Youth Culture and Mission THL354

Youth Culture and Mission THL1354 (Bachelor of Theology)  is being taught at United Theological College in 2019.

2018 UTC Education Prospectus – Downloadable PDF (2MB)

2017 Subject Information below

Andrew Root, The Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry Luther Seminary, St. Paul Minnesota, has been engaged as guest lecturer for a five-day intensive at the Centre for Ministry, Saturday January 21 to Wednesday January 25, covering the CSU School of Theology subject THL354 Youth Culture and Mission. The five day intensive will begin with a Saturday/Sunday seminar open to a wide range of participants. Those choosing to enrol in THL354 will be required to stay Monday through to Wednesday as well as complete assessments. Duncan Macleod, with support from Bradon French, will provide local contextual resources and connections. Assessments, run between January and May, will be marked by Duncan.

Andrew Root (Ph.D., Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Olson Baalson associate professor of youth and family ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota. A former Young Life staff worker, he has served in churches and social service agencies as a youth outreach associate and a gang prevention counselor. He writes and researches in areas of theology and youth ministry. His most recent books are Christopraxis (Fortress Press, 2014) and Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker (Baker, 2014). He has also written The Relational Pastor (IVP, 2013) as well as a four book series with Zondervan called A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry (titles include Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry, Unpacking Scripture in Youth Ministry, and Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry). In 2012 his book The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Kenda Creasy Dean, IVP, 2011) was Christianity Today Book of Merit. He has written a number of other books on ministry and theology such as The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Baker Academic, 2010), The Promise of Despair (Abingdon, 2010), Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation (IVP, 2007) and Relationships Unfiltered (Zondervan/YS, 2009).

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Day 1 (21 January)

Intros (900)
Lecture: What is Culture and What are Young People? (1015–1130)
Small Group Session—Smith Introduction/Exercise 1 (1130–1230)
Lecture: The Shape of Our Secular Age (1330–1500)
Small Group Session—Smith chapter 1/Exercise 2 (1500 to 1600)

Day 2 (22 January)

Lecture: Growing up Digital (900–1100)
Small Group Session—Smith chapter 2/Exercise 3 (1115–1230)
Lecture: Growing Up Australian/Growing Up American (1330–1500)
Small Group Session—Smith chapter 3/Exercise 4 (1500 to 1600)

Day 3 (23 January)

Lecture: Porn and the Hooking Up Culture (900–1100)
Small Group Session—Smith chapter 4/Exercise 5 (1115–1230)
Lunch (1230–1330)
Lecture: Hip Hop: A commentary on poverty, racism, and crime
Small Group Session—Smith chapter 5/Exercise 6 (1500 to 1600)

Day 4 (24 January)

Lecture: Pop Culture: What is it? (900–1100)
Small Group Session—Australian material /Exercise 6 (1115–1230)
Lecture: Sports as New Religion (1330–1500)
Small Group Session—Australian material/Exercise 7 (1500 to 1600)

Day 5 (25 January)

Lecture: Family in a Western World (900–1100)
Small Group Session—Australian material /Exercise 6 (1115–1230)
Lecture: Growing Up in a Divorced Family (1330–1500)
Small Group Session—Australian material/Exercise 7 (1500 to 1600)

Subject Content

This subject will cover the following topics:

  • What is culture?
  • The factors that impact youth culture: individualism; consumerism; digital technology; economic inequality and friends and family,
  • Reading cultures: movies, television and the net, music and art, print media,
  • The gospel as a transformative force in culture,
  • Learning to speak within culture as an authentic, proximal and intelligible witness.

Key Texts

All books are on close reserve with Camden Theological Library and will be available during the intensive.

Core Text (Buy yourself a copy if you can):

James K.A. Smith, How (Not) To Be Secular (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2014).

Recommended reading

Boyd, Danah. It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of Networked Teens. New Haven: Yale University Press. 2014.
Dyson, Michael Eric. Know What I Mean? Reflections on Hip Hop. New York: Basic Books. 2007.
Daughtry, Phil & Devenish, Stuart: Spirituality for Youth Work: New Vocabulary, Concepts and Practices, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2016
Forbes, Bruce David & Mahan, Jeffrey H. Religion and Popular Culture in America. University of California Press: Berkeley. 2000.
Hughes, Philip: Putting Life Together: Findings from Australian Youth Spirituality Research, Christian Research Association, Fairfield Press 2007
Mason, Michael, Singleton, Andrew and Webber, Ruth: The Spirit of Generation Y, Young People’s Spirituality in a Changing Australia, John Garratt Publishing, 2007
Milner, Murray. Freaks, Geeks, and Cool Kids: American Teenagers, Schools, and the Culture of Consumption. New York: Routledge. 2004.
Possamai, Adam, Sociology of Religion for Generations X and Y, New York: Routledge, 2014
Root, Andrew. Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic Press. 2010
Rose, Tricia. The Hip Hop Wars. New York: Basic Books. 2008.
Taylor, Charles. A Secular Age. Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2007.
Wilson, Gary. Your Brain on Porn: Internet Pornography and the Emerging Science of Addiction. Commonwealth. 2014.

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