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Spring 2014/Menlo Park




DESCRIPTION: This course provides a background to the psychosocial, technological and spiritual reasons for the almost universal adoption of the Internet and social media among adolescents. The course will provide an understanding of adolescent social media use, theological implications for youth and family ministry and historical and contextual responses of the Church to mediated communication. This course is designed to help the student think theologically about social media concerns and practices of youth, families and Christian communities, providing practical tools to enable the student to design a theologically informed social media strategy in a local ministry context.

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon the successful completion of this course, students will have (1) an understanding of social media, its influence and affect on adolescents and their families; (2) an ability to communicate a theology and philosophy of social media informed by a ministry of adoption into a local church body; (3) an awareness of the unique social media ministry needs of early, middle and late adolescents; (4) developed a social media strategy that enables discipleship and Christian nurture within a theological framework of congregational ownership and strategic adoption of adolescents.

COURSE FORMAT: This course will meet three hours a week on a ten-week schedule aligned with Fuller’s academic calendar for a total of 30 hours of classroom time. Students are required to interact with the material, with each other, and with the instructor through lecture, class and group discussions, reading, and other assignments that promote active learning. Each student will also complete a contextualized final project.


Adams, Paul. Grouped: How Small Groups of Friends Are the Key to Influence the Social Web. Berkeley, CA: New Riders, 2012. ISBN: 978-0321804112, Pub. Price $29.99 [168 pp. assigned]

Clark, Chap. Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers, Youth, Family, and Culture Series. Baker Academic, 2011. ISBN: 978-0801039416, Pub. Price $17.99 [202 pp. assigned]

Drane, John. After McDonaldization. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2008. ISBN: 978-0801036118, Pub Price $23.00 [142 pp. assigned]

Livermore, David A. Cultural Intelligence. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2009. ISBN: 978-0801035890, Pub. Price $22.99 [273 pp. assigned]

Nouwen, Henri J. M. In the Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership. New York: Crossroad, 1989. ISBN 978-0824512590. Pub. Price $13.95. [81 pp. assigned].

Turkle, Sherry. Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other. New York: Basic Books, 2011. ISBN: 978-0465031467, Pub. Price $16.99 [200 pp. assigned]

Vanhoozer, Kevin J., Charles A. Anderson, and Michael J. Sleasman. Everyday Theology: How to Read Cultural Texts and Interpret Trends, Cultural Exegesis. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2007. ISBN: 978-0801031670, Pub. Price $23.99 [200 pp. assigned]

Wagner, Rachel. Godwired. London: Routledge, 2011. ISBN: 978-0415781459, Pub. Price $39.95 [266 pp. assigned]

RECOMMENDED READING: See course syllabus.


  1. 1,500 pages of required reading and submit for each required book a 2-page reflection paper with at least two pages of quotes. (25%)

  2. Weekly class participation. (10%)

  3. A final exam on the class material and reading. (25%)

  4. A 15 page final project that reflects a programmatic interpretation of the course content in a given context. (40%)


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Elective. Option for Youth, Family, and Culture emphasis.


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.