Everything Is Youth Ministry

The major models of youth ministry in the church are no longer working, but we keep pouring time and energy into them, hoping for a different outcome. Instead, what if we reimagined the practice of youth ministry entirely? In this episode, meet the Institute for Youth Ministry, and learn how we are striving to do just that.

It's really interesting to me that this project that William Tennant did with young people, to me, it's youth ministry. To me, Princeton Theological Seminary’s founding was a youth ministry project. And so, I thought, ‘okay, if we're supposed to do something, that's in line with our mission, vision, and values, why not go back to our founding?’ Arguably, our founding was via youth ministry. Let’s lean into that. -Rev. Abigail Visco Rusert

Part One—Introducing: Disrupting Ministry
(0:00-6:36)
Host Megan DeWald introduces the Rev. Abigail Visco Rusert, Director of the Institute for Youth Ministry and creator of the Log College Project, a grant initiative designed to help churches reimagine youth ministry in the 21st Century.

Part Two—What is the Institute for Youth Ministry—and Why?
(6:37-17:34)
Abigail traces the origins of the Log College Project to the origins of Princeton Theological Seminary, which was founded, she suggests, as innovation in youth ministry.

Part Three—What is the Log College Project—and How Does It Work?
(17:35-31:40)
Megan introduces Carmelle Beaugelin, Program Coordinator for the Log College Project, who explains its inner workings and hypotheses. Megan then introduces the Rev. Dr. Erin Raffety, a cultural anthropologist and practical theologian who has served as the Research Advisor for the project.

Part Four—The Big Pivot, or The Great Accelerator
(31:41-37:29)
Abigail and Carmelle reflect on how the COVID-19 pandemic and the social upheaval of 2020 have impacted the churches of the Log College Project, along with potential long-term impacts on the practice of youth ministry as a whole.

Conclusion & Credits
(37:30-39:12)
Next week, we feature stories from Coppin Memorial African Methodist Episcopal Church in Chicago, Illinois, and their quest to create a "new normal" in their community.

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Audio editing  and production by Nii Addo Abrahams (Follow @_nickyflash_)
Music available at Epidemic Sound (https://www.epidemicsound.com/)
The IYM thanks Maiia Avelino, Brooke Matejka, Tamesha Mills, Erin Raffety, & Christine Toto.