Amid the crises of late capitalist America, what could pastorally and politically empowering ministry with youth and young adults look like? Beginning with social analyses of culture, society, and the church, this course turns to traditions of Christianity and of interfaith, pluralist struggle to identify ministry practices for discernment and renewal. We will explore: the complex ecology of youth / young adult living; the social construction of adolescence; the pitfalls and possibilities of identity formation; the developmental needs and capacities of young people; and the limitations and affordances that consumer, digital, “religious,” and “spiritual” experience offer to youth. Using capacity-building models of community-based ministry, Christian scripture, and interfaith literacy, students will develop their own vision for healing, prophetic, and socially transformative work with young people.
- Professor: John Falcone