2013-2014 Lunch and Lecture Series

Yale Divinity School
409 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT 06511

12:00pm – Lunch available
12:30pm – Presentation begins
1:30pm – Networking and conversation

RSVP to allison.vanrhee@yale.edu

Each lecture will be broadcast live and can be viewed Here

Click here for directions to Yale Divinity School

Dr. Chap Clark – October 2, 2013

The recording is now available online

Chap Clark

Vice Provost for Regional Campuses and Strategic Projects and Professor of Youth, Family and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary

Author of: Hurt 2.0, and co-author of Sticky Faith

Beyond Hurt 2.0: Sticky Faith and Other Ways to Love Kids (More Information)

For the past decade adults have wrestled with understanding and responding to the needs of Millennials. Labels abound, mostly blaming kids for being who they are: entitled, consumers, self-focused, even narcissistic. Yet we know that they are who we have made them to be, and they are only responding to the world we have handed them. Our kids are not the problem, how we think about them, encourage them, lead them and love them is what matters. This session will focus on what is good and powerful about the emerging generation, and what adults – and especially those in the church – can do to celebrate, encourage and help to guide our young into becoming strong leaders for the future.

Rev. Harold E. Masback, III – November 6, 2013 (More Information)

The recording is now available online.

Managing Director, Yale Center for Faith and Culture; Director, Adolescent Faith and Flourishing Program, Yale Center for Faith and Culture, Yale

The Arc of a Year: How Mission Drives a Youth Group Program Schedule

Youth Ministry is more than wacky games and mission trips, and it’s even more than programs earnestly planned on the fly late Tuesday night after you’re done with the confirmation class and before you stagger home. Effective youth ministers work with their colleagues, youth group members and their parents to discern the youth ministry’s mission before turning to their calendars. As the saying goes, “We mostly hit what we’re aiming at in life”. This session will focus on alternative mission statements and how to craft a cycle of programming to drive those respective missions

Dr. Andrew Root – December 4, 2013

The recording is now available online.


Associate Professor and Carrie Olson Baalson Chair of Youth Ministry and Family Ministry, Luther Seminary
Author of: Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry (A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry).

The Children of Divorece: Interpreting the Experience of Divorce for Youth Ministry and the Church

This presentation will explore the impact of divorce on young people.  Usually (both in the church and culture) we have seen divorce as a painful occurrence that can nevertheless be overcome if the young person can be taught to think correctly about the divorce of his or her parents (“it isn’t your fault!”). Yet, such a perspective tends to distract us from larger realities.  Divorce at it core thrusts young people into questioning their very existence, “if I exist because of the relationship of these two people, who I am, and how can I be in the world, if they are no longer together?”  This presentation will examine this all too common cultural reality from a philosophical and theological perspective, seeing what difference this makes for our ministries.

Dr. David White – January 8, 2014

The lecture is now available online.


C. Elis and Nancy Gribble Nelson Associate Professor of Christian Education, Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

Participating with God: Missional Practices for Youth Ministry

Mission encounters are a staple in youth ministry and constitute an essential practice of Christian faith.  This lecture will briefly survey the theological significance of mission, reveal the historical and developmental significance of missional activities for adolescents, and will suggest best practices for missional youth ministry. 

CANCELED- Dr. Evelyn Parker – February 5, 2014Evelyn Parker

Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University.

The Elephant in the Room: Conversations about Race with Youth

What’s on a youth pastor’s list of tough topics to talk about with teenagers? Teen suicide? Sex? Violence in dating relationships? While pastors struggle to find words for these tough topics with teens, occasionally race and racism surfaces when youth speak about interracial dating, hate crimes at schools, and growing up biracial. What is the tacit message about the church, the congregation, and its leaders when a youth pastor avoids talking with teens about race? What are best practices that maintain ecclesial and communal integrity?  This lecture will focus on ecclesial, anthropological and practical ways to tackling the tough topic of race with youth. 

This lecture was cancelled due to winter weather.


Dr. Rodger Nishioka –  March 12, 2014

This lecture is now available online.

Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education, Columbia Theological Seminary
Author of the upcoming: @ Church? Ministry with Young Adults

Youth Ministry and Technology

25 years ago we pretty much thought the only creature on the face of the earth that could legitimately create a “website” was a spider.  Six years ago we thought the only creature that could “tweet” was a bird.  Now we know differently.  There is no such thing as “high tech” with youth ministry.  Technology is the norm.  It is the standard.  So how do we do youth ministry in this technological age?   Do we just join them on twitter and instagram?  What about friending them on Facebook?  What about the emerging trend of technology sabbaths?  This session will focus on the opportunities and dilemmas surrounding technology and youth ministry.  Together, we will explore basic guidelines and best practices around technology for our ministry with youth and their families.  

Mark DeVries – April 2, 2014

This lecture is now available online.

Mark DeVriesFounder of Youth Ministry Architects and the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at the First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee.

Sustainable Youth Ministry

In the world of youth ministry, there are a handful of constant factors that thrive over the long haul.  This seminar introduces participants to those factors and offers a strategic design for instilling these foundational patterns into the fabric of any youth ministry, regardless of its model. Mark DeVries identifies patterns that persistently show up in “stuck” ministries and introduces proven principles for moving beyond stuck-ness and progressing toward a ministry characterized by strategic forward motion. Sustainable youth ministries are led by successful systems leaders.  Transformation of traditional person-centered/ program-centered ministries requires leaders who are equipped to make the leap from a short-term, patchwork ministry to one that promises staying power long after the current leadership team has moved on.

Dr. Yolanda Smith – May 7, 2014

Yolanda Smith

This lecture is now available online.

Research Scholar and Lecturer in Christian Education, Yale Divinity School

Exploring the Bible with Contemporary Youth

Many things capture the minds and imaginations of today’s youth—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, virtual games, flickr, tumblr, and so much more. In a media and technologically savvy world, how can today’s youth find time to explore the Word of God? This workshop will explore multiple ways of teaching the Bible with contemporary youth. Attention will be given to the nature of youth, creative approaching to teaching the Bible, and equipping youth to engage the text in a way that is meaningful and transformative in their lives.  

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