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Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry

Discernment is a journal of practical theology. In language accessible to the church, it presents peer-reviewed work by scholar-practitioners describing Christian ministry in a broad array of contexts, exemplified by: congregational life; a particular ministry within a congregation (children’s ministry or youth ministry, for example); mission contexts, whether single or multi-congregational; ministry in cross-cultural settings; or Christian ministry in an extra-congregational environment (for example: disaster relief, care for the poor, or care for children and families). See the Aims and Scope for more information about the journal's coverage.

Current Issue: Volume 6, Issue 2 (2020)

Introduction

Two of the more active fields of study in practical theology are youth ministry and children's ministry. This issue of Discernment: Theology and the Practice of Ministry presents work from both fields.

Chris Keeton presents two essays that emerge from his doctoral work. "Creating Vocational Curriculums for Youth Ministries: Challenges and Opportunities" makes a case for the usefulness of a vocational curriculum within a youth ministry. Keeton also presents evidence-based strategies for the formulation of vocational curriculum and the associated mentoring environment. "Vocation's Unbroken Chain: Biblical Call Stories and the Experience of Vocation" presents a series of biblical reflections that constitute the core of an effective vocational curriculum for youth.

Our series of Reader's Guides continues with "A Reader's Guide to Youth Ministry," authored by Jeremy Smith, Steven Bonner, and Walter Surdacki. As experienced youth ministers and youth ministry educators, this team presents a description of the best books in a burgeoning field of literature. They identify the most likely audiences of these books and, in the end, present a "Top Ten" list.

Shannon Rains presents a review of the book Bridging Theory and Practice in Children's Spirituality: New Directions of Education, Ministry, and Discipleship. This volume, edited by Mimi Larson and Robert Keeley, presents work from the 2018 Children's Spirituality Summit.

Articles

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A Reader's Guide to Youth Ministry
Jeremy D. Smith, Steve Bonner, and Walter Surdacki