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Culture and Context for Youth Ministry

The youth minister (and his/her team), is required to discern the rapidly shifting social, demographic and spiritual elements of youth culture.  This unit seeks to enable students to understand the memes influencing young people within the multiple contexts of Australian culture while equipping them to provide care to youth and their families.  It provides a critical review of contemporary research on the present generation of youth.

Lecturer: Refer to Timetable
Offered: Refer to Timetable

Undergraduate: Level 1 & 2
Postgraduate: Level 8

Discipline: DP Pastoral Theology and Ministry Studies  


Learning Outcomes: 

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Articulate the ways in which Australian culture and context shapes and forms identity, values and behaviours
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the contrasts and points of connection between gospel and youth culture(s)
  3. Evaluate and describe pastoral priorities and strategies in caring for young people and their families.
  4. Reflect theologically on issues that arise in the interaction between youth culture(s), gospel and church.
  5. (Level 2) Apply insights arising from theological reflection to a critical evaluation of a ministry setting (preferably the student’s own setting).
  6. (Level 8) Demonstrate a capacity for research by articulating a pastoral response to, and a theological critique on, one significant issue arising from the interaction between Church, gospel and youth culture.


Undergraduate: Level 1
Online Group Forum (1000 words) 20%
Case Study (1500 words)              40%
Major Essay (1500 words)           40%

Undergraduate: Level 2
Online Group Forum (1000 words) 20%
Case Study (1500 words)              40%
Major Essay (2000 words)           40%

Postgraduate: Level 8
Online Group Forum (1000 words) 20%
Case Study (2500 words)              40%
Major Essay (2500 words)           40%

Select Bibliography:

*Recommended reading

Bosch, D. Transforming Mission: Paradigm Shifts in Theology of Mission. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1991.
Brierley, D. Joined Up. An Introduction to Youthwork and Ministry. Cumbria: Authentic Media, 2003.
Clark, C. 2.0: Inside the World of Today’s Teenagers. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2011.
DeVries, M. Family Based Youth Ministry. Nottingham: IVP Books, 2004.
Farley, R. Strategy For Youth Leaders for the 21st Century. Central Coast NSW: Scripture Union, 2007.
Fields, D. Your First Two Years In Ministry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2002.
Hughes, P. Putting Life Together: Findings from Australian Youth Spirituality Research Fairfield: Christian Research Association. Fairfield Press, 2007.
Mason M, Singleton A, Webber R. The Spirit of Generation Y. Young People’s Spirituality in a Changing Australia. Mulgrave: John Garret Publishing, 2007.
Newbigin, L. Foolishness to the Greeks: The Gospel and Western Culture. London: SPCK, 1986.
Newbigin, L. The Gospel in a Pluralist Society. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1989.
Root, A. Revisiting relational youth ministry: from a strategy of influence to a theology of incarnation. Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2007.
Root, A and Kenda Creasy Dean. The theological turn in youth ministry, Downers Grove: IVP Books, 2011.
Savage S, Collins-Mayo S, Mayo B. Making Sense of Generation Y: The World view of 15-25 year olds. London: Church House Publishing, 2006.
Senter, M. Four Views of Youth Ministry & The Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001.
Sudworth, T, Mission-Shaped Youth: Rethinking young people and church. London: Church House Publishing, 2007.