The Spring Youth Forum (SYF) for high school students began in 1999 as a component of a youth ministry class taught by Dr. Evelyn Parker, associate professor of Christian Education and co-writer of the grant submitted to establish the Perkins Youth School of Theology (PYST). The Forum was designed as a venue to engage youth in biblical and theological discussion on issues of youth culture, church and society. Faculty members presented on a topic from their current research or publication, engaged in dialogue with the Perkins community, and invited youth and other guests. A panel of teenagers intitiated the dialogue with their written responses to the faculty member's article or essay.
In 2003, The Forum format was incorporated as a component of PYST and presently serves as a platform for youth to engage the work of theologians and biblical scholars and ti explore issues and implications of theological reflection and dialogue to inform the discipline of theological education in the academy.
The annual Spring Youth Forum is now a day-long youth conference which invites high school youth, ages 15-18 years, to discuss issues of faith, church and society and the adolescent's struggle to live a liberating Christian witness. The conference consists of worship, a youth panel session, open mic' and artistic expressions, small groups, networking and a campus tour. SYF is held every year on the Saturday before Palm Sunday.