Youth Development (YTHL)
This course seeks to help students think biblically and theologically about the challenges and issues related to urban youth ministry. This is an applied theology course, which means we will seek to understand the biblical theological foundations for how we do youth ministry in urban settings and why it's done in those ways. various methodologies and faith traditions will be explored and evaluated. Students will think through their personal approaches to urban youth ministry.
For more than a decade, leaders in the youth services field have been advocating for the adoption of a youth development framework to guide how policy makers, practitioners, and educators respond to the needs of youth, particularly youth from poor and disadvantaged circumstances. This course will provide the research and conceptual framework of youth development. The course will introduce practices that challenge the assumption that our society must "fix" youth before youth can be productive and healthy.
This intensive course is designed to introduce students to the concept of advocacy and help develop skills necessary for effective support of youth involved in the juvenile justice and child welfare and alternative education systems. Introduction and exploration of the institutional approach to care are necessary in order to lay the foundation and understand the purpose for youth advocacy. The role of the advocate will be defined along with the purpose of advocacy as part of the natural (Christian) helping process. a holistic approach to helping with specific emphasis on a Christian worldview will be used through scriptural reference for helping and specific examples of advocacy (in scripture). This course will outline a systems approach to advocacy as well as direct service to individuals who are involved with the system. Collaboration and networking with other professionals will be addressed.
An in-depth examination of the unique and complex dynamics of urban youth culture in the United States, with a particular focus on the values, attitudes, norms, and rituals of several sub-cultures found in urban contexts. The significant role of popular culture in shaping U.S. urban youth culture will also be explored, notably in regard to the entertainment industry. The emanative impact of U.S. urban youth culture on young people around the globe will also be considered, as well as globalization's impact on urban youth culture in the U.S. Global urban youth will also be discussed.
An examination of the reasoned defense of the Christian faith with specific application to pluralistic street contexts. While primarily geared toward understanding and responding to the spiritual issues U.S. urban youth face, the broader global perspective will be kept deliberately in view. The apologetic endeavor will be considered theologically (Christocentrically and crucoformulically), philosophically (worldview formation, analysis and transformation), and anthropologically (historical, cultural, generational issues, etc.). Specific consideration of historical events, ideological movements, worldviews and value systems that have resulted in the rise of Islam (folk and traditional forms), of secular and Eastern faith systems (largely through popular culture), and of popular heterodox Christian theologies which have now gone global (accelerated via technological innovation). In addition to reason-based methods, consideration will also be given to elenctics (John 16:7-11), as well as to the place that wonder, mystery, creativity and imagination have in the apologetic task.
This course is a practicum emphasizing the implementation of the basic philosophy and methodology of youth outreach. The development of persona relationships, community relationships and youth development experiences with urban young people through relevant forms of outreach is essential. Anyone graduating from this program must demonstrate a high level of ability in the formation of youth development programs. This practicum includes the implementation of leadership skills including the principles of recruitment, training, and the ongoing empowerment of volunteers (community, adult, and youth) for outreach ministry. A combination of leadership experiences based on the student's learning goals for ministry function and written reflective evaluations are required. An integral part of this experience is the opportunity for students to: (1) observe youth ministry carried out by a competent, experienced practitioner in the field, and (2) become experienced in youth outreach under the care and counsel of a competent, experienced practitioner (mentor). Students will complete regularly scheduled supervisory dialogues with a youth outreach mentor (from a church, para-church or community organization) over a period of one semester.
This course is a practicum emphasizing the formation and oversight of new urban youth development programs or endeavors. Students are expected to work collaboratively with community, church or para-church organizations. Anyone graduating from this program must demonstrate a high level of ability in the development of new initiatives that meet the needs of urban youth. Students will complete regularly scheduled supervisory dialogues with a youth development supervisor (from a church, para-church or community organization) over the course of the semester. Additionally, each student will be required to conduct weekly, supervised outreach to urban youth based upon specified goals. Students are expected to complete a minimum of 115 hours, including field research, supervisory meetings and project implementation time. To be completed in the semester immediately following Leadership Practicum I. Placement: 115-120 hours. (Prerequisites: UrBN 570, yTHL 525, 585, 695)