Summer 2018

Yale youth ministry institute at yale divinity school presents: 

Why Youth Ministry? 

A Beacon of Joy in the Midst of Suffering

YMI Summer Study June 4 - 8, 2018

Download the brochure here.

This weeklong evening course will run June 4th – 8th from 6:00-9:00 PM and is geared towards pastors, seminarians, lay leaders, and youth ministers. Each night, we will gather for evening fellowship dinners, lectures, and workshop breakouts to name and discuss some of the adversities our youth face every day.

Throughout the week, we will learn with and from one another some concrete ways to combat these adversities to better nurture the foundations of joyful, flourishing lives.

Yale Divinity School’s standard charge for a Summer Study course is $450. The Youth Ministry Institute is providing each registrant for this program a $400 scholarship, reducing the tuition for each registrant to $50 for the entire weeklong program. 

This event has rolling registration that continues during the week of the event. For up-to-date information please sign up for our mailing list here

Why Youth Ministry? A Beacon of Joy in the Midst of Suffering
June 4 – 8, 2018

  • Dr. Allan Hugh Cole, Jr. & Rev. Dr. Philip Browning Helsel on Anxiety – Monday June 4, 2018
    University of Texas at Austin; Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary

    Dr. Cole and Dr. Helsel will deliver a lecture entitled, Mentoring Youth for Joy in Anxious Times. The lecture focuses on the pervasiveness of anxiety in the lives of adolescents, reasons for this trend, and ways for supporting adolescents, appealing to the practice of mentoring as a conduit for resilience and joy. Dr. Cole is Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of Undergraduate Programs, and Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously he served for eleven years on the faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, TX, the last four as Academic Dean. Rev. Dr. Philip Browning Helsel, is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. 

  • Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier & Rev. Ruben Ortiz on Poverty – Tuesday June 5, 2018

    Eastern University
    Rev. Dr. Elizabeth Conde-Frazier and Rev. Ruben Ortiz will deliver a lecture entitled, “Thriving Grace: Hope’s Agenda Setting.” While practical theology has defined thriving in the language of scholars, what does thriving mean for young people and youth pastors living in urban poverty as the reality of their lives? Beginning with the description of the context of urban poverty, its problems and effects on youth, we will bring into conversation the voices and disciplines of youth, ministers, professors, theorists of urban studies and theologians. Rev. Dr.Conde-Frazier is Academic Dean and Vice President of Education at Esperanza College of Eastern University. Rev. Ortiz has served in urban ministry for 30 years and is Director of National Programs at Esperanza.

  • Dr. James K. A. Smith & Dr. Kyle David Bennett on Idolatry – Wednesday June 6, 2018

    Calvin College; Caldwell University
    Dr. James K. A. Smith and Dr. Kyle David Bennett will deliver a lecture entitled, “Looking for Joy in All the Wrong Places: An Augustinian Guide to our Anxieties.” This lecture will consider how the duplex of anxiety and anger—fostered and fomented by the rituals of distraction—are both generators and fruit of idolatries. But we will also consider what it might look like to overcome these inhibitors, to find rest and arrive home to joy. Dr. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. Dr. Bennett is Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Spirituality and Leadership Institute at Caldwell University.

  • Dr. Michal Beth Dinkler & Rev. Skip Masback on Belonging + Christian Freedom – Thursday June 7, 2018
    Yale Divinity School; Yale Youth Ministry Institute

    Dr. Michal Beth Dinkler and the Rev. Skip Masback will deliver a lecture entitled, “Paul’s Not-so-Secret Secret: Belonging and Christian Freedom in the Midst of Affliction.” Maya Angelou said once in an interview, “You are only free when you realize you belong no place - you belong every place - no place at all. The price is high. The reward is great.” Paul traced the Christian path to this freedom with a secret he blabbed from one end of the ancient world to the other. As he framed his secret in his letter to the Philippians: “I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (4:12-13). This lecture will explore how our youth might claim this freedom Paul calls them to and offer youth workers practical suggestions for helping individuals and youth open their lives to “him who strengthens” us. Dr. Dinkler is assistant professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School. She is the author of over 30 published works, Luke (2013) and Reflexivity and Emotion in Narratological Perspective: Reading Joy in the Lukan Narrative (2017). Rev. Masback was a youth minister for over 20 years before founding and directing the Yale Youth Ministry Institute.

  • Dr. Joyce Mercer & Charles Edward Atkins, Jr. on Substance Abuse – Friday June 8, 2018

    Yale Divinity School
    Dr. Joyce Mercer and Mr. Charles Edward Atkins, Jr.  will deliver a lecture entitled, “Fake Joy: Substance Abuse and Young People’s Thirst for Wholeness.” In this lecture, we look at substance abuse as offering false joy to youth. We will share a strengths-based model for working with incarcerated youth that can be engaged with young people in other settings, that supports their genuine quest for joy against the seductive false joy of substance abuse.Dr. Mercer is a scholar-researcher, teacher, writer, retreat leader, and professor of Pastoral Care and Practical Theology at Yale Divinity School. Charles Edward Atkins, Jr.’s work focuses on religious practice in incarcerated communities. Charles is an ordained minister who currently works as a full-time Chaplain with the N.J. Department of Corrections at the Garden State Youth Correctional Facility.