Registration Open for 2023 Perkins School of Youth Ministry

Registration is now open for the 2023 Perkins School of Youth Ministry (PSYM), a four-day educational gathering for youth ministers taking place January 9-12, 2023.

DALLAS (SMU) – Registration is now open for the 2023 Perkins School of Youth Ministry (PSYM), a four-day educational gathering for youth ministers taking place January 9-12, 2023. This year marks the 36th year of PSYM, which will take place at Highland Park United Methodist Church, near the campus of SMU.

PSYM 2023’s theme is “Everyday Adventure.”

“We are exploring the concept of youth ministry as an ‘everyday adventure,’ ” said Patrice Greer, Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry Education at Perkins School of Theology. “This is certainly a positive lens on immediate post-pandemic responses from ministry leaders. The idea is to consider youth ministry from the perspective of dynamic wonder and daily commitment. So, get ready for an adventure of a lifetime!”

Andrew Root (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) will provide the opening keynote address Jan. 9 and will lead a plenary workshop the following day. Root is the Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary; he writes and researches in areas of theology, ministry, culture and younger generations.

Participants may choose from two main tracks: Foundations (for those who are still in their first two years of ministry) and Workshops (for those who’ve completed Foundations).

Foundations students receive a Certificate of Completion for Foundations in Youth Ministry Training from Perkins School of Theology. Foundations is a preset track of workshops – separate from the “Workshops” track – on topics that include: Professionalism, Management, Volunteers, Safety, Relationships, Programming, Trips and Events, Leadership, Adolescent Development, Budgeting, Teaching, Communication, Self-Care, Resources and more.

Workshop participants can choose from the following sessions:

WORKSHOP A SELECTIONS (Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons)

WORKSHOP B SELECTIONS (Wednesday and Thursday mornings)

Participants also may choose to attend Youth Mental Health First Aid Certification conducted by Amy Shores, who is certified by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers and other caring citizens how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD) and eating disorders. This selection will span over both the A and B Workshop Selections.

Another option is to attend a partial Workshops track, which would include only one selected workshop from A or B blocks.

Perkins’ Certification in Practical Ministry in Youth Ministry program will also take place concurrently during the same week. These courses are designed to provide graduate-level theological training in youth ministry. This Certificate does not carry academic credit, but coursework may be transferred for a Certification in the Youth Ministry in The United Methodist Church through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the UMC and a student’s Annual Conference.

“As we return to some facets of normalcy, PSYM recognizes the need for a pivot in the direction of structural change toward the development of youth leaders within inconsistent times,” Greer said. “Thought leaders of PSYM 2023 have been strategically chosen to curate innovative workshops in which participants will be empowered and emboldened in safe communities designed to prepare them to lead the next generation of believers.”

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