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

Electives

Electives are one-session courses that meet for 90 minutes.
Participants should select four electives, one for each time slot A-D.

Elective A Tuesday, April 23, 2013, 4:15 p.m. - 5:45 p.m.

1. Separation and Integration: Connecting with Youth after Mountain-Top Experiences Christy Lang Hearlson

Youth ministers know the value of taking young people away from regular life for the sake of encounters with God and other people. Mission trips, camps, summer travel programs, and retreats all aim at "dehabituating" young people from their normal routines and communities for the sake of something bigger. At the same time, youth ministers have become increasingly aware of the need for youth ministry that integrates parents and families and that is connected to the larger church. How can we do both separation and integration at the same time? In this elective, Christy Lang Hearlson will present some findings from ongoing research about the ways different programs engage in both separating youth from and integrating youth into their home communities. Together, we will explore practical possibilities for doing both well.

2. Amplifying Our Witness: Including Kids with Developmental Disabilities Benjamin Conner

If seventeen percent of adolescents have developmental disabilities, then, those who are serious about youth ministry need to consider what it means to include these young people in the life of our churches. In this course, we will discuss how churches have excluded people with developmental disabilities in structural and theological ways, consider the difference between impairment and disability, especially as it relates to our congregational witness, and re-imagine practice-centered ministry by exploring the practices of hospitality and friendship.

3. Resting Along the Way: Receiving the Gift of God's Rest on the Journey of Life and Ministry Nate Stucky

We all have too much to do. Amidst the breadth of our commitments and the pressure of 24-hour accessibility via technology, many of us find ourselves merely trying to keep up. Does it matter that we worship a God who rests? Is Sabbath even an option in our lives? In this workshop, we will explore these questions and imagine ways of receiving God’s gift of rest within everyday life and ministry (or maybe we'll just take a nap!).

4. A Modest Response to the Disappearance of Youth Ministry Mark DeVries

Could it be that we’ve become better and better at training professional youth workers for positions that will, by and large, no longer exist in 20 or 30 years? Like it or not, the financial future of most mainline churches is on a trajectory toward less not more. This elective will introduce a provocative alternative toward the training of a radically different kind of leader, skilled not only in theology and practice, but also in the building of their own economic engines for ministry.

5. Discipleship as Friendship: The Struggle for Faith among Teenage Boys Robert Dykstra

This lecture and discussion will draw on contemporary films, novels, and psychological and pastoral research to explore links between adolescent boys’ secret struggles with same-sex friendships and their quest for authentic religious faith. Youth workers who attend to the friendships of boys in their care will better appreciate hidden riches of the faith of teenage boys.

Elective B Wednesday, April 24, 2013, 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

1. Teaching to Transgress Reginald Blount

Jesus was a transgressor! He pushed against the boundaries and limits of his day in an effort to transform the lives he encountered on his ministry journey. Young people are wired to transgress, to push against boundaries and limits and take risks. What examples does Jesus offer to guide youth of transgress in ways that transform the lives they encounter?

2. A Modest Response to the Disappearance of Youth Ministry Mark DeVries

Could it be that we’ve become better and better at training professional youth workers for positions that will, by and large, no longer exist in 20 or 30 years? Like it or not, the financial future of most mainline churches is on a trajectory toward less not more. This elective will introduce a provocative alternative toward the training of a radically different kind of leader, skilled not only in theology and practice, but also in the building of their own economic engines for ministry.

3. Amplifying Our Witness: Including Kids with Developmental Disabilities Benjamin Conner

If seventeen percent of adolescents have developmental disabilities, then, those who are serious about youth ministry need to consider what it means to include these young people in the life of our churches. In this course, we will discuss how churches have excluded people with developmental disabilities in structural and theological ways, consider the difference between impairment and disability, especially as it relates to our congregational witness, and re-imagine practice-centered ministry by exploring the practices of hospitality and friendship.

ies inviting us to investigate youth culture as spiritual and metaphysical formation of the young. Participants in this course will have the opportunity to continue the conversation with one another and the instructor after the Forum in the Institute for Youth Ministry’s online classroom.

4. Fishing with a Paintbrush: Approaching Art as a source of spiritual growth, Sabbath, and community building Tara Lamont Eastman

Everyone is an artist in their own way! While we all may not be Van Gogh, each person contains a God-given spark of creativity. This course will offer you the choice to work though varied mediums of approachable art projects to go fishing for your own Sabbath and reflection, spiritual growth or a means of collecting ideas for use in your own context in community and ministry.

5. Have You Heard the One about a Baby Boomer, a Gen X-er, and a Millennial walk into a staff meeting...? Lynn Barger Elliot

Now, more than any time in history, we can find ourselves on staffs or on committees with leaders from all generations. How are the leadership styles different? What are the assumptions and the expected behaviors? How can we motivate and cooperate with a variety of leaders who were each shaped by their generation?

Elective C Thursday, April 25, 2013, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

1. What is a Young Person? And What's the Cross Got to Do with it? A Theological Anthropology Andrew Root

The cultural and developmental understandings of young people are always changing, and youth workers, parents, and church members are always seeking insights to understand their children, hoping that these insights will help us reach them. Yet, so often our conception of who young people are ignores some of our deeply held theological commitments. In this presentation we will try a novel task: we'll seek to explore who young people are (anthropologically) through an examination of the cross. We'll use an understanding of God through Jesus Christ to give us some imaginative ways of seeing and, more importantly, being with, our young people.

2. Fishing with a Paintbrush: Approaching Art as a source of spiritual growth, Sabbath, and community building Tara Lamont Eastman

Everyone is an artist in their own way! While we all may not be Van Gogh, each person contains a God-given spark of creativity. This course will offer you the choice to work though varied mediums of approachable art projects to go fishing for your own Sabbath and reflection, spiritual growth or a means of collecting ideas for use in your own context in community and ministry.

3. Separation and Integration: Connecting with Youth after Mountain-Top Experiences Christy Lang Hearlson

Youth ministers know the value of taking young people away from regular life for the sake of encounters with God and other people. Mission trips, camps, summer travel programs, and retreats all aim at "dehabituating" young people from their normal routines and communities for the sake of something bigger. At the same time, youth ministers have become increasingly aware of the need for youth ministry that integrates parents and families and that is connected to the larger church. How can we do both separation and integration at the same time? In this elective, Christy Lang Hearlson will present some findings from ongoing research about the ways different programs engage in both separating youth from and integrating youth into their home communities. Together, we will explore practical possibilities for doing both well.

4. The Tie that Binds: Connecting children’s, youth, and young adult ministry Olivia Stewart Robertson

We have a children's ministry, we have a youth ministry, we have a young adult ministry and they are all going great! Except...they don't really connect. They don't really build on the other. Sound familiar? In this course, we will take a look at making connections and building bridges between children, youth, and young adult ministries with the understanding that discipleship starts when one is very little and continues through a lifetime.

5. Creating an Ecological Approach to Faith Formation in the First Third of Life John Roberto

Research studies over the past decade have pointed toward the importance of an ecological view of growing disciples and forming faith in the first third of life: in the congregation, through intergenerational relationships, in the family, and through age-specific ministries. This elective course will explore the theory, research, and practices for developing an ecological approach to ministry and faith formation children, youth, and emerging adults, and their families.

Elective D Thursday, April 25, 2013, 2:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

1. Have You Heard the One about a Baby Boomer, a Gen X-er, and a Millennial walk into a staff meeting...? Lynn Barger Elliot

Now, more than any time in history, we can find ourselves on staffs or on committees with leaders from all generations. How are the leadership styles different? What are the assumptions and the expected behaviors? How can we motivate and cooperate with a variety of leaders who were each shaped by their generation?

2. The Tie that Binds: Connecting children’s, youth, and young adult ministry Olivia Stewart Robertson

We have a children's ministry, we have a youth ministry, we have a young adult ministry and they are all going great! Except...they don't really connect. They don't really build on the other. Sound familiar? In this course, we will take a look at making connections and building bridges between children, youth, and young adult ministries with the understanding that discipleship starts when one is very little and continues through a lifetime.

3. Discipleship as Friendship: The Struggle for Faith among Teenage Boys Robert Dykstra

This lecture and discussion will draw on contemporary films, novels, and psychological and pastoral research to explore links between adolescent boys’ secret struggles with same-sex friendships and their quest for authentic religious faith. Youth workers who attend to the friendships of boys in their care will better appreciate hidden riches of the faith of teenage boys.

4. Resting Along the Way: Receiving the Gift of God's Rest on the Journey of Life and Ministry Nate Stucky

We all have too much to do. Amidst the breadth of our commitments and the pressure of 24-hour accessibility via technology, many of us find ourselves merely trying to keep up. Does it matter that we worship a God who rests? Is Sabbath even an option in our lives? In this workshop, we will explore these questions and imagine ways of receiving God’s gift of rest within everyday life and ministry (or maybe we'll just take a nap!).