God Power! Youth Power! Transforming the City

The Youth Ministry Institute hosts a week-long symposium on Urban Youth Ministry from June 2-6, 2014. 

This week-long offering includes both morning and afternoon courses. In the mornings, we have daily lectures and lunches by leading scholars and practitioners of urban youth ministry. In the afternoon, our own Yale professors, Yolanda Smith and Almeda Wright, offer a five-day course on the core practices of youth ministry entitled: “My Faith, My Way: Youth Spirituality and Christian Practices”.

See below for full descriptions of each lecture along with the video recording of each session.

June 2, 2014, 9 a.m: Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly
The recording is now available online.Wimberly

Dr. Anne E. Streaty Wimberly is a Professor of Christian Ethics at Interdenominational Theological Center where she is also the Director of the Youth Hope-Builders Academy. She is the author of several books including In Search of Widsom: Faith Formations in the Black Church (Abingdon, 2003)

Keep It Real: Demands and Promises of Ministry with Black YouthAssuring relevant and transforming ministry with today’s youth is one of the most important and difficult tasks of the Christian church.  To accomplish this task with black youth, leaders must convey the promise of Christian living in tandem with working to counter negative messages these youth receive from a dominant and often racially unfriendly culture, personal crises, and generational separation.  Dr. Wimberly will explore youth ministry leaders’ imperative attention to 3 Cs of urban youth ministry – Context, Critical Content, and Connection – that enables these leaders to ‘keep it real.’


June 3, 20114, 9 a.m:  Dr. Evelyn L. Parker
The recording is now available online.

Dr. Evelyn Parker is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Professor of Practical Theology at Southern Methodist University and author of Trouble Don’t Last Always: Emancipatory Hope Among African American Adolescents(Pilgrim press, 2003).

Tending the Sacred Souls of Teenage Girls
Lives of young adolescent girls are plagued with struggles of racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism and many other –isms. How does an adolescent girl foster her personal spirituality in the face of such beasts? Dr. Parker proposes that there are four essential components for nurturing a wholesome spirituality in adolescent girls: realization, resistance, resilience, and ritual. These four concepts and the practical ways in which they can be applied to the lives of young girls to help foster that strong sense of spirituality will be the cornerstone of this session.

June 4, 2014, 9 a.m:  Dr. Mark R. Gornik, founder and director, Dr. Janice A. McLean Farrell, and Dean Maria Liu Wong
The recording is now available online.

City Seminary

Mark Gornik is the director of City Seminary of New York and author of Christianity Today’s 2012 Missions/Global Affairs Book of the Year Award Word Made Global: Stories of African Christianity in New York City.Janice A. McLean-Farrell is a faculty member at City Seminary of New York and co-editor of Understanding World Christianity: The Vision and Work of Andrew F. Walls (Orbis).
Maria Liu Wong is the dean of City Seminary of New York and author of “Christ in the Capital of the World: How Global Christians are Revitalizing NYC Far Beyond Manhattan” (Christianity Today, September 2013).

The Next Generation: Practicing Youth Ministry in the Global City
This session will examine the practices of youth ministry in the global city, especially among African, Asian, West Indian, and Latin America churches.  As new and globally linked churches in the United States are established, the transmission of faith between generations is a primary concern for parents and church leaders.  Given this concern and the context of urban life, what are the opportunities and challenges for youth ministry in the city?  This session will be based on the findings and ongoing activities of the Next Generation Project conducted by City Seminary of New York.

June 5, 2014, 9 a.m:  Pastors Rebecca and Jorge Gonzalesfamily2 001[1]
The recording is now available online.

Founders and directors, Power House Youth Ministries, Centro Cristiano Bethesda, Chicago, Ill.

Mining Potential in Latino Youth: Lessons Learned From Serving Youth in an Urban, Cultural Context
Regardless of the economic, cultural, and language barriers our youth face, they have the God-given potential to succeed in life.  A listening heart, unconditional love, and safe-spaces instill confidence that transforms. We’ll share stories from our life’s work – “nuggets” found in the midst of poverty, abuse, violence and apathy.


June 6, 2014, 9 a.m:  Dr. Gregory C. Ellison, II
The recording is now available online.

Dr. Ellison is the assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, Candler School of Theology, Emory University and author of Cut Dead But Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men (Abingdon, 2013).

Cut Dead but Still Alive: Caring for African American Young Men
To cut dead means to refuse to acknowledge another with the intent to punish. Dr. Ellison says this is the plight of many African American young men. They are stigmatized with limited opportunity, silenced, rarely seen, and made vulnerable by a lack of sustained introspection. In this lecture, we will explore ways in which caregivers can sow seeds of life into the minds of young African American men that can lead to a flourishing life.