my friend kara powell, and the peeps at what used to be called the fuller center for youth and family (or something like that), have re-branded, re-designed, and re-launched, under the much-easier-to-remember name: fuller youth institute (get it? FYI!)
here’s what i dig about kara and FYI: they bridge the gap between research and practice in youth ministry. this is rare. with much love for my academic friends, i think the following are all at least mostly true statements:
– much of what passes as academic work in youth ministry isn’t really academic (though this has certainly gotten better in the last half-decade).
– much of what passes as research in youth ministry wouldn’t pass muster with people who actually know how research is done.
– much of the good research done, both by spiritually-inclined institutions, and other studying adolescence, never gets connected with the real world of youth ministry.
that’s where FYI comes in. they exist pretty much for this purpose. they identify problems in youth ministry that would benefit from some research. then they do the research. then – this is where their uniqueness really comes out – they develop practical tools and articles that translate the findings and implications into real world tools and ideas for real world youth workers.
and… (drum roll)… it’s all free. yeah. free.
anyhow, they have an email all youth workers should subscribe to (see the “e-journal subscription” link on the home page), as well as a super-helpful website, a blog, a podcast, and a bunch of feeds you can subscribe to (i subscribe to their article feed, and their blog feed). and some of the work they’ve done has been translated, subsequently, into books kara powell and chap clark have published with ys:
deep ministry in a shallow world
deep justice in a broken world
and, a deep justice curriculum due out next may.