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Spring 2013/Phoenix




DESCRIPTION: This course presents an overview of crises that face the youth minister from three angles a) crises within the life of an adolescent both personally and systemically, b) crises that occur in the family of an adolescent, and c) crises which may occur in the life of the youth minister. Employing readings, lecture, a resource guide and a final project students will develop the tools to appropriately identify and theologically respond to such crisis situations.

SIGNIFICANCE FOR LIFE AND MINISTRY: In ministry to adolescents and their family's crisis is not a matter of if but when. While it is impossible to anticipate what nature the crisis will take, the majority will fall into a few broad categories. Learning to identify the pastoral response to a wide spectrum of crisis situations and having worked with a template for appropriate theological response to such, a youth and family worker will be able to bridge the gap between caring pastor and resourcing professional

LEARNING OUTCOMES: Upon successful completion of this course, students will have demonstrated (1) ability identify a crisis issue, including theological and secular issues involved; (2) how to analyze and reflect based on issues to determine praxis; (3) when to refer and how to pull together a viable resource guide; (4) the ability to claim the role of minister/Christian in the midst of crisis.

COURSE FORMAT: The course will meet over 4 weekends, Friday evenings, and Saturday mornings, for a total of 30 hours.


Borgman, Dean. Hear My Story: Understanding the Cries of Troubled Youth. Baker Academic, 2003. ISBN: 978-0801045684, Pub. Price $20.00 [432 pp.]

Creasy-Dean, Kenda and Ron Foster. The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry. Upper Room Books, 2005. ISBN: 978-0835808583, Pub. Price $17.00 [220 pp.]

Kinner, Janna. Group’s Emergency Response Handbook for Youth Ministry. Group Publishing, 2007. ISBN: 978-0764435744, Pub. Price $14.99 [147 pp.]

Moore, Mary Elizabeth and Almeda Wright. Children, Youth and Spirituality in a Troubling World. Chalice Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0827205130, Pub. Price $29.99 [250 pp.]


  1. 15% Book Review of Moore/Wright Book- A 5-7 page book review of the Moore/Wright book including what you consider to be the main point or agenda, 3-5 highlights (what you think was done well) and 3-5 questions or critiques you have for the author(s). Be certain to highlight the authors use of theological and secular issues involved in the crisis named. You needn’t summarize each section as a familiarity with the reading is assumed. You may focus on jut a few chapters for the paper but a reading of the entire book is expected for class discussion. (Learning outcome #1) Due at the start of the second class, 12 April 2013.

  2. 15% 5 Contributions to a comprehensive resource guide; including visitation to or interview with at least one resource named. This resource guide will be cumulative, including materials offered in class from professor and fellow students. (Learning Outcome #3) Due at the start of third class 26 April 2013.

  3. 15% Godbearing Life- Personal Interaction. A 5-7 page paper identifying the role of minister and steps to secure and maintain this throughout ministry, in particular during a crisis. This will be informed by questions included in the reading at the end of each chapter. A focus of at least one red flag chosen from these questions will be addressed. (Learning Outcome #4) Due 10 May 2013.

  4. 15% In class practical theology exercise- How to analyze and reflect based on issues to determine praxis. This will take place as a group exercise and will serve as a quiz in the format of real life scenario encountered and addressed within a class session. (Learning Outcome #2)

  5. 30% A Theology of Suffering and Hope- Final Project, 15-20 pages in length. As you go throughout the course, consider your own ministerial experience, convictions and what theological elements guide your thoughts and actions for walking through a crisis. Write your own theology of suffering and hope using class readings, discussions and outside research. Borgman’s book in particular uses the language of a theology of suffering though elements of suffering and hope are present in each book. Use these as well as 4 additional academic resources. (Learning Outcomes #1,2,3 & 4) This assignment due May 27, and is to be turned in electronically.

  6. 10% Class Participation/Preparation


RELATIONSHIP TO CURRICULUM: Elective; will meet requirement in M.Div. concentration in Youth, Family, and Culture, and M.A. concentration in Youth, Family, and Culture.


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.