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Urban: Apply

TO APPLY:

Certificate Applicants

(already hold a bachelors degree)
 

Apply Now


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.

For more information, email us at icho@fuller.edu or call us at 626.584.5550.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 15, 2017
 

Credential Applicants

(have not completed a bachelors degree)
 

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APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 15, 2017

Urban: FAQs

Urban: Certificate

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 watch the video above to see what it’s about.

For more information, email us at icho@fuller.edu or call us at 626.584.5550.

Urban: The Research

VIA MEDIA X

 

This is part of an FYI series on navigating digital technology and social media with young people, and a multipart roundtable on issues related to sexuality.

 

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 X1

Sex & Social Media Roundtable


 


 

VIA MEDIA X2

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

 

 


 

VIA MEDIA X3

Sticks and Phones: Preventing Digital Bullying


 

 


 

VIA MEDIA X4

My [Own] Space: Supervision vs. Surveillance

 

 


 

VIA MEDIA X5

Cheat Codes: A Quick Guide to Teens and Video Games

 

 


 

VIA MEDIA X6

Shoot To Kill: The real impact of violent video games

 

 


 

VIA MEDIA X7

What you wish you knew about teens and digital media

 

 

 


Year End 2014

Year End 2014
 

 

Our Mission

We exist to equip young people with the lifelong faith they need.

We do this by translating research into resources that open doors for kids, families, and leaders.

Our Goal

$594,000 is what it will cost to operate our programs and research initiatives in 2015. 

Your contribution will help FYI’s staff move its mission forward.

 

 

 


 

 

138 leaders have enrolled in our Urban Youth Ministry Certificate program since its start in 2006.  

123 churches have participated in our Sticky Faith Cohort to date.

Our social media audience grew by 80% in 2014 to 47,000 followers.

80% of churches who have been through the Sticky Faith Cohort have found our training more effective than any other ministry training.

85% of Urban Youth Ministry Certificate graduates said there was an improvement in their overall leadership and evangelism outreach skills.

Over 45,600 Sticky Faith book products were sold this year, increasing sales by 75% in 2014. Nearly 113,000 Sticky Faith book products have been purchased to date.

Our Sticky Faith speaking team shared with over 40,000 leaders, parents, and young people this year.

 

Give Now

 



 

Beyond the front door...

 

Building a Sticky Faith Family

When I come home from a demanding day at work, it’s easy for me to lose my temper and get angry with our two sons. After reading the “Handling Mistakes” chapter in The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family, I’ve started asking my sons for forgiveness when I blow it. My example seems to have motivated them to do the same; now they have started to ask forgiveness when they make mistakes. That chapter alone has made our family and our home more peaceful and grace-filled.
 
The Sticky Faith Guide for Your Family has changed how I view mistakes. My wife and I now remind our kids and ourselves that perfection isn’t what we are aiming for. We are aiming for a grace-filled environment in our home in which it’s okay—and expected—to make mistakes and then talk about them. As a result of Sticky Faith, we are trying to embrace our mistakes, learn from them, and communicate our love to our kids not just in spite of our mistakes, but also through our mistakes.

—Andrew, parent of two

 

 

Connecting Young People in My Own Neighborhood to Jesus

The Certificate in Urban Youth Ministry has been life-changing in the way that I manage teams and approach leadership in my ministry. The reach of the program is far beyond just my learning, but is being multiplied in others who can now effectively share the gospel of Jesus Christ. I have been sharing insights from the training I received through the program with other leaders in my church. They are learning not only to have compassion, but also to become sustainable, balanced, and effective leaders in ministry. The training has invigorated our ideas for collaborating and making changes in our community. I have also made changes in the way I reach out and minister to the students in my neighborhood.

Immediately following the Certificate courses, I became a mentor for the girls in our middle school program. I was challenged to take on the most difficult students and keep them engaged in both church and school, also helping them stabilize their role in their family life. The Certificate program taught me how to listen first, understand who they are, and then to meet them in their place of need. Once I understood the many challenges these girls faced, I introduced the gospel in a way that allowed them to share openly the challenges in their lives and then to embrace the opportunity to receive Christ. 

Because of the Certificate, I am implementing the tools and training I’ve received to help these girls get connected to Jesus, turn to him with their pain and struggles, and begin to find healing. The program established that setting the right environment and understanding how to measure outcomes is critical. Our ministry needs to be based on sustainable change, and not just immediate and momentary accomplishments. 

One of the best aspects of the Certificate program is that I was able to transfer all of the units towards the master’s degree I am now pursuing. The Certificate was challenging, but the impact it has made in my life and ministry has been immeasurable.

—Cheryl, Urban Youth Ministry Certificate graduate 

 

Creating Intergenerational Relationships 

I knew something was missing in our church’s ministry to students, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was. Shortly after enrolling in the Sticky Faith Cohort (a dynamic learning group of innovative churches), I realized that we needed to shift the culture of our church away from segmenting students by age groups and toward a focus on intergenerational relationships. Almost immediately, we launched a ministry called Stock, in which adults invest in the lives of students by praying, supporting, and encouraging them. Each student is paired with a church member who comes alongside that student in his or her faith development. 

One example is Ashlee, a junior high student, and Laura her stockholder. As school started for the fall, Laura began initiating times to grow their relationship. They would go shopping, spend time in each other’s homes, and sit together at church. During lunch one day, Laura shared with Ashlee her favorite Bible verse and how God has used that verse to sustain her and remind her of God's love and grace. Laura’s honesty and regular investment in Ashlee has helped build a high level of trust in their relationship and helped Ashley move closer to God. For the first time, Ashlee now looks forward to going to church every Sunday because she feels like it is family to her. Due to Laura’s investment in Ashlee, Ashlee's parents are seeing new growth in their daughter’s faith. Our mission to create a culture of intergenerational relationships is moving forward in dynamic ways. 

What we realized through the Sticky Faith Cohort is that if we are going to help our kids live out their faith both internally and externally, we need a community of loving adults to invest in them. Using Sticky Faith resources and surrounding our kids with godly adults is helping our ministry reach our goal of nurturing lasting faith. 

—Elias, Sticky Faith Cohort Member

 

Give Now

 



 

Churches Engaging Young People (CEYP)

We recently hosted our Expert Advisory Council to shape the final phase of the research process and formulate next steps in this landmark study of 250 amazing churches nationwide.

 

The Sticky Faith Guide For Your Family

In every chapter of this book we released in August, parents get a front-row seat to research-derived findings that can help families develop lasting faith. This project has shaped 23,000 parents through the book, seminars and our new Family Update.

by Kara Powell, Executive Director

 

 

 



Join us in 3 easy ways...

 

Give

Individuals like you help fund our research and allow us to provide resources to parents and youth leaders at little or no cost. To donate, visit fulleryouthinstitute.org/opendoors.

Engage

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter, and sign up for our E-Journal and Family Update online.

Pray

Ask for wisdom for parents and youth leaders as they nurture a faith that sticks with kids.

 

Give Now

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

 

Join a Sticky Faith Cohort

 

Check out The Sticky Faith Guide For Your Family

 

Check out the Sticky Faith Launch Kit

 


 

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.

Service & Justice that Stick

Service & Justice that Stick

 

Your summer mission trip to Mexico is four months away.

Your Saturday breakfast for families who are homeless is four weeks away.

Your talk on the importance of service is four days away.

We’ve been there with you.

If you’re like most youth workers, you want your students to get a taste of service that leaves them hungering for more. Because you know service changes people, your ministry calendar offers a buffet of opportunities—a short-term mission trip here and a half-day convalescent home visit there. But if you’re honest with yourself, you sometimes wonder if your students are feasting on all God offers or merely scraping up the crumbs.

You’re not alone.

About one third of US congregations sponsor international mission trips each year, sending over 1.6 million churchgoers overseas. But does the impact of these trips stick? Recent research suggests service trips and experiences might not produce the spiritual and relational “bang” we expect—at least not in the long term.

As we come to terms with the bad news that our service is less transformative than we would hope, we become more eager for tools that help us make a deeper impact on our students and our world. We have been addressing this need for the past decade at the Fuller Youth Institute. A few years back, our FYI team collaborated with David Livermore of the Cultural Intelligence Center and Terry Linhart of Bethel College (Indiana) to convene two summits with short-term mission and youth ministry experts. Building on our exploration of deep theological and sociological questions of the role of justice in our faith and ministry practices, we set out to answer tough questions like:

  • How do we move service beyond spiritual tourism?
  • How can our service work be part of God’s kingdom justice?
  •  What are the most important theological threads that should weave their way through our service?
  • How does service contribute to teenagers’ identity development?
  • What does it look like to transform rhetoric into true reciprocal partnership with those we’re serving?

Together we wrestled with those questions and tried to pin down at least a few answers. Those answers were translated into a host of learning activities that were field-tested by youth leaders and their students across the country and originally published as Deep Justice Journeys.

What’s more, we simultaneously have been working for nearly a decade on a research initiative that morphed into a movement called Sticky Faith (see stickyfaith.org for a summary of Sticky Faith and hundreds of free resources). We explored why one out of every two youth group graduates walks away from faith after high school, and what families and congregations can do to turn that tide. One of our discoveries is that service—both locally and away from home—is correlated with lasting faith in young people.

If we truly want short-term work to translate into long-term change, leaders and students must spend more time before, during, and after service projects preparing for and processing their experiences.

Our new Sticky Faith Service Guide takes the best of both projects and brings you a fully updated manual designed to help you create experiences that stick—both for the students you take and the communities you serve. This guidebook offers a host of practical and field-tested exercises for each phase of your experience, whether it’s a half-day local service project or a two-week trip overseas.

Participants will engage in hands-on experiences to gain new insights about themselves, their relationship with God, their teammates, and the world we’re called to love and serve. Each of these steps is a catalyst in helping students apply what they have learned in the field to their own lives back at home. Also included are ideas to help get parents and the whole church engaged in service together. A companion Student Guide is also available to boost the potential for personal application throughout the journey.
 

Buy Leader Guide Buy Student Guide

 

Service and Justice Playlist

 

A selection of articles, blog posts, and podcasts from the FYI archives to help you think about and do service, justice, and short-term missions more faithfully.

 

Articles and Blog Posts

 

Leading intergenerational service projects and trips that stick: Sticky Faith Service Guide excerpt

What 6 things can unleash a love for serving in your middle school ministry?

How we unknowingly sabotage short-term missions

Short-term mission trips for long-term good: From service to relationship

Help Students to Embrace a Justice that Restores

Week to year: How to turn a week-long service trip into a year-long process of transformation

High School Service Trips, Part 1: Navigating transitions from one experience to another

High School Service Trips, Part 2: Innovating and executing the new service trip

High School Service Trips, Part 3: Reflecting on the experience

Deep Justice in a Broken World

Best-of Deep Justice Interviews

How wealth shapes justice

Justice hits close to home: A roundtable panel on inviting parents into our service

Just Worship

Cultural Intelligence: Improving your CQ to engage the world

Tough questions to ask before your next mission trip

A tale of two poverties: Engaging students across the resource divide

If we send them, they will grow…Maybe

 

Podcasts and Videos

 

John Perkins Interview on the both/and of being reconciled to God and to one another

Jim Wallis Interview on helping young people serve out of grace, not guilt

Shane Claiborne Interview on helping young people discover, “Who is my neighbor?”

Tony Campolo Interview on doing kingdom tasks vs being kingdom people

Alexie Torres-Fleming Interview on seeking justice across class lines in our communities

Lina Thompson Interview on better conversations with young people about race

Eric Iverson Interview: Doing better short-term mission trips

Brenda Salter McNeil on Being Witnesses 

 

Photos by Calef Studios, Loetoeng, Connor Bleakley

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 2016-18 COHORT WILL BE ACCEPTED:

AUGUST 1, 2015 THROUGH JANUARY 15, 2016

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 at icho@fuller.edu 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, 2015


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 15, 2016
 

Credential Applicants

(have not completed a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2015


APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 15, 2016

Other Degree Programs

Youth, Family, and Culture Programs

All too often, youth are separated from adults in our culture. In ministry, in school, in public, and even at home, we often distance ourselves from one another. What does this mean for our youth, families, communities, and churches?

This is one of the questions you'll delve into as part of the practical theological training we offer at Fuller. You'll learn from faculty who are renowned authors, speakers, and researchers in the field of youth and culture--ministers who continue to lead the way for the future of youth ministry.

How will you re-imagine, reiterate, and reinforce the gospel for today's youth and their families?
 

Learn More

 

Children at Risk Programs

From the AIDS orphan to the child soldier to the sexually exploited young girl, alarming numbers of kids struggle in unjust situations that put them in crisis. Even more children lead lives of deprivation, exclusion, and vulnerability. Yet the church has a mandate to care for them—but how?

Through the Children at Risk emphasis, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the problems children face in today’s world and how Christians globally are responding. Our faculty—leading scholars and seasoned practitioners in ministry with children at risk—will equip you to reflect theologically and missiologically on these critical concerns and develop new and effective strategies for change.

How will you reach out to children in need with Christ’s holistic care?
 

Learn More

Request A Speaker

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.

Visit the Sticky Faith Site

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 implement 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.

Sticky Faith Service & Justice Resources

Sticky Faith Service Guide

 

Anyone who serves teenagers today knows that more and more young people are eager to make a difference in the world. When students participate in short-term missions, service, and justice causes, parents and youth leaders hope these experiences will lead to real transformation. But research shows that our efforts don’t always stick.

If we truly want short-term work to translate into long-term change, leaders and students must spend more time before, during, and after service projects preparing for and processing their experiences. The sessions in this Guide will help you create experiences that stick—both for the students you take and the communities you serve. This guidebook offers a host of practical and field-tested exercises for each phase of your experience, whether it’s a half-day local service project or a two-week trip overseas.

Want a free chapter? Sign up below!

* indicates required

 

Participants will engage in hands-on experiences to gain new insights about themselves, their relationship with God, their teammates, and the world we’re called to love and serve. Each of these steps is a catalyst in helping students apply what they have learned in the field to their own lives back at home. Also included are ideas to help get parents and the whole church engaged in service together. A companion Student Journal is also available to boost the potential for personal application throughout the journey.
 

Buy Leader Guide
Buy Student Guide

 


 

Step Into My Shoes

 

 

We partnered with Compassion International, one of the largest child advocacy organizations in the world, to imagine a curriculum that families could use to help their kids learn to live from a place of “enough” and spark generosity toward others. What emerged was Step Into My Shoes, an interactive experience designed for families to use at home for discussion around a meal, devotions at bedtime, or with a small group.

Step Into My Shoes introduces your family to a family in Africa, and while exploring global need also offers tangible ideas about helping close to home. A leader kit is also available to help your whole church walk through the experience together, including a leader guide, malaria net, and water filtration system!
 

Explore the Family Kit
Explore the Group Kit

 


 

Deep Justice in a Broken World 
 

 

It doesn’t take a long list of statistics to convince anyone that our world is broken. Mission trips, service projects, and supporting children through relief organizations are just a few of the ways that many youth workers engage their students in serving the least, the last, and the lost. As good and helpful as these things may be on the surface, that’s where they remain—at the surface. The problems run far deeper than an occasional paint job or fundraising project can solve. But it’s not hopeless. Deep social justice is possible in your youth ministry.

Following their bestselling book, Deep Ministry in a Shallow World, Kara Powell and Chap Clark provide you with research and insights that will help your ministry get to the next level. A Kingdom of God theology will help you go beyond simply trying to motivate your students to serve those in need, and invite your students (and maybe even your leaders) to wrestle with why people are in need in the first place. You’ll also hear directly from well-known social justice leaders and youth workers who are making a difference in urban, suburban, and small town settings.

 

Buy Deep Justice in a Broken World

Apply Now!

TO APPLY:

Certificate Applicants

(already hold a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2015


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.

For more information, email us at icho@fuller.edu or call us at 626.584.5550.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 15, 2016
 

Credential Applicants

(have not completed a bachelors degree)

Click Here beginning August 1, 2015


APPLICATION DEADLINE: JANUARY 15, 2016

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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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.

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6. How much does the program cost?

The cost of the Urban Youth Ministry Certificate for the 2015 cohort is $9,120. 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 $4,560 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.    

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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).

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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 (icho@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.”

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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

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. During the program, students will complete six 4-unit courses. DVULI students will complete the Certificate by Decemmber 2017.

 

What does the program cost?

The cost of the program is $9600 per year. DVULI students will receive a 50% scholarship for the first year from Devos and a 50% scholarship for the second year from FYI. 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 Irene Cho at the FYI office for further information at icho@fuller.edu or (626) 584-5550..

TO APPLY:

IF YOU HAVE A BACHELOR'S DEGREE: If you have obtained a bachelor's degree, you will be applying for the Certificate program and receive academic credit for your Devos work. 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.

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BACHELOR'S DEGREE: For those without a bachelor's degree, you will be applying for the Credential program. Although you will not receive official academic credit for your Devos work, there have been many credential graduates who have transferred their credit towards an undergraduate institution. Each credential 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.

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.

 


Certificate Applicants

(already hold a bachelors degree)

Download and mail in this application

To fill out electronically, open in Adobe Reader

APPLICATION DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2016


Credential Applicants

(have not completed a bachelors degree)

Download and mail in this application

To fill out electronically, open in Adobe Reader

APPLICATION DEADLINE: SEPTEMBER 1, 2016

 


 

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

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

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

FYI Team

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 watch the video above to see what it’s about.

For more information, email us at icho@fuller.edu or call us at 626.584.5550.

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.