HTH: Theology of Youth Ministry


The Journal of Baptist Theology & Ministry’s latest issue focuses on the “Theology of Youth Ministry.” This will be of great significance to those interested in digging further into the biblical and theological foundations of youth ministry. This issue of JBTM offers articles by Paul Kelly, Richard Ross, Walt Mueller and other well-respected youth ministry scholars. 

The following is the Editor’s summary of articles in the issue. Enjoy! 

“The first article was delivered as a convocation address at Golden Gate Theological Seminary in Mill Valley, California, by Paul G. Kelly, who serves as Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the institution. Kelly constructs a biblical theology of the time of life known as youth, contrasts it with the American concept of adolescence, and considers the implications for ministry in the local church. In the second article, Richard Ross, Professor of Student Ministry at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, suggests that Moral Therapeutic Deism is a problem for the entire church, not the teenagers only, and the solution is found in a higher and thoroughly biblical view of the person and work of Christ. In the third article, Walt Mueller, the founder and President of the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, explains that engaging teenagers with the gospel necessarily entails engaging their culture and worldview. The fourth article is a reprint of a 1997 essay on theology and youth ministry by Allen Jackson which includes an update written almost two decades later. The fifth article provides the perspective of the recent youth ministry experience of a Millennial (one born in the early-80s to early-2000), James Franklin, with interaction by Allen Jackson. In the sixth article, I address the doctrines of conversion and baptism as well as the implications for young ministry among Baptist (and baptistic) churches. In the final article, Joyce Ann Mercer, Professor in Pastoral Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, surveys recent literature on youth and religions which have implications for youth ministry.”

To learn more about gospel centered youth ministry, check out more articles and podcasts from Rooted’s youth ministry blog.



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