Fuller Logo

Fall 2013/Fuller Live!

Colorado, Irvine, Menlo Park, and Pasadena




DESCRIPTION: This course is designed to help students understand the dynamics of long-term faith development among adolescents. This course will weave together theological reflection and social science research in a Practical Theology approach that will primarily focus on 3 contexts: the adolescent’s family, the youth ministry, and the overall congregation.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: Empirical data indicates that almost half of youth group graduates drift from their faith and the church community after high school. Current and prospective youth leaders therefore benefit from learning how to help teenagers develop the theological, relational, ecclesial and missional frameworks that are correlated with faith longevity in adolescents.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, students will have demonstrated (1) an understanding of the cultural and developmental factors that often thwart adolescent faith longevity; (2) the ability to develop a youth ministry plan undergirded by a practical theology corrective response to those obstacles; and (3) the framework required to center youth ministry philosophy and praxis in a long-term vision for teenagers’ faith trajectories.

COURSE FORMAT: This course will meet once each week for a three-hour class session. Classes combine lecture, large and small group discussions, and small group presentations by students.

REQUIRED READING: 1,300 total number of pages required

Allen, Holly Catterton, and Ross, Christine Lawton. Intergenerational Christian Formation. IVP Academic, 2012. ISBN: 978-0830839810, Pub Price $22.00 [330 pages assigned].

Clydesdale, Tim. The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens After High School. University of Chicago Press, 2007. ISBN: 978-0226110660, Pub. Price $22.50 [239 pages assigned].

Dean, Kenda. Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church. Oxford University Press, 2010. ISBN: 978-0195314847, Pub. Price $24.95 [264 pages assigned].

Joiner, Reggie. Think Orange: Imagine the Impact When Church and Family Collide. David C Cook, 2009. ISBN: 978-1434764834, Pub. Price $21.99 [272 pages assigned].

Peterson, Eugene. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction. InterVarsity Press, 2002. ISBN: 978-0830822577, Pub. Price $16.00 [216 pages assigned].


Baxter, Jeff. Together: Adults and Teenagers Transforming the Church. Zondervan Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 978-0310578741, Pub. Price $16.99 [192 pages].

Clark, Chap. Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers. Baker Academic, 2011. ISBN: 978-0801039416, Pub. Price $17.99 [288 pages].

Garland, Diana R. Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Guide. IVP Academic, 2012. ISBN: 978-0830839711, Pub. Price $50.00 [656 pages].

Powell, Kara E, Griffin, Brad M., and Crawford, Cheryl A. Sticky Faith, Youth Worker Edition: Practical Ideas to Nurture Long-Term Faith in Teenagers. Zondervan Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 978-0310889243, Pub. Price $16.99 [224 pages].


  1. 1,300 pages of required reading and completion of two 2-page reflection papers based on assigned readings (30%).

  2. Midterm exam covering texts and class lectures and discussions (20%).

  3. Final exam covering texts and class lectures and discussions (25%).

  4. An essay describing a youth ministry geared toward adolescent faith longevity that encompasses theological, ecclesial, relational, and missional components [2,500-3,500 words] (25%).




NOTE: This ECD is a reliable guide to the course design but is subject to modification. Textbook prices are set by publishers and are subject to change.