Perkins School of Youth Ministry


This year, participants may select all of their three workshops in one of our four specialized tracks (orthopraxy/hand, orthopathy/heart, orthodoxy/head, and family ministry), or mix and match three workshop selections.

Fresh Start Morning Worship

8:30 to 9 am on Tues–Thurs

Fresh Start Morning Worship
Rev. Rezolia Roberson

Come join us as we prepare for the day with prayer, devotion, and communion for thirty minutes before our first workshop each morning.

Session 1

Noon to 1:15 pm on Monday only*, 9 to 10:15 am on Tues-Thurs 

Hands and Feet of Christ: Developing a Theology of Mission
Rev. Lisa Beth White

Mission trips are great opportunities for making friends and doing good work. But beyond the trip or project, why do we do mission? In this workshop, we’ll take a look at scriptures that form the foundation for our mission activity. We’ll consider ways to think about mission that can help to deepen your students and your own discipleship, and we’ll explore how you can empower your group to develop their theology of mission. Key missional concepts included in this workshop: mutuality, cultural intelligence, evangelism, power dynamics. Bring a hymn, prayer or other worship experience that informs your mission practices to share with the group.

How to be the Real Deal: Spiritual Formation for Youth Worker
Helene Foust

Youth need more than great lessons and fun activities, they need you to be the “real deal.” They need you to live out your faith in ways that inspire them to live out theirs. A healthy, authenticyouth ministry begins with the healthy, authentic personal faith of the youth worker. Ministry can be so full of things to do, that our personal faith journey suffers, often without even knowing it!When you’re spiritually low, everything suffers… especially your ministry. During this workshop, leaders will receive tools and resources for spiritual formation, learn how to overcome burnoutand tough situations in ministry, and experience a personal time of spiritual renewal through worship and prayer.

New Studies and Trends: Research, Stats and Studies in Youth Ministry
Jack Radcliffe

This workshop will take a deep dive into the complex challenge of making disciples in the always changing world of teens and their families. Topics we’ll cover include: making sense of cultural and developmental realities that affect a teens’ faith formation, key trends, new learning and how to interpret them, and what to look for in curriculum and training resources that take these realities into account. There will also be an opportunity to preview new and upcoming Youth Ministry Partners resources.

Developing a Family Ministry: A Comprehensive Approach to Ministry
Rev. Matt Tuggle

As many of us are realizing, the future of Youth Ministry falls under the broader umbrella of Family Ministry. Family Ministry includes two major components:1) intentionally partnering the church and home together to raise the next generation in the Christian faith; and 2) operating under a comprehensive vision and strategy for ministry from birth-college. In this workshop we'll discuss both aspects and help you develop a Family Ministry plan for your context. If you have been tasked with Family Ministry at your church, this workshop will help you develop or hone your plan. If you have not been tasked with developing a Family Ministry, this workshop will give you the tools you need to talk with your church leadership about moving to a Family Ministry model.

Session 2

1:30 to 2:45 pm on Monday only*, 10:30 to 11:45 am on Tues-Thurs

Behind the Music: Worship Planning and Production for Youth
Ani Barrington

Youth worship can be so much more than just "two or three songs and a message." Gain fresh insight on how to put together incredible worship experiences for youth. This workshop will give practical guidance for small, medium, and large contexts with varied experience levels. Get some new ideas and tools for planning, creating, and executing memorable and transformational moments for your group.

Crisis Counseling for Youth: The Right Tools for the Tough Times
Dr. Terry Parsons

Crisis Counseling for Youth is an informative, engaging, and crucial class for all in youth ministry. How do you effectively minister in those crisis situations so common with youth? This class will provide you with essential knowledge and equip you with practical tools for ministering to youth in their most critical times.

More Than Stories: Making the Bible Come to Life
Dr. Roy Heller 

Many people assume that the Bible provides answers to all questions that we may have. Others assume that the Bible is like a textbook: it contains a set of information that we—as Christians—are expected to know well. What happens, however, if we think of the Bible as a “workbook”…as a set of texts that cause us to question, to explore, to wonder, and to discuss? Come take a look at familiar biblical texts again for the first time and explore how Bible study can actually be a community-building exercise!

Spiritual Generativity: The Ecology of Faith Formation in the Wesleyan Tradition
Rev. Amy Valdez Barker 

This class will be about the critical elements needed in the ecological communal environment for children and youth as we seek to pass on the Wesleyan Tradition.  It takes a community to raise a child and each member of the community plays a critical role in passing on the traditions, cultures, beliefs and values essential for raising young people into productive, caring and faith-grounded adults who love God and love their neighbors.  This class will explore these elements and brain-storm ways in which we can foster and strengthen this ecology of faith formation.


Session 3

3 to 4:15 pm on Monday only*, 2 to 3:15 pm on Tues–Thurs

Games That'll Preach: Leading Activities with Purpose
John Cravens

One of the goals of youth ministry is to create experiences for youth that lead them to Christ or give them encouraging tools to keep going. Active learning can be great for illustrating a point, many Biblical truths and encourage teens to demonstrate true Christian living. In most cases, games are thought up randomly and just before they are played. Games that have purpose can be great for illustrating a point, many Biblical truths and encourage teens to demonstrate true Christian living. Join us as we explore what games with a purpose look like, how to move past the messy game nights and the last minute I Never game.

Inclusive Youth Ministry: Working With and For LGBTQI Youth
Rev. Jay Clark

Could youth group really be a place where young people can feel safe and loved? Could your group be a trusted place where youth can explore tough questions and wrestle with their identities? Could your meetings be a judgement-free refuge for all orientations of people struggling with sexual and gender expression? This workshop will provide history, education, and strategies for expanding your ministry to all teens.

Teaching the Big Picture: Scope, Teaching Plans and Developing Curriculum
Bart Patton and Chris Wilterdink

No more digging for last-minute lessons on Saturday nights! Learn how to develop a teaching plan for your ministry year, evaluate curriculum, implement different types of curriculum, and write your own curriculum. Participants will have guided opportunities in the workshop to walk away from PSYM with a nine week teaching plan.

Wesleyan Roots--Today's Wings: Why Heritage Matters for Youth
Dr. Tamara Lewis

We will be taking a narrative journey through United Methodist History divided into three periods (1) life of John Wesley; (2) the British Methodist revivals of the eighteenth century; and (3) the birth of American Methodism to the present. The format of the class will be interactive storytelling, powerpoint images, and class participation. Most notably we will engage experientially in the class and band meeting style of engagement. Students will take away knowledge of the practical divinity of the Wesleyan tradition with the goal of applying this experience to diverse ministerial contexts.


Talk Shops and Experiential Learning Opportunities 

3:30–4:30 PM on Tues–Thurs only.

Want to extend your discussion around a specific topic or ministry idea?  Do you have a specific question or problem in your current ministry context that you need to work out with veteran youth workers? Do you need advice on how to implement a concept presented in one of your workshops? Do you need some fresh ideas for your ministry? Join us for a Talk Shop. Veteran youth workers will be on hand for your questions and discussions. Or join us for an Experiential Learning Opportunity--where you get to participate in a youth ministry activity that you can also lead with your youth back home.