Last week I was at Youthfront Camp South. We had a packed week of high school kids. More than 100 (almost half) of the young people registered also serve as teen staff throughout the summer. This was a great week. My friend Lars Rood was the story teller and did a fantastic job. I got to give him a little of the Kansas City experience when we snuck away for Jack Stack BBQ. It was also so good to be with Youthfront staff, both full-time and summer staff.
I was at Youthfront South all week teaching a Seminary Class called CED775 -- Innovations: Cultivating Youth Spirituality in Experiential Environments. This is the second time I've taught that class in the context of Youthfront Camp and it is such an awesome classroom. Course Description is below the video.
Course Narrative & Rationale
Explorations into the contemporary spiritual lives of youth afford youth ministers an opportunity to develop new and innovative approaches to spiritual formation both for and with adolescents. This course explores one such approach to youth spirituality and youth spiritual formation through intensive settings such as retreats, pilgrimages, short term missions and camp ministries. The course utilizes one of the more innovative approaches to youth formation occurring through Youthfront a national youth ministry resource with specialized camp ministries just south of Kansas City. http://www.youthfront.com/directions This course allows participants the opportunity to explore the spiritual lives of youth, engage in formation practices with youth alongside recreational settings, and imagine the possibilities of similar ministry approaches in their own contexts.
At the end of this course the student will be able to:
1) Articulate current theories concerning youth spirituality and youth faith
2) Assess a local ministry’s ability to shape youth’s spiritual lives including non-traditional settings such as retreats, camps, or pilgrimages
3) Utilize specific practices for the sake youth spiritual formation
4) Conceive of specific structures that guide a ministry focused on nurturing the spiritual lives of youth in local experiential contexts.
Required Texts & Course Materials
King, Mike. Presence-Centered Youth Ministry: Guiding Students into Spiritual Formation. Downer’s Grove: IVP Books 2006 (187 pp) ISBN 10-0-8308-3383-8
Root, Andrew. Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation. Downer’s Grove: IVP Books 2007 (221 pp) ISBN-10: 0830834885
Dean, Kenda Creasy. Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church. Grand Rapids: Wm. B Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2004 (260 pp) ISBN-10:0802847129
Kimball, Dan and Lilly Lewin. Sacred Space: A Hands-On Guide to Creating Multisensory Worship Experiences for Youth Ministry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Youth Specialties. 2008 (176 pp) ISBN-10: 0310271118
Recommended Texts & Course Materials
Bass, Dorothy C. and Don C. Ricter, Eds. Way to Live: Christian Practices for Teens. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 2002 (304 pp) ISBN-10: 0835809757
Burton, Beverly, Drew Dyson Soul Tending. Nashville: Abingdon Press 2002 (192pp) ISBN-10: 068703079X
Dean, Kenda Creasy (Author), Ron Foster The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry. Nashville: Upper Room Books, 1998 (220 pp) ISBN-10: 0835808580
Folmsbee, Christ. A New Kind of Youth Ministry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Youth Specialities, 2007 (160 pp) ISBN-10: 031026989X
Jones, Tony Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life. Zondervan Publishing 2005 (221 pages) ISBN 0-310-25810-3
Smith, Christian with Melinda Lundquist Denton. Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers. New York: Oxford Press ISBN 0-19-518095-X
Yaconelli, Mark. Growing Souls: Experiments in Contemplative Youth Ministry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan/Youth Specialities, 2007 (286 pp) ISBN-10: 0310273285
- What is Youth Spirituality? (Current explorations)
- Spiritual formation with youth
- Formation and experiential learning environments, an integrative approach
- Structuring and nurturing youth formation
- Exploring Practices & strategy