meta_desc="The Fuller Youth Institute is committed to ongoing investment in urban youth workers and the specific needs and concerns that arise in ministry in urban contexts." }

NYWC

  

It's been great seeing you this weekend!

Here are a few resources for you!
 

Download all NYWC Handouts

 

Sign up for our E-Journal

 

Sticky Faith Resources

 

Check out the Sticky Faith Launch Kit

 

Check out The Sticky Faith Guide For Your Family

 

Join a Sticky Faith Cohort


 

About FYI:

Welcome! We're glad you found us. The Fuller Youth Institute exists to equip teenagers with the lifelong faith they need. 

We do this by leveraging RESEARCH into RESOURCES that elevate leaders, kids, and families.

You can read more about our staff team and our impact on these other pages, as well as popular questions people tend to ask.

 

VIA MEDIA

 

This is an FYI series on navigating digital technology and social media with young people.

 

Would you believe that the percentages of young people who report sexting, feeling bullied or harassed on social media, and having seen explicit images online are all declining?

Or that a large percentage of young people have told researchers that some of their happiest memories of time spent with their families have centered around things like creating music playlists, online family Christmas cards, and digital scrapbooks?

 

VIA MEDIA Part 001

A New Look @ Navigating Digital Technology with Young People


 


 

VIA MEDIA Part 002

How Young is Too Young for Digital Technology and Social Media?

 

 


 

VIA MEDIA Part 003

Sticks and Phones: Preventing Digital Bullying


 

 


 

VIA MEDIA Part 004

My [Own] Space: Supervision vs. Surveillance

 

 


 

VIA MEDIA Part 005

Cheat Codes: A Quick Guide to Teens and Video Games

 

 


 

VIA MEDIA Part 006

Shoot To Kill: The real impact of violent video games

 

 


 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with danah boyd

What you wish you knew about teens and digital media

 

 

 


NPR Interview

NPR Interview with Kara Powell: "Guiding Children Through Religion"

by Michel Martin (NPR), August 30, 2011

Some parents feel responsible to shape their children's religious foundations while others prefer to let kids explore faith for themselves. Host Michel Martin explores the complications of spiritual parenting with Asra Nomani, professor of journalism at Georgetown University; Kara Powell, author of Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids; and Regina Brett, author of God Never Blinks. ...LISTEN TO THE STORY

Training: Urban Youth Certificate


The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry provides youth workers in urban church and parachurch settings with essential training vital to effective youth ministry.



This unique program offered by the Fuller Youth Institute draws from the expertise of Fuller’s Schools of Theology, Psychology and Intercultural Studies to offer academic training that can be completed with a minimum of time away from ministry commitments.

Sticky Faith Resources

 

Based on extensive research, the team at FYI presents parents and youth workers with groundbreaking Sticky Faith resources to nurture lasting faith in teenagers.

Press Release

PASADENA, Calif. — Millions of college freshmen are overwhelmed right now trying to make new friends, adjusting to more rigorous school work and learning to live away from home. Whether they also find time for church during their first two weeks on campus will set the mold for the rest of their college years, according to new research. ...READ MORE


ZONDERVAN RESEARCH RELEASE:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, SEPTEMBER 7, 2011

What Makes Faith Stick During College?

Findings from Fuller Youth Institute research provide surprising insights on instilling lasting faith in young people.

Pasadena, California, Sept. 7, 2011—Parents and church youth leaders often see big changes in youth group graduates as they transition to college, but one change that can catch them off guard is a vastly diminished commitment to faith. To give parents, leaders, and churches the practical tools needed to instill long-term faith in young people, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) at Fuller Seminary has just completed six years of “Sticky Faith” research through the College Transition Project.

Previous studies indicate that 40 percent to 50 percent of all youth group graduates fail to stick with their faith or connect with a faith community after high school.* To unearth why that is and what can be done to help students develop a faith that thrives over the long haul, FYI paired interviews of youth group graduates with a longitudinal study of approximately 500 youth group graduates during their first three years in college. Based on this research, FYI has unveiled three counterintuitive findings with enormous ramifications for the long-term faith development of American teenagers:

1. While most U.S. churches focus on building strong youth groups, teenagers also need to build relationships with adults of all ages.

Contrary to the assumption that involving teenagers in youth group and peer activities is the key to vibrant spirituality, students’ participation in all-church worship during high school was more consistently linked with developing a mature faith in both high school and college than any other participation variable. Rather than only attending their own Sunday School classes, worship services, small groups, and service activities, young people appear to benefit from intergenerational activities. Churches and families wanting to instill deep faith in youth should help them build a web of relationships with committed and caring adults.

2, Churches and families overestimate youth group graduates’ readiness for the struggles ahead with dire consequences for the faith.

Only one in seven high school seniors report feeling prepared to face the challenges of college life with few ready for the intensity of the college experience: loneliness, the search for new friends, being completely on their own for the first time, and the sudden availability of partying.  One pervasive struggle for college students is finding a new church, as evident by the 40 percent of freshman who report difficulty doing so. Young people retrospectively report that the first two weeks of their college freshman year set the trajectory for their remaining years in school. 

Parents and leaders should talk earlier and more frequently about college, including helping entering freshman develop a plan for the first two weeks complete with church attendance, as well as an investigation of ministries and churches nearby that offer a transitional lifeline.

3. While teaching young people the “dos” and “don’ts” of Christian living is important, an overemphasis on behaviors can sabotage faith long-term. 

When asked what it means to be Christian, one-third of subjects as college juniors (all of whom were youth group graduates) failed to mention “Jesus” or “Christ” but rather emphasized behaviors. This and a few related findings suggest that students tend to view the gospel as a “do” and “don’t” list of behaviors instead of a faith that also transforms interior lives and beliefs. One of the dangers of reducing Christianity to this sort of external behavior is that when students fail to live up to the activities they think define Christianity, their feelings of guilt can make them quickly abandon their faith altogether.

Parents and leaders eager to build sticky faith in youth need to exemplify and explain that while particular behaviors and practices are part of the faith, the focus is on trusting (not just obeying) Christ along with explaining how he leads, guides, and changes us from the inside. Young people better navigate their faith journey when adults share the challenges of their own spiritual paths—including ups, downs, and turning points.

Commentary on the Findings

Dr. Kara Powell, executive director of the Fuller Youth Institute, expressed both concern over the faith trajectories of youth group graduates as well as optimism about the transformative potential of the research findings. “As many churches and denominations experience decline, and as anxious parents wonder about their children’s futures, this Sticky Faith research has the power to spark a movement that not only changes youth, but also families and churches. Throughout the research, we’ve been sharing preliminary results and are impressed with the powerful changes families and churches have already been able to make by incorporating the findings.”

Brand New Sticky Faith Resources

Expanded analyses of the groundbreaking Sticky Faith research and implications are fleshed out in two just-released books:  Sticky Faith by Kara E. Powell and Chap Clark, and Sticky Faith:  Youth Worker Edition by Kara E. Powell, Brad M. Griffin, and Cheryl A. Crawford (Zondervan Publishing). For more information on the research and to sign up for a free FYI E-Journal, visit stickyfaith.org, or follow @stickyfaith on twitter.

About FYI

Based in Pasadena, California, the Fuller Youth Institute (fulleryouthinstitute.org) is part of Fuller Theological Seminary, one of the largest evangelical seminaries in the world with more than 4,000 Master’s level and Doctoral students. The mission of the Fuller Youth Institute is to leverage research into resources that elevate leaders, youth, and families.

* Barna Update, “Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years.” The Barna Group, 2006, September 16, 2006; George H. Gallup, Jr., The Gallup Poll, 2006; and Christian Smith with Patricial Snell, Souls in Transition (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2009), 105, 108, 109, and 116.




NPR Interview with Kara Powell: "Guiding Children Through Religion"

by Michel Martin (NPR), August 30, 2011

Some parents feel responsible to shape their children's religious foundations while others prefer to let kids explore faith for themselves. Host Michel Martin explores the complications of spiritual parenting with Asra Nomani, professor of journalism at Georgetown University; Kara Powell, author of Sticky Faith: Everyday Ideas to Build Lasting Faith in Your Kids; and Regina Brett, author of God Never Blinks. ...LISTEN TO THE STORY

Research Overview

Defining Sticky Faith

The goal of this movement is to help teenagers develop Sticky Faith.  By “Sticky Faith” we mean a combination of characteristics, all of which exist in a dynamic tension…

  • Faith that is both internalized and externalized: a faith that is part of a student’s inner thoughts and emotions, and is also externalized in choices and actions that reflect that faith commitment.  These behaviors include regular attendance in a church/campus group, prayer and Bible reading, service to others, and lower participation in risk behaviors, in particular sex and alcohol (two behaviors we are studying specifically).  In other words, Sticky Faith involves whole-person life integration, at least to some degree.
  • Faith that is both personal 1 and communal:  a faith that celebrates God’s specific care for each person while always locating faith in the global and local community of the Church.
  • Faith that is both mature and maturing:  a faith that shows marks of spiritual maturity but is also in process of growth.  We don’t assume a high school senior or college freshman (or a youth worker for that matter) will have a completely “mature” faith.  We are all in process.

Research Overview

The Fuller Youth Insititute’s College Transition Project is comprised of four separate research initiatives: an initial quantitative pilot study involving 69 youth group graduates, two three-year longitudinal (primarily quantitative) studies of high school seniors during their first three years in college, involving 162 and 227 students respectively, and qualitative interviews with 45 former youth group graduates between two and four years beyond high school graduation.

In 2004, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI), at that time know as the Center for Youth and Family Ministry, initiated a pilot research study called the College Transition Project (CTP) under the guidance of Dr. Cameron Lee from Fuller's School of Psychology, surveying a group of 69 college students who were alumni of a single youth group in the Northwest. The preliminary results suggested a link between a college student’s current spiritual state and the quality of key relationships during the high school years, including the youth group environment itself. As a result, in 2005–2006 FYI launched a broader study, recruiting students involved in church youth groups during the spring of their high school senior year. To participate in the survey, students were required to be 18 years of age or older, part of a church youth group, and intending to attend a college or university upon graduation. Students were recruited through FYI’s nationwide network of youth leader contacts, resulting in a sample of 162 students who were surveyed four times over three years. Thirty of these students participated in subsequent one-hour interviews during their fourth year out of high school.

In 2006-07, with the support of funding from the Lilly Endowment, FYI launched another nationwide longitudinal study of high school seniors connected to church youth groups to examine their experiences at five points: the spring of their senior year in high school, the fall and spring of their first year in college (2007-2008), the spring of their second year in college (2009), and the spring of their third year in college (2010). The primary goal of the study was to determine if there are programmatic and relational characteristics of high school youth ministries and churches that have a demonstrable relationship to how students make the faith adjustment to life beyond high school.

With support from another private foundation, Dr. Cheryl Crawford conducted two-hour qualitative interviews with 15 college students who had been part of a leadership development program at a Christian camp during high school. These interviews were conducted during spring semester of the freshman year of college. She subsequently interviewed the same students the following spring.

Participants

The sample for the longitudinal study launched in 2007 consisted of 227 high school seniors drawn from different regions across the United States. More than half (56.3 percent) of the respondents were female while 43.7 percent were male. The sample was predominantly White/Caucasian (78.0 percent). Asian/Asian American students comprised 11.0 percent of the sample, while Hispanic/Latino students accounted for 5.0 percent. African-American and Native American students each accounted for 1.4 percent of the sample. Participants reported a median grade point average of 3.5 to 3.99, with 63 percent of the sample having GPAs above 3.5. Given that 88 percent of seniors who apply to college have a GPA over 3.0, our sample represents a high-achieving group. 2 &nb.sp; The majority of the participants came from larger churches. The median youth group size was 51-100 students, while the median church size was reported to be over 800 members.

Participants were mostly from intact families, with 83.8 percent reporting that they lived with both their father and mother; another 4.1 percent lived with a parent and stepparent. Overall, the parents of the participants were well educated; more than two-thirds (69.7 percent) of the mothers and nearly three-quarters of the fathers (73.0 percent) held at least a college degree. By far the majority of the fathers (88.2 percent) of the participants were employed full-time, while fewer than half of the mothers were (42.5 percent).

Procedure

From October 2006 to February 2007, members of the research team who had developed networks in four geographical regions of the United States (the Southwest, the Northwest, the Southeast, and the Northeast) identified churches representing size, denominational, socio-economic, and ethnic diversity. For this study, only churches employing full-time youth pastors were recruited. From March to June 2007, the youth ministry staff of each participating church was asked to invite senior students involved in their youth ministries to participate in the study. As with the pilot, students were eligible only if they were 18 years old or over and intended to attend a college upon graduation.

Students who agreed to participate in the study could do so in one of three ways: they could complete a paper-and-pencil version of the survey together (facilitated either by their youth pastor or a member of the FYI research team), they could complete a paper version of the survey individually at a time and place convenient to them, or they could complete an online version of the survey. In addition to the survey, each student was required to complete a consent form assuring confidentiality. Signed consent forms also contained an identification code that was unique to each individual, as well as contact information (i.e., an email address and a physical address) in order to track each student for future waves of data collection. All future data collection was done via online surveys.

Instruments

Faith Measures

Five measures of faith development were employed by the FYI team (overseen by Dr. Kara Powell and Dr. Cameron Lee) in order to create a composite picture of both internalized and externalized faith commitments and behaviors. For four of the measures, participants are asked to rate their agreement with each item on a five-point scale, ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree(5). The Intrinsic Religious Motivation scale 3   is comprised of ten items measuring the extent to which an individual’s religiosity is not simply external and behavioral but internalized in terms of one’s values and motivations. Sample items include, “My faith involves all of my life,” and “I try to carry my religion over into all my other dealings in life.” A similar measure, the Narrative Faith Relevance Scale, 4 assesses the extent to which one’s decisions are influenced by the sense of having a relationship to God. Sample items include, “If and when I date someone, it is (or would be) important to me that God be pleased with the relationship,” and “In choosing what college to attend, it was important to me to seek God’s will.” The third measure is the 17-item short form of the Search Institute’s Faith Maturity Scale, 5 including items like “My faith shapes how I think and act each and every day” and “My life is committed to Jesus Christ.” And the fourth is the Religious Support Scale, 6 assessing the extent to which participants feel supported and nurtured by God. Using social support items, the scale incorporates indicators such as “I am valued by God.”

The fifth measure is a measure of religious behavior created for the CTP pilot. Ten items assess the frequency of engagement in a variety of corporate and individual behaviors, including such items as “pray alone,” “read the Bible by yourself,” and “attend a worship service or church-related event with your parents.” Responses are given on a six-point scale, ranging from less than once a month (1) to once a day or more (6).

Youth group Experience Measures

Three sets of items were created from qualitative data from earlier stages of the project in order to assess students’ participation in and attitudes toward their youth group experience. First, students were asked about the frequency of participation in eight items over the past two months or the past year, including activities like retreats, mission trips, and midweek youth group. Second, participants were presented with 22 statements representing why students go to youth group, including, “It’s where my friends are,” and “I learn about God there.” Students were asked to rate how true each statement was for them using a five-point scale ranging from not true at all (1) to completely true (5). Third, students were asked what they would want to see more of less of in their youth group. Thirteen items were presented, such as “one-on-one time with leaders” and “mission trips.” Participants responded on a five-point scale ranging from much less (1) to much more (5).

Other Measures

In addition to these faith and youth ministry measures, other scales and questions were added related to perceived social support, parental support, support within the youth ministry, loneliness, extraversion, social desirability (as a control factor) and risk behaviors (sexual contact, alcohol use, and pornography use). Subsequent waves of data collection have included most of these same measures (particularly faith measures), in addition to scales and questions related to religious behaviors in college, the college spiritual environment, adjustment to college, doubts about faith, parental and other adult contact in college, parental faith discussions, preparation for decision making, and college participation in church and campus ministry.

What is Sticky Faith?

 

Most churches in America would give anything to develop a deep, growing faith in kids that “sticks” and continues to mature long-term. That interest is dwarfed only by parents’ desire to develop a deep, growing faith in their own kids.

Yet both national leaders with broad spheres of influence as well as local, grassroots practitioners are waking up to the reality that almost half of their graduating seniors struggle deeply with their faith in college.  Offering a few special “Senior Seminars” or giving seniors a “graduation Bible” and hoping for the best are both too little and too late.

In response to this problem, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) has conducted the College Transition Project, a national longitudinal study following over 500 high school seniors during their first three years in college.  The goals of this research are to understand the dynamics of youth group graduates’ transition to college and to identify the relationships and best practices in youth ministries, churches, and families that can help set students on a trajectory of lifelong faith and service.

FYI’s research confirms that it’s never too early or too late to start developing faith that continues to grow and lasts.  Sticky Faith gives parents and leaders both a theological/philosophical framework and a host of practical relationship and programming ideas that develop long-term faith in teenagers. 

If you would like to explore the research method more in depth, please see the research overview below.  More specific inquiries can be made to stickyfaith@fuller.edu.

What is Deep Justice?

Resources For Empowering Youth For Service and Justice

Deep Justice Research

One of our primary research objectives at FYI has been to lead students and adults deeper into their service and justice work. Like you, we believe that God has called us to serve the poor, oppressed, sick, and anyone in need, and that God calls us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them in very tangible ways as we serve. We have also heard and observed that youth workers struggle to effectively engage students in life-transforming, long-term commitments to live out God’s heart for justice.

We have listened to the needs and concerns of youth workers across the country and literally around the world, and have created a series of resources that we hope will contribute to the transformation of students and adults alike. Below you will find links to our Deep Justice in a Broken World and Deep Justice Journeys books as well as a number of free resources, articles, podcasts, and more. We pray these resources will assist you in making a kingdom difference in kids’ lives and in the world around you!

Research: Improving Short-Term Missions Effectiveness

Deep Justice JourneysToday we are seeing more and more students anxious to make a difference in the world, and getting students involved in mission work is easier than it has been in previous years. But for justice work to make a real impact, leaders and students need to spend more time before, during, and after their service preparing for and processing their experiences.

In response to this need, FYI developed a collaborative Short-Term Missions (STM) curriculum for youth ministries of all types. This curriculum process began with two think tanks in 2006-2007 of STM leaders and youth pastors from around the country to discuss "best practices and processes" related to effective youth STM work, co-led by Dr. Dave Livermore of the Center for Cultural Intelligence and Dr. Terry Linhart from Bethel College, Indiana.

Out of that gathering, our core research team was motivated to pursue grant funding for the further development of a curriculum youth ministries could adapt to their own STM contexts and needs. We collaborated with a research and writing team including representatives from several mission organizations as well as frontlines youth workers to develop and test that curriculum in youth ministries from across the country.

One of the core assumptions in this project is that true STM effectiveness and life transformation (both for the "goers" and those who receive them in their communities) will emerge from an ongoing focus on creating missional lifestyles. This means that our STM preparations must include strategies for before, during, and after our actual trips—they must be woven into the fabric of our youth ministry ethos.

Below are articles and resources related to the STM effectiveness research we have conducted. In addition, Kurt Ver Beek of Calvin College has put together an incredible online database of STM research if you are interested in reading more in-depth, and you may want to check out the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions site too.

When Faith Gets AIDS Research

In order to help Christians worldwide engage in issues surrounding AIDS, FYI followed up extensive research into the AIDS pandemic by working with World Vision and Youth Specialties to provide supporting resources and curriculum for youth ministries utilizing programs such as One Life and 30 Hour Famine.  

In addition, a book emerged out of that research and was published by World Vision Resources Featuring Kara Powell and other Fuller authors. Born out of theological reflection on children and the mission of God, Understanding God’s Heart for Children is an expansion of papers delivered at the 2005 Cutting Edge Children at Risk Conference hosted by Viva Network. This book can be ordered by visiting www.worldvision.org.

For Further Study: Fuller’s Children at Risk Degrees

Interested in pursuing these and other issues related to children and youth at risk globally? Take a look at Fuller’s Children at Risk degree programs through the School of Intercultural Studies.

About FYI

Fuller President Mark Labberton shares why FYI is important for the church today:
 
 

We exist to equip teenagers with the lifelong faith they need

We do this by transforming research into resources that elevate leaders, kids, and families.

Our Staff   FAQs

 

If this is your first time visiting our site...

You might be interested in a few of our most popular posts:

 

 

New Resources

The latest Sticky Faith Curriculum tackles 8 tough questions about God & Faith. Find out more at the Can I Ask That? page.

 

Urban Youth Certificate

If you're an urban youth worker, please visit our Urban Ministry section and check out our free Self-Care Toolkit as well as our master's-level Certificate program.

And if you're primarily interested in learning more about studying youth ministry at Fuller Seminary, this is where you want to head.

 

Let's stay in touch

We'd love to connect with you through social media or other means. Check out our award-winning FYI blog and join in discussions there. We also encourage you to subscribe to our bi-weekly FYI E-Journal, a free resource that will keep you abreast of all things FYI and Sticky Faith.

What training do we offer?

We offer a variety of training opportunites, select from the menu on the left to find out more!


What Is UYM?

The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry provides youth workers in urban church and parachurch settings with essential training vital to effective youth ministry. This unique program offered by the Fuller Youth Institute draws from the expertise of Fuller’s Schools of Theology, Psychology and Intercultural Studies to offer academic training that can be completed with a minimum of time away from ministry commitments.

How Can the Urban Certificate Training Impact Your Leadership?


 

APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2015-17 COHORT WILL BE ACCEPTED:

AUGUST 1, 2014 THROUGH JANUARY 16, 2015

Apply Online Today


To inquire further about the Urban Youth Ministry program, please share more information with us so our Admissions team can be in touch with you! Note: Please be sure to select “Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry” under the drop-down menu designation for “Program of Interest”. You may also email us with any questions or to request further information, or call 626.584.5550.

From the minute we started the first class, I knew this program was going to be incredible. I am learning so much about God’s Kingdom, ministry, and culture. Being with this group is going to help my ministry tremendously. Not only do I feel better equipped to work with kids, I feel like I can better empower leaders and other staff.         —Certificate Student

TO APPLY:

Certificate Applicants

(already hold a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2014


After creating an online application account, please click on the “Online Application for the Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry Program ONLY” link from the Application Menu. NOTE: Be careful not to confuse the Urban program with the similar Certificate in Youth Ministry.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 16, 2015
 

Credential Applicants

(have not completed a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2014


APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 16, 2015

Other Degree Programs

Coming soon!

Request A Speaker

Kara Powell

The following list of speakers may be available to present Sticky Faith content at your event for youth workers, parents, or students. Please use our inquiry form to submit a speaker request:
 


Kara Powell

Kara Eckmann Powell, PhD

Dr. Kara E. Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. She completed her PhD in Practical Theology from Fuller Seminary in 2000, an MDiv from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1994, and a BA from Stanford University in 1991. In addition to her roles at Fuller Seminary, Kara currently serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties and volunteers in student ministries at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women You Should Know", Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books and curriculum guides, including Sticky Faith (parent and youth leader editions and parent and student curriculum, 2011-2012), Essential Leadership (2010), Deep Justice Journeys (2009), Deep Justice in a Broken World (2008), Deep Ministry in a Shallow World (2006), Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum (2001, rev 2009), Help! I’m a Woman in Youth Ministry (2004), and Mirror, Mirror (2003).  Kara speaks across the country at events for youth workers, parents, and students.


Chap Clark, PhD

Chap Clark (Ph.D., University of Denver) is Associate Provost for Strategic Projects at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA, and President of Foothill Community Ministries, Inc., the parent organization for the ParenTeen and HURT Seminars. His responsibilities at Fuller include overseeing all seven of Fuller's Regional Campuses; speaking, writing and consulting on behalf of the institution; and is also chair of department and director of Doctor of Ministry and Ph.D. programs in Youth, Family, and Culture. Chap is also the Senior Editor of YouthWorker Journal. When not at Fuller, Chap and his wife, Dee, live in Gig Harbor, WA and have three children, 29, 26, and 23. Chap's diverse history, training and background, coupled with his authentic and warm style and use of humor, have won Chap the ability to speak to all ages, groups, organizations, and backgrounds. Chap has written twenty-one books and dozens of articles, most recently Sticky Faith (Parent edition, with Kara Powell) and Hurt 2.0: Inside the World of Today's Teenagers.


Brad M. Griffin, MDiv

Brad Griffin serves as the Associate Director for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). Brad holds a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Youth, Family, and Culture from Fuller and a BA in Psychology from Asbury College. Brad coordinates FYI’s research efforts, leads workshops, develops resources, manages FYI’s online presence, consults with youth workers, and manages the private foundation grants of FYI. He has co-authored Sticky Faith (youth leader edition and student curriculum, 2011), Deep Justice Journeys (2009), and has authored or co-authored articles for the FYI E-Journal, Immerse Journal and YouthWorker Journal, as well as chapters in Middle School Ministry (2009), Deep Ministry in a Shallow World (2006) and Halos and Avatars (2010). A native Kentuckian, Brad now lives in Pasadena with his wife Missy and their three children. After 15 years in youth ministry, he now volunteers in ministry at Mountainside Communion.


Cheryl A. Crawford, PhD

Cheryl A. Crawford holds a PhD in practical theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and serves as Associate Professor of Practical Theology and Youth Ministry at Azusa Pacific University (APU) in Azusa, CA. She also serves as Director of Youth Ministry at APU. Cheryl brings over 30 years of church and parachurch youth ministry experience to the table, as well as a theological perspective informed by the social sciences. Her research, writing, and speaking has focused on adolescent faith and spiritual development, updated most recently in Sticky Faith (Youth Leader edition, co-authored with Kara Powell and Brad Griffin). She consults with local high school administrators during the academic year, is a member of the preaching team at Christ Our King Church in Azusa, and serves as Camp Pastor at Camp Brookwoods/Deer Run during the summers in New Hampshire.
 


Megan Hutchinson

Megan Hutchinson, MA

Energetic, passionate and a littly nutty are words which best describe Megan.  She’s a wife, mom, minister, national speaker and author. She’s been a youth minister for 20+ years, which included 8+ years at Saddleback Church where she ran an 8-step program she co-authored called Life Hurts – God Heals, selling internationally. She also wrote I Want to Talk to my Teen about Addictions and Secret Survivors. She is currently a youth pastor at The Following. Megan and her husband have two super sweet kids they totally dig.  A Fuller graduate, Megan also serves on the Fuller Youth Institute Advisory Board.
 



Jeff Mattesich

Jeff Mattesich, MA

Jeff Mattesich is the Associate Pastor of Children and Students at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena, CA.  As a 15-year youth ministry veteran, Jeff has served in several roles in both local church and Christian camping organizations. Prior to his role as Associate Pastor, Jeff served as High School Pastor at Lake Avenue and Junior High and College Director at Forest Home Christian Conference Center.  Jeff completed his B.A. in Biblical Studies at Azusa Pacific University and went on to receive a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary.  Jeff has been a contributing author, guest lecturer, camp and conference speaker, strategic thinker, and creative contributor to several churches, camps, schools, and organizations over his years in youth ministry.  He has been married to his incredible wife Jenny since 2002, and is the proud father to Henry and Russell.


Jeff MattesichTim Galleher, MDiv

Tim Galleher is Pastor of Youth and Family Ministries at Saratoga Federated Church in Saratoga, California. He has worked with students and parents for over thirty years in the local church and parachurch organizations including Young Life and the YMCA. Tim has a passion for bringing churches together and meeting the needs of students and parents.  He is excited to have the opportunity to equip parents to raise teenagers.  Tim has been part of the FYI Sticky Faith Cohort and is part of the FYI research team. Tim and his wife Cara live in Saratoga and have three children ages 20, 17 and 15.

 


Steven Argue, MDiv

Steve is the life development director at Mars Hill Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has been involved in youth ministry for over sixteen years as a youth pastor, instructor, speaker, and writer. Steve also teaches adjunct seminary courses on youth ministry and is a doctoral student at Michigan State University. An avid FYI collaborator, Steve was part of our 2010 Sticky Faith Learning Cohort and is now one of our cohort church coaches.

Certified Trainers

More info coming soon!

Cohorts

What is the Sticky Faith Cohort?


 

Through our Sticky Faith research we have learned that 40-50% of youth group graduates—like those at your church— walk away from faith and the church after high school. As a result of six years of research, we launched a national movement to change these statistics.

Repeatedly, FYI has been told by parents, local youth pastors, denominational representatives, and national youth ministry leaders that this research has the potential to re-shape local ministries as well as the field of youth ministry nationally. 

In response, FYI has created the Sticky Faith Cohort, a dynamic learning group process of innovative churches committed to take the research and apply it to their settings to offer more transformative youth and family ministry.  For one year we partner with churches across the country hosting monthly webinars and meeting for two in-person Summits that help build a foundational structure for implementing Sticky Faith and shifting church culture. 

Coaching

We've got your back.

Got ideas but not sure how to impliment them? Keep getting stuck? Get personalized training and assistance from one of our Sticky Faith Coaches.

Sticky Faith

What Is Sticky Faith?

Most churches in America would give anything to develop a deep, growing faith in kids that “sticks” and continues to mature long-term. That interest is dwarfed only by parents’ desire to develop a deep, growing faith in their own kids.

Yet both national leaders with broad spheres of influence as well as local, grassroots practitioners are waking up to the reality that almost half of their graduating seniors struggle deeply with their faith in college.  Offering a few special “Senior Seminars” or giving seniors a “graduation Bible” and hoping for the best are both too little and too late.

In response to this problem, the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) has conducted the College Transition Project, a national longitudinal study following over 500 high school seniors during their first three years in college.  The goals of this research are to understand the dynamics of youth group graduates’ transition to college and to identify the relationships and best practices in youth ministries, churches, and families that can help set students on a trajectory of lifelong faith and service.

FYI’s research confirms that it’s never too early or too late to start developing faith that continues to grow and lasts.  Sticky Faith gives parents and leaders both a theological/philosophical framework and a host of practical relationship and programming ideas that develop long-term faith in teenagers. 

If you would like to explore the research method more in depth, please see the research overview below.  More specific inquiries can be made to stickyfaith@fuller.edu.

Justice Resources

Coming soon!

Justice Degree Programs

Coming soon!

Justice Research

Research: Improving Short-Term Missions Effectiveness

 

Deep Justice Journeys

Today we are seeing more and more students anxious to make a difference in the world, and getting students involved in mission work is easier than it has been in previous years. But for justice work to make a real impact, leaders and students need to spend more time before, during, and after their service preparing for and processing their experiences.

In response to this need, FYI developed a collaborative Short-Term Missions (STM) curriculum for youth ministries of all types. This curriculum process began with two think tanks in 2006-2007 of STM leaders and youth pastors from around the country to discuss "best practices and processes" related to effective youth STM work, co-led by Dr. Dave Livermore of the Center for Cultural Intelligence and Dr. Terry Linhart from Bethel College, Indiana.

Out of that gathering, our core research team was motivated to pursue grant funding for the further development of a curriculum youth ministries could adapt to their own STM contexts and needs. We collaborated with a research and writing team including representatives from several mission organizations as well as frontlines youth workers to develop and test that curriculum in youth ministries from across the country.

One of the core assumptions in this project is that true STM effectiveness and life transformation (both for the "goers" and those who receive them in their communities) will emerge from an ongoing focus on creating missional lifestyles. This means that our STM preparations must include strategies for before, during, and after our actual trips—they must be woven into the fabric of our youth ministry ethos.

Below are articles and resources related to the STM effectiveness research we have conducted. In addition, Kurt Ver Beek of Calvin College has put together an incredible online database of STM research if you are interested in reading more in-depth, and you may want to check out the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions site too.

When Faith Gets AIDS Research

In order to help Christians worldwide engage in issues surrounding AIDS, FYI followed up extensive research into the AIDS pandemic by working with World Vision and Youth Specialties to provide supporting resources and curriculum for youth ministries utilizing programs such as One Life and 30 Hour Famine.  

In addition, a book emerged out of that research and was published by World Vision Resources Featuring Kara Powell and other Fuller authors. Born out of theological reflection on children and the mission of God, Understanding God’s Heart for Children is an expansion of papers delivered at the 2005 Cutting Edge Children at Risk Conference hosted by Viva Network. This book can be ordered by visiting www.worldvision.org.

Apply Now!

TO APPLY:

Certificate Applicants

(already hold a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2014


After creating an online application account, please click on the “Online Application for the Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry Program ONLY” link from the Application Menu. NOTE: Be careful not to confuse the Urban program with the similar Certificate in Youth Ministry.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 16, 2015
 

Credential Applicants

(have not completed a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2014


APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 16, 2015

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

We are so glad you are interested in finding out more about our new Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry. We figure you have all sorts of questions about the Certificate so we compiled the following list of Frequently Asked Questions.

1. What exactly is Fuller’s Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry?

2. What are the courses like?

3. How did Fuller decide what to include in the curriculum?

4. Who are the faculty, and what will be studied in the courses?

5. When do I start and when will I finish?

6. How much does the program cost?

7. Can I apply the credits I earn toward a Master’s Degree?

8. What if I don’t have my Bachelor’s degree completed yet?

9. How do I apply for the Certificate or the Credential?

10. What other academic programs are available for Youth Ministry training at Fuller?

11. I’m on Young Life Staff. How will this work alongside my training timeline?

12. Who can I contact for more information?


1. What exactly is Fuller’s Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry?

The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry provides youth workers in urban church and parachurch settings with theological, psychological, and intercultural training vital to effective youth ministry. This unique program offered by the Fuller Youth Institute draws from the expertise of Fuller’s Schools of Theology, Psychology and Intercultural Studies to offer academic training that can be completed with a minimum of time away from ministry commitments.

Back to top


2. What are the courses like?

The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry requires the completion of eight master’s-level courses (24 units total) essential for effective youth ministry in urban contexts, including four three-month field education practica conducted in each student’s home ministry area under the supervision of a qualified mentor. In addition to the practica, courses include:

  • Theology and Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry
  • The Urban Youth Ministry Leader
  • Leadership and Management of Urban Youth Ministry
  • Transformational Urban Youth Ministry

Four of the courses are offered as a hybrid of one-week intensives and distance learning that can be completed in the convenience of your own community.

Back to top


3. How did Fuller decide what to include in the curriculum?

From 2003-2005, FYI conducted over 40 interviews with key urban youth leaders representing organizations like Young Life, Youth for Christ, Vision Youth, Urban Reclaim, the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, Mission America, the Christian Community Development Association, and the Urban Youth Workers Institute. Fuller faculty then partnered with leaders and ministries nationwide to develop research-based training on topics like:

  • An understanding of the developmental assets most pivotal to urban kids and families and case studies of ministries that are doing excellent holistic ministry.
  • How to network resources in your city so that youth workers accomplish more working together than they ever could on their own.
  • The principles of indigenous leadership development that are tested and really work in urban contexts.
  • How to raise funds and financial support for your urban youth ministry.
  • Solid counseling skills to help you respond to kids who have been traumatized and are hurting.
  • How to design a theologically-grounded ministry plan based on clear outcomes.
  • How to evaluate your own ministry so you can keep improving and also show others your tangible results.

Back to top


4. Who are the faculty, and what will be studied in the courses?

Course #1: Theology and Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry

Faculty: Lina Thompson is World Vision’s National Director for Training and Capacity Building for U.S. Programs. She has been serving urban youth for over 25 years and teaches all over the country. This class, according to one student, is “mind-blowing and then some.”

Topics covered:

  • A theological method to apply to ministry in the city
  • Understanding and experiencing the Kingdom of God
  • Embracing and communicating through narrative theology/God’s story
  • Reaching kids through incarnational evangelism
  • Interacting with culture
  • Understanding multicultural issues, racial reconciliation, and ministry

Course #2: The Person of the Urban Youth Worker

Faculty: Dr. Rene Rochester is the founder and president of Urban S.E.T. Inc. (Strengthening, Educating and Training) along with being a high school health educator, coach, and athletic director. Dr. Rene has served public and private inner-city schools, juvenile justice systems, and churches, organizing and designing curriculum and intervention programs for youth workers and educators across the nation. One student called Rene’s class a “spiritual bubble bath” that cleanses and refreshes the urban youth worker’s soul.

Topics covered:

  • Learning to walk with Christ in the midst of suffering
  • Maintaining health in your own life and family
  • Developing boundaries
  • Maintaining balance
  • Developing your own peer community and creating accountability relationships
  • Mentoring
  • Understanding and using spiritual gifts

Course #3: Leadership and Management of Urban Youth Ministry

Faculty: Jeremy Del Rio serves as Executive Director of 20/20 Vision for Schools in New York City and the Northeast Director of Urban Youth Workers Institute. In this course students develop a foundational skill set to help build their ministries and organizations, as well as their own leadership potential.

Topics covered:

  • Developing and understanding organizational structure
  • Developing and communicating vision
  • Creating strategic plans
  • Developing administrative skills
  • Fundraising and resource development
  • Nurturing a team
  • Raising up indigenous leaders
  • Conducting program evaluation

Course #4: Transformational Urban Youth Ministry

Faculty: Michael Mata has extensive experience in urban-related programs on the congregational level, as well as ecumenical and interfaith levels. Currently serving as Urban Development Director for World Vision US, his skills and expertise lie in developing practical approaches to faith-based community development, congregational redevelopment, transcultural ministry, and community conflict transformation. One student walked out of class saying, “Michael helped me in 10 minutes build a mission statement for my organization that has taken me one year to try to do on my own.”

  • Adolescent development
  • Holistic evangelism and discipleship
  • Counseling kids who have been traumatized
  • Developing holistic, assets-based ministry
  • Exegeting your context, the city
  • Networking with other church and parachurch ministries in your city

Courses #5-8: Guided Practica to be completed with a mentor.

There will be 4 2-unit practica, each of which will connect and help reinforce and apply the content of the above 4 core courses.

 

Back to top


5. When do I start and when will I finish?

In order to create as relational a curriculum as possible, students in the Certificate of Urban Youth Ministry experience the courses as a cohort. For the 2015 cohort, the first course, “Theology and Philosophy of Urban Youth Ministry,” will start in Spring 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The entire course, as well as “The Person of the Urban Leader,” will be offered on-site at Fuller’s Pasadena campus. One-week intensives for the 2015 Spring quarter will be April 27-May 1.

The remainder of the “Person of the Urban Leader” and “Theology and Philosophy” courses will be offered via various distance learning venues (i.e., listening to downloadable lectures, group conference calls, corresponding by e-mail and online learning platform) from before and after the one-week intensive (March – June).

The 2 practica related to both courses will consist of a supervised internship (likely in your current ministry setting) with a mentor of the student’s choice during fall quarter 2015 and winter quarter 2016.

The “Leadership and Administration in Urban Youth Ministry” course and “Transformational Urban Youth Ministry” course will be offered in Spring 2016, also during a one-week intensive setting in Pasadena, California . The 2 practica related to these 2 courses will consist of a supervised internship (likely in students’ current ministry settings) with a mentor of the student’s choice during fall quarter 2016 and winter quarter 2017. All coursework would be completed by the end of winter quarter (late March) 2017.

Back to top


6. How much does the program cost?

The cost of the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate for the 2015 cohort is $8,880.00. Thanks to extensive fundraising, we will be able to offer 50% scholarships to all students enrolling in the program, with additional support available to eligible students. This scholarship support is such that students in the 2015-2017 cohort will only pay approximately $4,440 for the entire Certificate (payments will be evenly dispersed over the course of the two years). This is a significant savings! Students are also responsible for their own costs for transportation, lodging (at a discounted rate at accommodations arranged by Fuller), and food for the two face-to-face gatherings as well as books for all courses. Federal financial aid is not available for this program. However, if the total cost is still prohibitive for you, please let us know and we will continue to help you work toward alternative funding possibilities.    

Back to top


7. Can I apply the credits I earn toward a Master’s degree?

Although the Certificate is not awarded to students already admitted to degree programs, all courses earned toward a Certificate can be credited toward a degree program upon later admission to that program (if appropriate to the curriculum, and subject to certain degree requirements, such as residency or distance learning limits).

Back to top


8. What if I don’t have my Bachelor’s degree completed yet?

If you don’t have your Bachelor’s degree yet, you can apply for a parallel program called the Urban Youth Ministry Credential program. As such, you will not technically be a student at Fuller Seminary but rather a student affiliated with the Fuller Youth Institute. You will complete the same work assignments and interact in most all of the same lecture and discussion formats as the Certificate students.

Credential students are encouraged to submit the syllabi from the Credential courses to appropriate undergraduate universities (probably Christian universities or colleges) in the hopes that they, too, will grant undergraduate credit for work completed. The FYI staff can assist you by providing unofficial transcripts if needed. Please note that Credential students are not considered official graduate students of Fuller Theological Seminary.

Back to top


9. How do I apply for the Certificate or the Credential?

Beginning August 1, 2014, you can apply by selecting the appropriate link at the bottom of this page for credential or certificate. Further instructions and the application can be downloaded from there. THE APPLICATION DEADLINE FOR 2015 IS JANUARY 16, 2015. For both the Certificate and the Credential, each applicant must submit ONE pastoral reference and an OFFICIAL bachelor’s degree academic transcript (official transcript copies must be sent sealed by the schools themselves). Please plan accordingly. For more information on Fuller’s admissions requirements, please visit the Fuller Admissions page.

International Students: Unfortunately at this time we can only accept U.S. and Canadian citizens in the Certificate program. If you are from any other nation, please explore other opportunities to study at Fuller and read the instructions for the international application process HERE.

Back to top


10. What other academic programs are available for Youth Ministry training at Fuller?

Currently, our Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry program is our first for-credit academic program operated by the Fuller Youth Institute. However, Fuller also offers a Certificate in Youth Ministry (non-urban), a Master of Arts in Theology with an emphasis in Youth, Family, and Culture, a Master of Divinity with a Youth, Family, and Culture emphasis, and both PhD and DMin programs in Youth, Family, and Culture with Dr. Chap Clark. Fuller’s School of Intercultural Studies also offers programs in Children at Risk designed for practitioners both domestically and globally working with children and youth in high-risk settings. Please visit the Fuller Admissions site for further details about these other outstanding academic programs for youth ministry training.

Back to top


11. I’m on Young Life Staff. How will this work alongside my training timeline?

Thanks to a partnership between Young Life and FYI, the Certificate program will meet the requirements for your training timeline for the duration of the 2-year program. Download an information sheet to find out more details!

Back to top

12. Who can I contact for more information?

If you have questions not addressed already in this list, you may contact the FYI office for further information (fyi@fuller.edu) or call us at 626.584.5550.

To inquire further about the Urban Youth Ministry program, please share more information with us so our Admissions team can be in touch with you! Note: Please be sure to select “Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry” under the drop-down menu designation for “Program of Interest.”

Back to top

Employment Opportunities at the Fuller Youth Institute & Sticky Faith

Church Engagement Specialist

FYI is seeking to hire a Church Engagement Specialist who will compliment our existing team and further the Sticky Faith movement.  This person will coordinate the overall strategy and day-to-day details of the Sticky Faith Cohort church training initiative, manage our social media engagement and marketing efforts, and assist in our fund development efforts.  In a nutshell, we need someone to help us get our research and resources out those who need them…in clear and creative ways!

Do you think you might be a good fit?  We’re looking for someone with a demonstrated ability to:

  1. Identify an audience, discern their needs, and clearly communicate FYI’s content in a targeted way.
  2. Initiate, grow, and maintain relationships with church leaders.
  3. Plan and manage Sticky Faith Cohort training events with an outstanding level of hospitality.

If this sounds like you, please click here to read the full job description and/or apply: http://www.fuller.edu/About/Work-at-Fuller/Jobs/FYI-Church-Engagement-Specialist/

 

Check back for additional employment opportunities as they become available!

$50k Challenge

Because he believes in the Sticky Faith movement, one of our donors has generously given $50,000 to CHALLENGE others like you to share in his enthusiasm and collectively give an additional $50,000 by June 30th!
 
Give ANY amount to Sticky Faith by June 30th to help us rise to the challenge!

 

 

Why should you give?

 
Great question. Because young people are asking tough questions about their faith all the time. Here's an example...

 
“Pastor, if I raise my finger, will God know which one I’m going to raise even before I raise it?”
 
Thirteen year-old Steve attended church every week with his parents, and he stayed after church to get an answer from his pastor.
 
The pastor replied, “Yes, God knows everything.”
 
Steve, who was especially troubled by children who were starving in Africa, then pulled out a Life magazine cover depicting hungry African children to ask the logical follow-up, “Well, does God know about this and what’s going to happen to those children?” The pastor gave a similar response: “Steve, I know you don’t understand, but yes, God knows about that.”
 
Would you be inspired by that answer?
 
Steve wasn’t. In fact, he walked out that day and never returned to a Christian church again. Maybe you’ve heard of Steve. His last name is Jobs.
 
The young Steve Jobs, founder and CEO of Apple, Inc., was a churchgoing junior high student who had doubts about faith.

Our goal is for no teen to experience what the young Steve Jobs did. Every gift— no matter the amount — shows that together we are committed to helping teens wrestle with tough questions, so that their faith grows stronger.

 

Join the Sticky Faith Challenge

 

 

Eight years of Sticky Faith research on teenagers has shown us that doubt and hard questions are not toxic to faith. But silence is.


Every young person has unique gifts that need nurturing and encouragement. To help more young people develop lifelong faith, we’re asking you to prayerfully consider a gift that will help support and grow the Sticky Faith Movement through the rest of this year.

 

 

 

Grateful for your support,
 

Kara Powell, PhD, Executive Director
and the FYI Team

 

 

Simply Youth Ministry Conference

 

Thanks for connecting with us at SYMC this year!

Here are a few more ways to tap into resources:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About FYI:

Welcome! We're glad you found us. The Fuller Youth Institute exists to equip teenagers with the lifelong faith they need. 

We do this by leveraging RESEARCH into RESOURCES that elevate leaders, kids, and families.

You can read more about our staff team and our impact on these other pages, as well as popular questions people tend to ask.

Can I Ask That

Because it’s not doubt that’s toxic to faith. It’s silence.

Teenagers are tired of vague, superficial, or nonexistent answers to their tough questions about God, the Bible, and Christianity. Just when they’re capable of diving into the deep end of their faith, all too often the church keeps them splashing around in shallow waters. As eight years of Sticky Faith research on teenagers has shown, it’s not doubt or hard questions that are toxic to faith. It’s silence. The trusted voice of the Fuller Youth Institute and proven best practices from churches around the country converge to provide you tools both to start conversations about hard questions, as well as to lead students toward discovering their own faith convictions. 

“Young people want to connect with the Bible and ask tough questions, in a way that will not lead to formulas but renewed minds and transformed lives. Can I Ask That is designed to help them do just that.”   —John Ortberg

"The church never really talks about controversial issues, but we all wonder." - Tasha, age 18

"I loved that someone finally treated me like an adult." - Jade, age 17

"Honestly, I've been confused about some of these things. This study helped me understand more about the issues."  - Caleb, age 16

Nashville 2013


About FYI:

Welcome! We're glad you found us. The Fuller Youth Institute exists to equip teenagers with the lifelong faith they need. 

We do this by leveraging RESEARCH into RESOURCES that elevate leaders, kids, and families.

You can read more about our staff team and our impact on these other pages, as well as popular questions people tend to ask.

Windows Module 1 Resources

Test.

DeVos Certificate Partnership

Earn DVULI Credit with our Urban Youth Ministry Certificate

 

 

What is the goal of the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate/Credential?

The goal of the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate/Credential is to increase the capacity to spread the gospel to youth in urban settings by training youth workers in personal and ministry skills needed for effective long-term ministry. This unique program offered by the Fuller Youth Institute draws from the expertise of Fuller’s Schools of Theology, Psychology and Intercultural Studies to offer academic training that can be completed with a minimum of time away from ministry commitments.

 

How does the program fit in with DVULI?

The Urban Youth Ministry Certificate partnership offers an opportunity for DVULI participants to receive graduate-level academic credit while completing the DVULI training. The dual program is structured such that DVULI graduates will have completed the first half of the Certificate program (16 quarter unit hours) through their 300 hours of participation in DVULI and some additional academic work (reading and writing assignments). Students would then be encouraged to complete a second year of training and earn an accredited Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry.

 

 
 

Will I have to leave my ministry setting to complete the Certificate program?

No you will not. Similar to the DVULI training, the FYI Urban Youth Ministry Certificate program requires a one-week intensive course. But the program is designed to be contextual for your community, therefore most of the work can be done from home.

 

When do I start and finish?

The first year of the Certificate program coincides directly with the DeVos training, beginning in January 2015. During that year students will complete three 4-unit courses. DVULI students will then be able to complete the Certificate by June 2016.

 

What does the program cost?

The cost of the program is approximately $8880 per year. DVULI students will receive a 50% scholarship for the first year and may also be eligible for other scholarship support for the second year. Federal aid is not available

 

Who can I contact with questions?

If you have additional questions or are ready to talk about applying to the dual program, you may contact the FYI office for further information (fyi@fuller.edu) or call us at 626.584.5550.

TO APPLY:

For both the Certificate and the Credential, each applicant must submit ONE pastoral reference and an OFFICIAL bachelor’s degree academic transcript (official transcript copies must be sent sealed by the school). Please plan accordingly.

International Students: Unfortunately at this time we can only accept U.S. and Canadian citizens in the Certificate program. If you are from any other nation, please explore other opportunities to study at Fuller and read the instructions for the international application process HERE.

For those without a bachelor's degree applying for the Credential program, each applicant must submit ONE pastoral reference and an OFFICIAL high school degree or GED academic transcript (official transcript copies must be sent sealed by the schools themselves). Please plan accordingly.

Certificate Applicants

(already hold a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2014


After creating an online application account, please click on the “Online Application for the Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry Program ONLY” link from the Application Menu. NOTE: Be careful not to confuse the Urban program with the similar Certificate in Youth Ministry.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 16, 2015
 

Credential Applicants

(have not completed a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2014


APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 16, 2015

The program has helped me gain more insight on knowing God’s truth and today’s culture and bringing them together as I walk with kids in the city. I realize it’s not just about being a part of what God is doing in kids’ lives but also their families and ultimately being a part of transforming a community.

—Certificate Student

 

Our community has been pinpointed a priority neighborhood by our government because of the youth violence, poverty, poor school ratings and above average single parent homes. Our church is committed to improving the quality of life of those in the surrounding area, but it can be overwhelming trying to figure out where to start. Being able to learn from practitioners who have years of experience and expertise has been an enormous benefit to me. Thank you! As a result of this training, I have been able to help students like Atiba and Clinton move from significant prison sentences to college – from the streets to the classroom. Having the support of quality professors and other urban youth workers has kept me from giving up so many times!

—Certificate Student

Urban Youth Ministry Self-Care Toolkit

Sabbath Rest in a 24/7 City

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11: 28-30

Welcome to this five month journey toward finding God's rest in the midst of urban ministry. The city is the place where life never stops. Stores and restaurants are open 24 hours, and peoples' needs never quit either.

  • How do we find rest in the midst of a 24/7 city?
  • How do we stop when the city never does?
  • What does it mean to care for ourselves when the needs of others can overwhelm us?

We know that the great commandment is to love God first, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. But in reality, some of us are better at loving our neighbors (the kids and families we work with) than ourselves. We love our neighbor instead of ourselves, and then find ourselves worn out and exhausted.  Our entire FYI team prays that this "toolkit" will in fact assist you in your journey toward finding new rhythms in ministry—rhythms that include rest and renewal as a balance for the intensity of our daily work.

QUICK LINKS

Month 1: Your Community

Month 2: Your Life

Month 3: Your Pain

Month 4: Your Struggles

Month 5: Your Rhythms


Month 1: Your Community


Article:

Sabbath Rest in a 24/7 City: A Journey for Urban Youth Workers by Jude Tiersma Watson What is the "environmental press" of the city, and why does it impact us so deeply? Part I of the Urban Ministry Self-Care series, Sabbath Rest in a 24/7 City introduces important concepts for your ministry journey.
 

Podcast:

Urban Self-Care Interview

Dr. Kara Powell interviews Dr. Jude Tiersma Watson and Kimberly Williams, researchers and creators of the Sabbath Rest in a 24/7 City ministry resource.
 

Practices:

Each month of the Sabbath Rest journey will feature weekly practices that you can incorporate into your daily rhythms.  We have intentionally made these practices simple and focused.  Note that these exercises can be done alone, but work well with a partner or group.  You can download the below practices in one printable document (pdf format) to keep in your Bible, post on your refrigerator, or whatever is most helpful to you.
 

Week 01

Each city is different. After reading the article, reflect on the ways that the city presses in on you in your urban setting. Which examples in the article resonate with you? Which don’t? What are some of the major stressors in city life and ministry where you live? If you are single, or raising small children, how does that impact how you perceive your environment? As part of your reflection, write or draw on some paper or in your journal, or talk to a friend or mentor about these stressors.

Week 02

Read Matthew 11:28 in Scripture. Do you hear God's invitation? Read the verse slowly, then pause. In your mind, picture Jesus speaking to you through these verses, inviting you to his rest. For one week, read this scripture every day and reflect on it, hearing the invitation each night before you sleep (or in the morning if that works better for you).

Week 03

Listen to the audio podcast for this month. After you listen, think of one or two helpful insights that you can share with someone and figure out when you might be able to share those insights with them.

Week 04

Take a 20 minute walk in your neighborhood. You can walk alone or with a friend. Pay attention to the sights, smells, and sounds around you. Try to keep your mind from racing about the things you have to do and the issues you are facing at the moment, and instead ask God to show you what God is doing in this place at this time.  What do you find yourself noticing?  Be attentive to the ways that God is present in the noise and sights of the city.  For instance, how might sirens become a call to prayer? During this week, as you walk in the city, discover how God is speaking to you about God's heart for the places and people around you.

 


Month 2: Your Life


Article:

Your Life: Finding Space to Love God, Your Neighbor, and Yourself in the City by Jude Tiersma Watson and Kimberly Williams How does our own spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental health impact the ways we love God and others? In Month 2 of the Sabbath Rest in a 24/7 City series, we look at our own lives for clues to preventing stress and burnout.

Podcast:

Wiley Scott Interview

Kara Powell interviews Wiley Scott, the Young Life Northern Division Vice President for Field Ministries, on finding rhythms of balance, rest, and healthy relationships in urban youth ministry.

Audio podcast:

Leroy Barber Interview

Kara Powell interviews Leroy Barber, president of Mission Year, about finding personal, relational, and spiritual health in the midst of ministry.

 

Practices:

Each month features weekly practices that you can incorporate into your daily rhythms. We have intentionally made these practices simple and focused, hoping you will take time with each one during the course of the month. Note that these exercises can be done alone, but work well with a partner or group. You can download the below practices in one printable document (pdf format) to keep in your Bible, post on your refrigerator, or whatever is most helpful to you.
 

Week 01

In their landmark book Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life, Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend recognize that "we need to set mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual boundaries for our lives to help us distinguish what is our responsibility and what isn't." ((Henry Cloud & John Townsend, Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No to Take Control of Your Life (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1992), 25.)) So as urban youth workers, how do we love our God, our neighbors, and ourselves in the ways we take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually?  In order to understand how this looks for urban youth workers, we asked youth workers April Diaz and Carla LaFayette to share some of their own rhythms. April Diaz has been doing youth ministry for a dozen years, and currently is the Next Generation pastor (birth-high school) at Newsong Church in Irvine, California.  Here are some of her tips for finding balance and health in ministry:

Physical: I am loving myself best when I have a regular rhythm of working out (yoga, strength training, cardio).  When I'm not in that flow, I know that my boundaries are weak.  Turning off my cell phone and not checking email during evenings, my Sabbath, and day of rest also helps me disengage from ministry and love myself and my family better.

Mental: Turning off my ministry brain is the greatest asset to recovery for me.  Intentionally choosing to cease thinking about ministry problems when I leave an event or the office helps me care for myself in ways I never have before.

Spiritual: I think everyone has to find a pattern of silence and solitude.  For me, I've found that I need a few hours every Monday morning and one day a month away to stay deeply connected to God. Brennan Manning's challenge to be very wary of the person who cannot be alone with God has really changed me.

Carla LaFayette has been in youth-related ministry full time for just under 25 years. Currently she serves as the Vice President of Strategic Programs at the Urban Youth Workers Institute (uywi.org).  Here are her reflections on personal health in ministry:

Physical: I've always found it helpful to tell others what my physical struggles and goals are so that it's "out there" for them to see.  Otherwise, I can cheat and cut corners all I want in public secrecy.  In my latest attempt to stay healthy I joined an eating program with a close friend who allows me to stay accountable while traveling by bugging her with texts and phone calls. It does my ministry no good if I keep the scales tipped toward busyness while my body takes the toll of neglect.

Emotional: Because of a heavy travel schedule, I find that my "emotional tank" gets drained pretty quickly while on the road. One very practical thing I do weekly is call my dad on Sunday afternoons - no matter what city or time zone I happen to be in.  This keeps me grounded to the family community I so desperately need and allows for continuing bonding time with my dad.

Spiritual: The single most helpful element in my spiritual journey is mentoring relationships. Without these relationships I easily lose focus and find myself wandering far and wide. I recently committed to pray daily about a particular life issue and invited a coworker to join me.  At the end of each work day we meet for 15 minutes to pray together and it has transformed both my prayer life and our relationship. It has been liberating to learn that one of my divine pathways to God is through relationships.

Making it Personal:

  1. What aspect of your life (physical, mental, spiritual, emotional) is most in need of some new rhythms?
  2. What ideas from April and Carla would you like to try?
  3. What other ideas do you have?  When can you try those ideas this week?

Week 02

This week check out the Professional Quality of Life (ProQOL) Screening that can be found at: http://www.proqol.org/ProQol_Test.html. This is an assessment that looks at your Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout, and Trauma/Compassion Fatigue. ((According to the ProQOL Manual: Compassion Satisfaction is about the pleasure you derive from being able to do your work well. Burnout is associated with feelings of hopelessness and difficulties in dealing with work or in doing your job effectively. Compassion fatigue/Secondary Trauma is about your work-related, secondary exposure to extremely stressful events (pg 5 of the PorQOL Manual). B. Hudnall Stamm, Ph.D. The Professional Quality of Life Scale: Compassion Satisfaction, Burnout & Compassion Fatigue/Secondary Trauma Scales, Published by the Institute of Rural Health Idaho State University and Sidran Press. http://www.isu.edu/~bhstamm, 2005.)) On this website you will be able to find the test, how to score and evaluate the test, as well as many other resources. There is even a pocket card on caring for yourself that you can print out and keep in your wallet!  

Week 03

The podcasts for our series this month come from Wiley Scott, a regional vice president for Young Life, and Leroy Barber, author of the book New Neighbor and president of the urban ministry Mission Year. Both share from their experiences of creating sustainable lives as urban youth workers.  

Week 04

In her book, God's Joyful Surprises, Sue Monk Kidd challenges us to "Consider how carefully God has designed space into the world." According to Kidd, "It's the spaces that shape and define creation." ((Sue Monk Kidd, God's Joyful Surprise, San Francisco, CA: Harper and Row, 1987, 161.)) Space defines non-space. Without space between notes, music would just be noise. Without the space from stoplights we would constantly have accidents. For this week carve out between two and six hours of space. During this time turn off your cell phone, shut off your computer, leave your house, and set your work aside. This is a time of embracing your role as the beloved.  

Going Deeper

Emily White Hodge has been working in the urban non-profit world for 15 years in various capacities. She has served as a Youth Pastor, Mentor, Young Life leader, Executive Assistant and Operations Director at various organizations. Her passion is empowering and helping people from various backgrounds to build bridges between cultures. Emily wrote a reflection as a mother on her young daughter's ability to help her slow down and reconsider her pace in life and ministry. Download her reflection (pdf) here.  


Month 3: Your Pain


Article:

Your Pain: Six Lenses to Help by Jude Tiersma Watson Pain is a given in ministry, but what we do with our pain is up to us. This article looks at our responses to pain and suffering for insights to help prevent burnout.

 

Podcast:

Cynthia Eriksson Interview

Kara Powell interviews Cynthia Eriksson, a Fuller clinical psychology faculty member who specializes in trauma. Cynthia shares insights and strategies for working through pain and suffering, particularly considering the vicarious pain we experience in youth ministry.

Practices:

Each month of the Sabbath Rest journey will feature weekly practices that you can incorporate into your daily rhythms. We have intentionally made these practices simple and focused. Note that these exercises can be done alone, but work well with a partner or group. You can download the below practices in one printable document (pdf format) to keep in your Bible, post on your refrigerator, or whatever is most helpful to you.
 

Week 01

Look back at the article and look at the various responses to pain we often choose. What are some of the ways you have used to numb out, avoid or distract yourself from pain and suffering?

  • Take some time, on your own or with a partner, and reflect on your own lens or lenses regarding suffering. Which lens has been your primary lens through which you view suffering?
  • Think about the different ways you respond to pain and suffering. Do the responses in the article resonate with you? Do you see them in the youth around you?
  • What is one change you can make this week in the ways you respond? Write about it in your journal or share the insight with a friend.

Week 02

Listen to the [intlink id="3854" type="post"]audio[/intlink] of Drs. Kara Powell and Cynthia Eriksson that focuses on how trauma affects us as leaders. As a follow up to the audio, read the [intlink id="235" type="post"]article[/intlink] by Cynthia Eriksson and Brad Griffin on trauma and the importance of lament.

Week 03

Watch and listen to this video of Psalm 13, a psalm of lament.

  • Do you resonate with this video and/or this song? If so or if not, why?
  • Try writing your own lament, pouring out your heart to God, either in mourning or in protest. It can be a song, a poem, or an anguished cry—the form doesn't matter. God wants to hear what is truly in your heart.

Week 04

It can be difficult to take space for prayer in the midst of suffering. Sometimes we don't even know what this could look like. Take some time to brainstorm what some rituals of urban pain relief could look like. For example, if one of the youth you work with experiences a death, you might want to light a candle with them as a way to remember the life of their loved one. If a friend is struggling with anger you may want to take them to a bowling alley and encourage them to picture the headpin as the source of their anger.

After you make a list, ask yourself if you need to put any of these rituals into practice in this week. If so, carve out some time in your schedule this week to do this.

Going Deeper

Jude Tiersma Watson interviewed a friend in urban ministry about his own journey through pain and suffering in youth ministry.  Read the interview (pdf) here.

Also, the following websites may be helpful to you in finding resources for coping with pain and suffering in ministry:

  • The American Association of Christian Counselors: www.aacc.net
  • The national center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and the national child traumatic stress websites have good self-care and trauma handouts:  www.ncptsd.va.gov and www.nctsnet.org
  • The Sidran Foundation is a resource in the area of trauma and abuse, and their site includes a way to find local therapists in your area: www.sidran.org

 


Month 4: Your Struggles


Article:

your lifeYour Struggles: From Coping to Freedom by Kimberly Williams In our pursuit of rest and balance in ministry, exploring our struggles and addictions is not an option. In this article, we look toward ways to recognize and find healing for our addictive patterns.

 

Podcast:

Mark Laaser Interview

Kara Powell interviews addiction recovery specialist Mark Laaser about the realities of addiction and ministry.
 

Practices:

Each month of the Sabbath Rest journey will feature weekly practices that you can incorporate into your daily rhythms. We have intentionally made these practices simple and focused. Note that these exercises can be done alone, but work well with a partner or group. You can download the below practices in one printable document (pdf format) to keep in your Bible, post on your refrigerator, or whatever is most helpful to you.
 

Week 01

Read the article, “Your Struggles: From Coping to Freedom.” Then reflect on these questions:

  • What specifically resonated with you in this article? Why do you think that is?
  • Can you identify any coping mechanisms you find yourself using to cover up your struggles, to cover up facing yourself and God? Do you find yourself getting lost in video games? The internet? Your work or ministry?
  • Try this prayer exercise, adapted from Psalm 37:7. Author Don Postema instructs, “Allow this text to lead you gradually into a quiet, relaxed space before God....savoring each line before going on to the next.” ((Don Postema, Catch Your Breath: God's Invitation to Sabbath Rest (Grand Rapids: Faith Alive Christian Resources, 1997), 19.))

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently… Be still before the Lord and wait… Be still before the Lord… Be still… Be… —Psalm 37:7

Week 02

Do you know what resources are available to you? A recent study asked urban youth workers what emotional/relational, physical, and spiritual resources they used in the past 12 months. ((Cynthia Eriksson et al, Fuller Youth Institute, “Risk and Resilience in Urban Youth Ministry: Stress, Spirituality, and Support,” full report available online at http://www.fulleryouthinstitute.org/pdfs/risk_and_resilience_report_2007.pdf.)) Of these services, Physical Health resources were used the most: General physician=52%, Dentist=36%, and OB/GYN=26%. Spiritual Health Support resources were utilized the next most: Personal Spiritual Mentor/Director=22%, Clergy=18%, and Teammate/Coworker=13%.

Unfortunately, Emotional/Relational Support resources were utilized the least: Individual counseling/psychotherapy=13%, Clergy=8%, and Lay Counselor/Spiritual Director=8%. Take some time this week to gather information about the resources that are available to you, and consider when you may need to access some of these resources for yourself.

The study also found that the top three barriers to utilizing services were lack of time, affordability, and self-addressing the problem. What are some of the barriers that may keep you from you from utilizing the resources available to you?

Week 03

Take some time to listen to the podcast with Dr. Mark Laaser for this month. Laaser notes that one of the key features of addiction is being disconnected from God, others, and ourselves. So one of the first steps in healing is getting connected. Find one safe person in the next week and begin to share your own story of struggle.

Week 04

This month’s article talks about being committed to addressing our struggles. This can be overwhelming to think about at times. Those in 12-step groups are familiar with the language of “one day at a time.” How is it that we can continue to make choices towards healing? N.T. Wright, a respected New Testament Theologian, gave a recent talk in Pasadena, CA. When discussing the topic of virtue and living out the lives that we were created to live, he describes making a thousand small choices, so that when we have to make the choice that really counts it will be like second nature. What is one small choice you can focus on making this week that will draw you closer to facing yourself and facing God?

If you’re interested in listening to or watching N.T. Wright’s talk, entitled “A Evening with N.T. Wright” you can download it for free from iTunes U. For help with this follow this link.

Going Deeper

Check yourself. To some degree we all struggle with coping mechanisms and wounds from our past. At what point do we need to talk through these things with a trusted friend, and at what point do we need some professional help? Check out some of the assessments below to get a current pulse on your own levels of need:

For Alcoholism: http://www.aa.org/lang/en/subpage.cfm?page=71 For Sex Addiction: http://www.sexhelp.com/sast.cfm (If you’re looking for a counselor in this area check out this resource: http://www.aasect.org/directory_usa.asp) For an Eating Disorder: http://psychcentral.com/eatingquiz.htm For Workaholism http://www.workaholics-anonymous.org/page.php?page=knowing For Co-Dependency http://www.codependents.org/foundation-docs-patterns.php http://www.mental-health-today.com/articles/codepen.htm For Depression http://health.usnews.com/usnews/health/articles/070711/11depression.test.htm For Video Game Addiction: http://www.videogameaddiction.net/video-game-addiction-symptoms.php For Internet Addiction: http://counsellingresource.com/quizzes/internet-addiction/index.html For a Pornography Addiction: http://www.no-porn.com/test.html (Check out this resource: http://xxxchurch.com/gethelp/)


Month 5: Your Rhythms


Article:

your rhythmsYour Rhythms: Finding the Rest of God in the Midst of the City by Jude Tiersma Watson Exploring the rhythms that help us keep a sane pace in the midst of chaotic ministry lives.

 

Podcast:

Christine Sine Interview

Kara Powell interviews Christine Sine, Executive Director of Mustard Seed Associates and author of GodSpace: Time for Peace in the Rhythms of Life, about developing more sustainable rhythms.

Practices:

Each month of the Sabbath Rest journey will feature weekly practices that you can incorporate into your daily rhythms. We have intentionally made these practices simple and focused. Note that these exercises can be done alone, but work well with a partner or group. You can download the below practices in one printable document (pdf format) to keep in your Bible, post on your refrigerator, or whatever is most helpful to you.
 

Week 01

Read the article, “Your Rhythms: Finding the Rest of God in the Midst of the City.” Spend some time reflecting own your own rhythms. Are there rhythms in your own life that are sustaining you? Are there areas of your life that need some attention? Think of one step you can take this week that will strengthen one of the rhythms in your life. For example, you may decide that to enter into more silence before the noise of the city begins, that you get up 10-15 minutes earlier and sit in silence in the quiet of the morning, before the day’s activities begin (for you night owls, evening works too).

Week 02

Read the following quote a few times:

"The point of the Sabbath is to honor our need for sane rhythms of work and rest. It is to honor our body's need for rest, the spirit's need for replenishment and the soul's need to delight itself in God for God's own sake. It begins with a willingness to acknowledge the limits of our humanness and to live more graciously within the order of things. And the first order of things is that we are creatures and God is the Creator." (Ruth Haley Barton in Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation (Downers Grove: IVP, 2006), 137.)

Do you ever struggle with your own human limitations?  Do you ever struggle to extend grace to yourself when you come up against your human limitations? What would it look like to "live more graciously within the order of things?" How might keeping more of a Sabbath be helpful?

Week 03

Listen to the audio interview with Christine Sine. What insight most stands out for you? Is there a suggestion that can be helpful for your own life?  How could you implement that suggestion over the next week or month?

Week 04

We began this series with these verses from Matthew 11:28 (from The Message):

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you will recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.

Reflect on ways that you can continue to enter into the unforced rhythms of grace in your own life. What is one grace-filled rhythm you will seek to add into your life?

 

Additional Self-Care Resources from the FYI Site


adrenalin

Adrenalin: Our Secret Addiction

Adrenalin addiction, while rarely discussed, is perhaps one of the more pervasive addictions for leaders and 
youth workers today. And though it may sound like we’re exaggerating, it is an actual clinical reality. Read on to learn not only more about this secret ministry obsession, but also a surprising strategy for moving beyond adrenalin and toward balance.
rest in the city

Rest in the City

While it may seem an oxymoron, resting in the city is not only possible, but imperative for urban youth workers. Read on as Kimberly Williams explores the “prayer of rest” as a method for encountering God in the city, suburbs, or wherever you find yourself in ministry.
Stress in the City

Stress in the City: A New Study of Youth Workers

Do you ever wonder about the personal impact of ministry stress? Do you ever suspect that the risks of your ministry might outweigh the ability you have to survive or be resilient in the midst of them? This report looks at the findings from a recent FYI study of urban youth workers from around the country, with implications for youth workers in every environment.
REST

R-E-S-T: The Four-Letter Word of Youth Workers?

When you think of the Sabbath, what comes to mind? If the answer is, “A work day,” then you may want to consider these thoughts about rest and its critical role in your ministry.


 


A Note About the Team

Dr. Jude Tiersma Watson, Associate Professor of Urban Mission and an urban youth worker herself in Los Angeles, is heading up the development of this unique self-care resource specifically tailored for the urban youth worker (though there will be principles and resources helpful for all youth workers).  Kimberly Williams, FYI author and former Oakland Mission Year director, joins Jude in the research and development of these resources.

Parents

Whether you are a youth leader looking for parent resources or a parent of teenagers yourself, we hope this section of our website will become an equipping resource for you!  We will draw from the best of FYI resources and add new tools just for parents in the coming months.

 

If you are new to FYI, please check out our About section, then visit our daily blog and subscribe to our monthly E-Journal so you don’t miss our free research-based resources for leaders and parents.

Research on Parents and Teenagers

 

The majority of existing research on child and adolescent faith development indicates that parents are one of, if not THE, primary influence on kids’ faith.  In our own Sticky Faith research, one of our findings has been that parent-child faith discussions are important to kids’ long-term faith.  In fact, it’s not only important for parents to talk and ask questions about their kids’ faith, but also about the parents’ own faith.

Contact Fuller Youth Institute

Looking to connect with us at FYI? We'd love to hear from you!

Connect with us on Twitter @FullerFYI and @stickyfaith

Find us on Facebook/FullerYouthInstitute

Or contact us at:

Fuller Youth Institute
Fuller Theological Seminary
135 North Oakland Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91182

fyi@fuller.edu

phone: 626.584.5550

fax: 626.584.5442

Impact

What Others are Saying about FYI

What kind of impact is the Fuller Youth Institute having on youth ministry? Read these thoughts from a sampling of youth workers and ministry leaders who are benefiting from our research and resources:

The establishment of this important Institute at Fuller Seminary has been a dream come true for me.  Fuller has a long history of commitment to serving young people and their families.  FYI, however, has added something quite new to this mix.  Under the leadership of Dr. Kara Powell we have now made significant progress in integrating all of the strands—ministry, psychology and intercultural studies—into a coherent and coordinated focus on the needs of young people and their families.

I can think of no more urgent need for the cause of the Gospel than reaching the younger generation for Christ.  Youth around the world face unprecedented challenges and opportunities, but they are also threatened by destructive forces—spiritual and physical—that were unknown to previous generations.  The needs are complex, and they require the combined talents of scholars and practitioners who are dedicated to the goals of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ.  FYI is an important instrument for the Kingdom.
Richard J. Mouw President, Fuller Theological Seminary
The Fuller Youth Institute suffers from a severe case of thinking big. Every effort is well thought out about how youth workers can make the greatest, most tangible and caring impact with hurting and disconnected kids. And they are just a click away! They’ve become friends.
Megan Hutchinson
Youth Ministry Author
FYI Advisory Board Member

As a youth worker who’s in it for the long-haul, I want resources that are beyond fun and games.  I want resources that are tested, researched, and thoughtfully designed for my ministry.  FYI is unlike any other ministry resource Institute I’ve seen.  They do the hard, significant work of uncovering what’s going on under the surface in students, families, and youth ministry across the country.  I can trust the resources they produce.  I couldn’t be more excited about the impact of FYI!
April Diaz
NextGen Pastor, newsong church, Irvine, CA
As part of the national leadership for Urban Young Life, I work with a team that helps serve and empower Young Life’s urban staff and volunteers nationwide.  We consistently hear from these dedicated youth workers that they are hungry for more training.  While there is no shortage of resources for suburban youth workers, very little exists that was written by urban youth workers, for urban youth workers. Given Fuller’s vast expertise in theological, psychological, and cultural issues and Fuller’s partnerships with ministries like Young Life, the Urban Empowerment Project is making a unique and needed contribution to the field of urban youth ministry.  FYI research and resources are meeting many of the training and support needs of our Young Life staff.  We are eagerly circulating Fuller’s research findings and implications to our urban staff and volunteers nationwide.
Jim Dyson,
Vice President for Urban Ministry, Young Life
In our ministry context, we have had a difficult time finding resources that are useful and speak to the needs we are facing... FYI has been incredibly helpful in our pursuit of relevant and intelligent ministry resources for students who are urban and suburban, rich and poor, churched and unchurched. They do not just present great information, but also great relationships. FYI has become one of our deepest ministry partners who know and care about us.
Jeff Mattesich and Albert Tate
Lake Avenue Church, Southern California
I envision FYI becoming the premier youth ministry training Institute in the world. Fueled by the best learning emerging from all three of Fuller Seminary's schools (School of Theology, School of Psychology & School of Intercultural Studies), FYI is proving its ability to translate the best scholarship into transformative ministry resources. Working alongside other leading organizations, FYI's commitment to partnering relationships also helps ensure its resources can be accessed by any youth worker—anywhere. As a Fuller alum, it is exciting to be apart of a such a collaborative and innovative effort. As a youth worker it is exciting knowing I am receiving the best training that is available.
Mark Maines
Naval Chaplain and Fuller MDiv alumnus, FYI Advisory Board Member
I started the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate Program knowing that there is always more I can learn in regards to ministering in the city, especially to youth. I have been so grateful for the ways my thinking has been challenged and expanded, and as I sit in class I can think about all of the youth I work with in Chicago who I can go back to, refreshed and re-energized and re-envisioned for my ministry to them. I am so excited to think about the ways that this time could bring more fruit to bear in their lives for their own walks with Jesus and their service in the world. Thank you for helping to make that possible!
Aimee Tucker
Area Director for Hyde Park Urban Young Life, Chicago IL
The Urban Youth Ministry Certificate Program is very relevant—it made me think more holistically in our ministry approach. We've been looking more deeply at the student as a whole. Personally, the training has allowed me to grow inner strength—to step outside of my box and do more things than I would have imagined in youth ministry.
Theresa Willis
Youth For Christ, Compton, CA

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you approach youth ministry research and training this way?
How does FYI decide what to study?
What is the relationship between FYI and Fuller Seminary?
How are Fuller students involved?
How is FYI funded?
What academic programs in youth ministry are available through FYI and Fuller Seminary?

 

Why do you approach youth ministry research and training this way?

Every day in the United States and around the world, dedicated youth and family workers minister to hurting kids and their families. Currently, most of their work tends to be shaped by either past habits or anecdotal evidence. For the sake of the kingdom of God as well as wise stewardship of the gospel, these youth workers need innovative models and practices that reflect current research on the ever-changing landscape of youth, families, and culture.

At FYI we take these needs seriously, translating research into practical resources that youth workers in local churches and parachurch ministries can use in their ministry contexts. Led by Dr. Kara Powell, Executive Director, FYI publishes books, articles, downloadable resources, and curriculum for youth workers. In addition, we have created a unique Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry program—the first of its kind in the nation—that trains urban youth workers while allowing them to remain in their place of ministry. Our College Transition Project research led to the groundbreaking Sticky Faith line of training and resources. 

 

How does FYI decide what to study?

Usually by finding the intersection between the needs of leaders and the expertise of faculty members. Unique values that permeate every project include:

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration among Fuller’s Schools of Theology, Psychology, and Intercultural Studies faculty and students.
  • Reciprocal learning that allows the academic world to learn from the ministry world, and vice versa.
  • Strategic partnerships with key ministry leaders and organizations to maximize both learning and the final dissemination. Existing partners include World Vision, Young Life, Youth for Christ, Urban Youth Workers Institute, Youth Specialties, YouthWorks, Compassion International, Search Institute, and the Christian Community Development Association.

Each FYI project is designed so that researchers, leaders, and frontline youth ministry practitioners learn together. In every step, the needs and experience of leaders shape the focus and methods of the research.

 

What is the relationship between FYI and Fuller Seminary?

Fuller Theological Seminary is the largest and most diverse theological seminary in North America, with nearly 5,000 students representing 100 denominations and 70 countries. Fuller’s president, provost and deans are all enthusiastic in their support for FYI. Fuller has three schools: the School of Intercultural Studies, the School of Psychology, and the School of Theology. FYI is governed by the deans of these three schools and one faculty member per school. Dr. Kara Powell also teaches in the Youth, Family, and Culture programs in the School of Theology, alongside our FYI partner Dr. Chap Clark. For more information about Fuller Theological Seminary, please visit www.fuller.edu.

 

How are Fuller students involved?

Much of the research of FYI is conducted by Research Assistants, Interns, and Research Fellows, all of whom are Fuller students. These positions tend to be part-time and are geared to complement students’ own research interests.

 

How is FYI funded?

FYI is funded through foundation grants and individual donors. While FYI has several committed donors, we seek to build new relationships and explore further opportunities for ministry partnerships. Learn more about giving HERE.

 

What academic programs in youth ministry are available through FYI and Fuller Seminary?

Currently, our Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry program is our first for-credit academic program operated by the Fuller Youth Institute. However, Fuller also offers a Certificate in Youth Ministry (non-urban), a Master of Arts in Youth, Family, and Culture, a Master of Divinity with a Youth, Family, and Culture concentration, and both PhD and DMin programs in Youth, Family, and Culture. Please visit the Fuller Admissions site for further details about these other academic programs.

FYI Team

STAFF



Kara Eckmann Powell, PhD

Executive Director

Kara Powell, PhD, is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch”, Kara serves as an Advisor to Youth Specialties and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership conferences.  Kara is the author or co-author of a number of books including The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken World, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry CurriculumResources from Kara PowellFollow @kpowellfyi on Twitter.
 



Brad M. Griffin, MDiv

Associate Director

Brad M. Griffin is the Associate Director of the Fuller Youth Institute, where he develops research-based training for youth workers and parents. A speaker, blogger (fulleryouthinstitute.org), and volunteer youth pastor, Brad is the coauthor of several Sticky Faith ​books (see stickyfaith.org), Can I Ask That?, ​and Deep Justice Journeys, and has authored a number of youth ministry book chapters and journal articles. A native Kentucky youth pastor, Brad now lives in Southern California with his wife Missy and their three children and leads ​the youth ministry at Mountainside Communion. Follow @bgriffinfyi on Twitter.
 



Irene M. Cho, MDiv

Program Adminstrator

Irene Cho serves as the Program Administrator for the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). She holds a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Pastoral and General Ministries from Talbot Theological Seminary and a BA in Christian Education from Biola University, and is a PhD student in Fuller's School of Intercultural Studies. At FYI Irene is the point person for the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate program, event planning, and FYI systems overall. Having served over 15 years in youth ministry, Irene speaks all over the country at conferences such as Youth for Christ, Youth Specialties DC/LA, JAMA New Awakening, Urban Youth Workers Institute and youth retreats, has written various curriculums and consults for many youth ministries. Her passion is for the misfits of the world and to bring the gospel message to those who seem to fall through the cracks. In her minimal spare time, Irene enjoys a great book, movie, or television show, hanging out with friends and former students, and of course getting some sleep.  Resources from Irene Cho. Follow @irenemcho on Twitter.
 



Jake Mulder

Program Manager

Jake Mulder serves as the Program Manager at the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI). He is pursuing a Master of Divinity from Fuller Seminary and holds a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Finance from Western Michigan University. At FYI, he oversees the business administration, coordinates research projects, develops resources, and helps the team think strategically. Prior to joining FYI, Jake was the Ministry Director of a Youth For Christ chapter in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has also worked as a Financial Analyst and has over 7 years of youth ministry experience as a volunteer, youth pastor, and missionary with Youth With A Mission.
 



Matthew Schuler, MAT

Creative Director

Matthew holds a Master of Arts in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary and a BS in Journalism and Mass Communication from Kansas State University. As Creative Director, he manages film production, website development, and graphic design. A writer and mucisian, Matthew also speaks at various conferences and churches throughout Southern California. Follow him on Twitter.
 



Johanna Greenway

Administrative Assistant

Johanna Greenway serves as the Administrative Assistant at FYI.  She holds a Bachelors degree in Education from Central Michigan University. At FYI, Johanna provides a range of administrative support to all of our projects and daily activities. Johanna and her husband are originally from beautiful West Michigan where she worked with kids in various capacities.  She loves living in California and being a part of this awesome team.

 



Brian Nelson

Church Engagement Specialist

Brian holds a Bachelors degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management and Marketing from Loyola Marymount University. Brian manages FYI's ongoing relationships with Cohort churches, plans Sticky Faith events, and provides administrative support for the FYI staff. He also serves on the development team by strategizing and implementing new fundraising and communication initiatives. Brian began his career at TOMS, working on the Community team and planning events for the One for One model. Brian serves at MOSAIC with his wife Christa. A southern California native, a goofy soul, and a love for building community, Brian is excited to be on the FYI team.
 



Executive Committee

Scott Cormode, PhD, Academic Dean & Hugh De Pree Professor of Leadership Development
Mari Clements, PhD, Dean of the School of Psychology
Joel Green, PhD, Dean of the School of Theology & Professor of NT Interpretation
Scott Sunquist, PhD, Dean of the School of Intercultural Studies
Chapman “Chap” Clark, PhD, Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture
Justin Barrett, PhD, Dir of the Thrive Center for Human Development, Thrive Professor of Developmental Science
Jude Tiersma Watson, PhD, Associate Professor of Urban Mission
Pam King, PhD, Associate Professor of Marriage and Family Studies
Dave Scott, PhD, Assoc Dir of the Center for Missiological Research (CMR) & A. Professor of Intercultural Studies & Children at Risk


Advisory Council

Mary Andringa 
Steven Argue
Judy Bergman
April Diaz
Megan Hutchinson
Ken Knipp
Mark Maines
Christa Peitzman
Linda Prinn
Albert Tate
Jeremy Taylor
Cindy Go
Jeff Wright
Tim Galleher
Jeff Mattesich

About Fuller Youth Institute

 
Fuller President Mark Labberton shares why FYI is important for the church today:
 
 

We exist to equip teenagers with the lifelong faith they need

We do this by transforming research into resources that elevate leaders, kids, and families.

Our Staff   FAQs

 

If this is your first time visiting our site...

You might be interested in a few of our most popular posts:

 

 

New Resources

The latest Sticky Faith Curriculum tackles 8 tough questions about God & Faith. Find out more at the Can I Ask That? page.

 

Urban Youth Certificate

If you're an urban youth worker, please visit our Urban Ministry section and check out our free Self-Care Toolkit as well as our master's-level Certificate program.

And if you're primarily interested in learning more about studying youth ministry at Fuller Seminary, this is where you want to head.

 

Let's stay in touch

We'd love to connect with you through social media or other means. Check out our award-winning FYI blog and join in discussions there. We also encourage you to subscribe to our bi-weekly FYI E-Journal, a free resource that will keep you abreast of all things FYI and Sticky Faith.

 

 

Urban Youth Ministry Certificate

The Fuller Youth Institute is committed to ongoing investment in urban youth workers and the specific needs and concerns that arise in ministry in urban contexts. We are so committed that we have developed one of the only graduate-level Certificate programs in the country that trains leaders specifically for urban youth ministry.
 


Partnering with Fuller faculty, urban ministry organization leaders, and front-line youth workers, we continue to conduct research and provide needed resources specific to urban ministry. During 2008-2009, FYI faculty partner Dr. Jude Tiersma Watson developed a Self-Care Toolkit for urban leaders, available free from our website! In the mean time, learn more about our research and access resources or get information on our 6-course Certificate program, or watch the video below to see what it’s about.

Urban Research

The goal of the Urban Empowerment Project at FYI is to increase the capacity of youth workers to spread the gospel in urban settings by offering training in the personal and professional skills needed for effective long-term ministry.

Since 2003, the Fuller Youth Institute (formerly Fuller’s Center for Youth and Family Ministry) has been working with urban youth workers to identify the top needs of urban youth workers and develop new strategies to meet those needs. We have done this by interviewing key leaders representing organizations like Young Life, Youth for Christ, Vision Youth, Urban Reclaim, the DeVos Urban Leadership Initiative, Mission America, the Christian Community Development Association, and the Urban Youth Workers Institute. Based on the findings of those interviews, Fuller faculty have partnered with leaders and ministries nationwide to develop research-based training on topics like:

  • An understanding of the developmental assets most pivotal to urban kids and families and case studies of ministries that are doing excellent holistic ministry.
  • How to network resources in your city so that youth workers accomplish more working together than they ever could on their own.
  • The principles of indigenous leadership development that are tested and really work in urban contexts.
  • How to raise funds and financial support for your urban youth ministry.
  • Solid counseling skills to help you respond to kids who have been traumatized and are hurting.
  • How to evaluate your own ministry so you can keep improving and also show others your tangible results.

Urban youth workers are welcome to access our urban tools in two primary ways. The first is through articles and resources found here at our web site. The second way to receive training is through enrolling in our Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry.

Risk and Resilience in Urban Ministry: Stress, Spirituality, and Support Research

As part of the Urban Empowerment Project and in partnership with Fuller’s Headington Program in International Trauma Research, FYI conducted a study on stress and spirituality among urban youth workers beginning in 2006. Until now there has been little research done to establish precisely what are the consequences of stress among urban workers and what urban ministry organizations can do to minimize the impact of stress on their staff. In order to address this need, the faculty and students of the Headington Program have partnered with FYI faculty to create a survey instrument that provides a relevant assessment of urban workers’ experience of chronic and traumatic stress, their spiritual practices and beliefs, and the types of resources and support they access.

After collecting this data, the research team met with urban youth workers as well as urban youth ministry organization leaders to further interpret and apply the findings.

Risk and Resilience Resources

To learn more about the insights and recommendations for urban workers emerging from this study, see Stress in the City: A New Study of Youth Workers, by Kara Powell, Cynthia Eriksson, and Jude Tiersma Watson.

Also available for download: Read the full report from the Risk and Resilience Study (466 KB PDF download)

Ongoing Research and Resources for Urban Leaders

The Fuller Youth Institute is committed to ongoing investment in urban youth workers and the specific needs and concerns that arise in ministry in urban contexts. We are so committed that we have developed one of the only graduate-level Certificate programs in the country that trains leaders specifically for urban youth ministry. Get more information on our 6-course Certificate program here.

Partnering with Fuller faculty, urban ministry organization leaders, and front-line youth workers, we continue to conduct research and provide needed resources specific to urban ministry. During 2008-2009, FYI faculty partner Dr. Jude Tiersma Watson developed a Self-Care Toolkit for urban leaders, available free from our website! 

Training

Training opportunities from FYI

1. Urban Youth Ministry Certificate

The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry provides youth workers in urban church and parachurch settings with both deep and practical training vital to effective youth ministry. This unique program offered by the Fuller Youth Institute draws from the expertise of Fuller’s Schools of Theology, Psychology and Intercultural Studies to offer academic training that can be completed with a minimum of time away from ministry commitments. Find out more.

 

 


 

2. Study in One of Fuller's Academic Programs

Fuller also offers a Certificate in Youth Ministry (non-urban), a Master of Arts in Youth, Family, and Culture, a Master of Divinity with a Youth, Family, and Culture emphasis, and both PhD and DMin programs in Youth, Family, and Culture. Please visit the Fuller Admissions site for further details about these and other academic programs.

 


 

3. Request a Speaker

Fuller Youth Institute speakers may be available to share at your event, conference, or retreat. Please see our list of speakers and submit an inquiry via our online speaker request form.

Urban Ministry

The Fuller Youth Institute is committed to ongoing investment in urban youth workers and the specific needs and concerns that arise in ministry in urban contexts. We are so committed that we have developed one of the only graduate-level Certificate programs in the country that trains leaders specifically for urban youth ministry.

Partnering with Fuller faculty, urban ministry organization leaders, and front-line youth workers, we continue to conduct research and provide needed resources specific to urban ministry. During 2008-2009, FYI faculty partner Dr. Jude Tiersma Watson developed a Self-Care Toolkit for urban leaders, available free from our website! In the mean time, learn more about our research and access resources or get information on our 6-course Certificate program, or watch the video below to see what it’s about.

Deep Justice

Resources For Empowering Youth For Service and Justice

Deep Justice Research

One of our primary research objectives at FYI has been to lead students and adults deeper into their service and justice work. Like you, we believe that God has called us to serve the poor, oppressed, sick, and anyone in need, and that God calls us to share the good news of Jesus Christ with them in very tangible ways as we serve. We have also heard and observed that youth workers struggle to effectively engage students in life-transforming, long-term commitments to live out God’s heart for justice.

We have listened to the needs and concerns of youth workers across the country and literally around the world, and have created a series of resources that we hope will contribute to the transformation of students and adults alike. Below you will find links to our Deep Justice in a Broken World and Deep Justice Journeys books as well as a number of free resources, articles, podcasts, and more. We pray these resources will assist you in making a kingdom difference in kids’ lives and in the world around you!

Research: Improving Short-Term Missions Effectiveness

Deep Justice JourneysToday we are seeing more and more students anxious to make a difference in the world, and getting students involved in mission work is easier than it has been in previous years. But for justice work to make a real impact, leaders and students need to spend more time before, during, and after their service preparing for and processing their experiences.

In response to this need, FYI developed a collaborative Short-Term Missions (STM) curriculum for youth ministries of all types. This curriculum process began with two think tanks in 2006-2007 of STM leaders and youth pastors from around the country to discuss "best practices and processes" related to effective youth STM work, co-led by Dr. Dave Livermore of the Center for Cultural Intelligence and Dr. Terry Linhart from Bethel College, Indiana.

Out of that gathering, our core research team was motivated to pursue grant funding for the further development of a curriculum youth ministries could adapt to their own STM contexts and needs. We collaborated with a research and writing team including representatives from several mission organizations as well as frontlines youth workers to develop and test that curriculum in youth ministries from across the country.

One of the core assumptions in this project is that true STM effectiveness and life transformation (both for the "goers" and those who receive them in their communities) will emerge from an ongoing focus on creating missional lifestyles. This means that our STM preparations must include strategies for before, during, and after our actual trips—they must be woven into the fabric of our youth ministry ethos.

Below are articles and resources related to the STM effectiveness research we have conducted. In addition, Kurt Ver Beek of Calvin College has put together an incredible online database of STM research if you are interested in reading more in-depth, and you may want to check out the Standards of Excellence in Short-Term Missions site too.

When Faith Gets AIDS Research

In order to help Christians worldwide engage in issues surrounding AIDS, FYI followed up extensive research into the AIDS pandemic by working with World Vision and Youth Specialties to provide supporting resources and curriculum for youth ministries utilizing programs such as One Life and 30 Hour Famine.  

In addition, a book emerged out of that research and was published by World Vision Resources Featuring Kara Powell and other Fuller authors. Born out of theological reflection on children and the mission of God, Understanding God’s Heart for Children is an expansion of papers delivered at the 2005 Cutting Edge Children at Risk Conference hosted by Viva Network. This book can be ordered by visiting www.worldvision.org.

For Further Study: Fuller’s Children at Risk Degrees

Interested in pursuing these and other issues related to children and youth at risk globally? Take a look at Fuller’s Children at Risk degree programs through the School of Intercultural Studies.