What is the future
of youth ministry?
For some of us, this question worries us.
We wonder: Will there even be youth ministry in the future?
For others of us, this question energizes us.
We wonder: What new tools and opportunities will be available in the future of youth ministry?
For all of us, this question has an answer:
The future of youth ministry is how we decide to shape its future.
Let’s craft it together.
The 2024 Forum on Youth Ministry invites you to join us for 3.5 days of worship, workshops, small groups on the campus of Princeton Theological Seminary, as we host productive conversations that give voice to our collectives hopes, dreams, and ideas for the future of youth ministry.
What is the Forum on Youth Ministry?
The Princeton Forum on Youth Ministry is an annual gathering of people in the church, the academy, and the world who are committed to cultivating and caring for the Christian faith of young people. Designed around a theme that inspires the conversation and content each year, the Forum is a place where people of all demographic and denominational backgrounds come together to learn from and encourage one another. Less of a conference that teaches “how-to,” the Forum is a creative hub where people gather to ask “how come?”
Have you been doing youth ministry for a few years now? Hungry for innovation and a reminder of why you’re doing what you’re doing? For our participants with 3-6 years of experience, the Sojourner Track Workshop will help you connect with others like you to spark new ideas and share best practices. After mastering the basics and determining your strengths, you likely have developed the wisdom to know what you know and to know what you don’t. Alongside your peers, you will teach us what you need to stay faithful to your calling in the face of ever-new challenges. This workshop will be facilitated by theologian Reggie Blount.
Are you new to youth ministry? Wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into? For our participants with 0-2 years of experience, the Apprentice Track Workshop will help you discern your needs and clarify your hopes as someone new to this work. In a world that’s changing so rapidly, we believe you are well positioned to speak into the present moment. Unencumbered by expectations of what-has-always-worked, you have the unique capacity to teach us what is or isn’t working now. This workshop will be facilitated by pastor and coach Aqueelah Ligonde.
Have you lost count of how long you’ve been in youth ministry? Has it just become part of who you are in the world? For our participants with 7+ years of experience, the Maestro Track Workshop will invite you to bring your brilliance into the room and to share your expertise with each other. Drawing on your hard-won wisdom and time-tested practices, you will teach us what a long obedience in the direction of youth ministry can look like in our lives, in our young people, in the church, and in the world. This workshop will be facilitated by veteran youth worker and entrepreneur Mark Oestreicher.
Our Collective Learnings will be shared on Friday, May 3 at
The Festival of Ideas
Throughout the week, participants in our three workshop tracks will join in conversations and activities that will lead them toward presenting their learnings for the entire Forum audience. At every experience level, we will all learn from each other and honor the expertise that is in the room whenever we gather. Together, we will craft the future of youth ministry that we want to witness and practice in the world.
The gathered Forum audience will encourage and support one another by mapping resources, sharing gifts, forming vocational friendships, and offering thoughtful feedback. We will close the festival by blessing each other’s work and ministry, and we’ll break bread together in our Closing Communion Service.