Dakotas Conference UM Youth
Saturday, August 19, 2017
To equip local churches in the discipleship of youth and the development of Christian leaders.

YOUTHworker Academy


April 28-30, 2017

Lake Poinsett, United Methodist Camp

Presenter: Kenda Dean


Kenda Creasy Dean is an ordained elder in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference (United Methodist) and professor of youth, church, and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry. A graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, she served as pastor in suburban Washington DC and as a campus minister at the  University of Maryland-College Park before coming to Princeton Seminary. She is currently appointed as the coordinating pastor of Kingston United Methodist Church in Kingston, New Jersey.


Major Publications

The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry with Andrew Root (InterVarsity, 2011)
OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook (Abingdon Press, 2010)
Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church (Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, 2010) 
Youth, Religion, and Globalization, New Research in Practical Theology, eds. Richard R. Osmer and Kenda Creasy Dean (Zurich: LIT Verlag GmbH Co., 2007)
Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004) 
Starting Right: Thinking Theologically about Youth Ministry (Youth Specialties Academic/Zondervan, 2001)
The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul-Tending for Youth Ministry  (Upper Room, 1998)




2017 Schedule:


6:30-7:30pm Registration at LPC

7:30-9pm Meet and Greet/Session 1

Teenagers Growing Up in a Changing World


More than a decade after the first wave of results from the ongoing National Study of Youth and Religion, we have some clues about what happens to young people’s faith as they move from adolescence into young adulthood, and what this means for churches. This conversation lays out the basic findings of the National Study of Youth and Religion, in conversation with more recent research on churches that are “growing young” and addressing “faith drift” in young people. 


8:30am Breakfast

9:30am Session 2

Durable Faith in a World of Nones and Dones: The Future of Our Children’s Faith and Practices That Help Sustain It


Young people’s faith is changing fast—and youth ministry is struggling to keep up.  The National Study of Youth and Religion’s longitudinal research has continued since 2004, returning to the same group of young people every five years to see how their faith evolves as they grow up.  As a result (and because we now have other studies to consider as well) we have gathered a few clues about how adolescence sets the stage for durable faith—or not-- in young adulthood.  This workshop is for parents, youth pastors, and church leaders who want to explore some of those longitudinal findings, and ask: What does this research suggest for the shape of young people’s faith today?  What does it mean for parents and congregations who want their children’s faith to outlast high school?  And how is youth ministry changing as a result of all this? 

12pm Lunch

1pm Session 3

Searching for Issachar: How Martin Luther, Andy Warhol, and Dora the Explorer Flipped Youth Ministry for the 21st Century Church  


Millennials’ “entrepreneurial spirit” extends to their religious lives as well, as young people search for new forms of spiritual community outside the church. Once upon a time, this entrepreneurial quest led young people into the church, not out of it—for in the ancient and monastic periods, churches often served as their communities’ most important cradles of creativity. This workshop introduces some congregations that are reclaiming this ancient connection to innovation, as they become significant spiritual communities for young people. 

3:30pm Session 4

Mission Possible: How to Help Young People Turn Hare-brained Ideas into a Sustainable Ministries without Losing Their Souls (or Their Shirts)



Get your inner gamer on: missional innovation is a team sport, and your youth are ready to play. We’ll learn a process to help your youth become missional entrepreneurs in their own right, and to help your congregation come along side them as they live out their callings in new and surprising ways.

5:30pm Dinner

7pm Q and A with Kenda

9:30pm Worship



8:30am Breakfast

9:30am Closing Worship

10:30am Head Home