” to be a compelling conversation partner in the faith formation of young people.

B. Evolution and Theology: Man, monkey, and the Church Conor Cunningham

In light of evolutionary theory, where is the imago dei? Are we now 'merely' monkeys'? And if that is the case, was Jesus merely a monkey too? We will be arguing that nothing could be further from the truth, and indeed, that without a belief in God, belief in evolution is impossible. Without guidance and teaching, young people often think theology/faith and the sciences are in conflict. This course will engage leaders in the conversation about theology and evolution so that they can in turn engage the questions of young people on this topic. Please watch the BBC documentary, “Did Darwin Kill God?”, before the first class. You may view the documentary here.

C. "Present Your Bodies": The Gospel, The Church, and the Disciple in Paul's Letter to the Romans. Beverly Gaventa

Study Paul’s letter to the Romans for an enriched understanding of discipleship. Without ever using the word "disciple," Paul's most famous letter confronts us with a radical understanding of what it means to be part of a gospel-generated community. In this seminar we will explore the relationship between the gospel and the church it creates.

D. Growing Disciples in a Connected, Networked, Digital 21st Century World John Roberto

This seminar will be a hands-on, interactive, experiential course that will guide participants to 1) develop an understanding of connected and networked models of learning and faith formation for the 21st century, 2) discover a variety of 21st century approaches and resources for faith formation with a special focus on the first third of life, 3) learn how to design networks of faith formation to address the religious and spiritual needs of children, youth, emerging adults, and their families (as well as the adults generations), and 4) develop skills for designing environments for faith formation and for curating religious content and experiences for children, youth, and their families.

E. Relationships in Pastoral Ministry: You Are Who You Are in Relationship-with Andrew Root

So often "relational ministry" has been considered an initiative of youth ministry. Yet, many pastors agree that they too seek a relational ministry for their church, knowing that "relationship" is a key element, even foundational, to their ministry. In this course, I broaden my thesis on relational youth ministry as place-sharing and push it into pastoral ministry itself, arguing that the very "relational" elements of the pastor must be re-thought. Reconstructing this thesis on all new perspectives, theories, and dialogue partners, we'll explore how pastoral ministry must shift from an often-unaware commitment to individualism and rest again on the more theologically rich conception of personhood. Drawing from personalism, neuroscience, empathy studies, and the theology of the hypostatic union, we will explore how pastoral ministry and the church needs to be re-imagined in a truly relational way, a way that makes relationships that share in each other as the way of sharing in Jesus Christ.