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Regional European IASYM conference,
Copenhagen, Denmark
12. - 15. April 2023

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Updated 11. April

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IASYM website registration required

Invitation to
IASYM 12. -15. April 2023 Copenhagen

It is with great pleasure we hereby invite you to Copenhagen for the 2023 IASYM European conference. The land that nurtured stories such as “The little mermaid” and “The ugly duckling” - both about living through adolescence - seems like a good place to meet for all who have love and interest for Youth Ministry.

The theme for this years conference is

“Youth as Agents of Change? – between community and diversity”

We are curious as to the classic question: How can church be relevant for youth in all the changes that happen in their lives? Fridays For Future, green student movements and other movements remind us that adolescence is not only about personal physiological and mental changes, but about a life stage from which calls are sent into the world. Calls for change in society, calls for justice, calls for peace, calls for sustainability.

But can we leave it up to the youth to save us? Are we making the youth subject or object of our hopes? Is this burden sustainable? Are the changes we hope for what the youth are calling for? Or do their dreams and beliefs differ from ours? And how about tradition? Is it true that youth in many ways are more conservative than older generations, when it comes to tradition? Or – to summarize: What is a stake when we talk about youth and change in relation to church? This is what we hope to explore further when we meet in Copenhagen. 

Conference details:

Special features:

On Friday afternoon we will visit uKirke, the youth church of Copenhagen.

Here we will also get an introduction to Fairhouse, which is a new YMCA project with an emphasis on creating open spaces for transformation of and by youths.

From Friday afternoon we will include employees and volunteers from a broad variety of Danish parachurch organizations as participants to the conference.


  • Mikkel Gabriel Christoffersen (Denmark): Ideals, Anger, and Shame: Contemporary (Danish) Youth between Agency and Despair.
  • Daniel Puia-Dumitrescu (Romania),  Youth ministry in an Eastern Christian Orthodox context
  • Bert Roebben (Germany): Children and Youth as Participants in Theological Research
  • Astrid Sandsmark and Knut Tveitereid (Norway): Youth leadership programs: Fire and friction in the collaboration between local congregations and para-church organizations.
  • “….Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:20) - But who teaches the teachers? A panel debate on the need for education and professionalization of youth ministry. Participants:
    • Prof. Mikkel Christoffersen, Copenhagen
    • Bishop Ulla Thorbjørn Hansen, Roskilde
    • Prof. Bert Roebben, Bonn
    • Lector Birgitte Lerheim, Oslo
    • Rector Rasmus Bro, Aarhus
    • Youth pastor Therese Møller, Copenhagen

... more keynotes and key papers are coming. The papers can be downloaded through the link you have received in the e-mail to participants.

Conference style:

This is an academic conference. Papers will be available for all presentations. Keynotes/Keypapers and research papers will be given a responder and a chair.

Discussion/emerging papers will be given a chair, and the participants will act as responders.


The Conference will be held at

Faculty of Theology,

University of Copenhagen, Søndre Campus,

Karen Blixens Vej 8,

2300 København


The conference will start Wednesday April 12th at 12:00 with lunch and registration. First paper will be at 13:00. The conference closes Saturday with lunch ending at 13:00.

Wed. April 12th

Thu. April 13th

Fri. April 15th

Sat. April 15th





Before noon








Panel debate





Visit to uKirken



Pub Theology

Free time

YMCA evening

The detailed program can be downloaded here.


The hotel is

Wakeup Copenhagen

Bernstorffsgade 35,

1577 Copenhagen

All inclusive includes single rooms. These rooms can be shared, but they all have double beds. We have 50 rooms available.

If you want to stay longer, please book directly at the Wakeup Copenhagen Bernstorffsgade. If you mention the "IASYM" you will stay in the same room. We have no special conference prices for extra nights. Please notice that it's cheaper to book the extra night online as they charge a handling fee for phone bookings.

The Hotel is 5 min/600m walking distance to Copenhagen Central Station.

The Faculty is at Metro station Islands Brygge or you can walk from the hotel (30 min/2,3 km).

Cost and registration options:

  • All inclusiveFull conference Euro 475 incl. conference, meals and room (from Jan 12. 2023 to March 7. 2023)
  • Foodie: Full conference Euro 200 without room incl. conference and meals
  • Day ticket: One day Euro 70. Join either Wednesday, Thursday or Friday/Saturday incl. conference and meals.
  • Local students can join the sessions for free. Just register at the door showing your student card (no meals included).

After March 7. 2023 only "foodies" and "day tickets" are available.

Until March 6th full refund is possible. After that only partly refund is possible. No refund after April 1st.

Arriving early – leaving late? Please let us know, and we will arrange a get-together.

Membership requirement:

Everyone is more than welcome to join this conference but you need to register on the IASYM homepage for at least a "Free affiliation". All who are presenting papers are expected to be full members of IASYM.


Request for invites for visa applications will be ignored unless you have a proposal accepted and the request comes directly from your academic institute. This is also a regional European conference, so visa isn't required for Schengen passport holders. 

If you need to contact the organizers then e-mail Berit Berg or Christian Noval.

 Click here for registration

At least a IASYM "Free affiliation"

is required to register. Join here.

Call for papers

(download as PDF)

IASYM 12. -15. April 2023 Copenhagen

Youth as agents of change?

– between community and diversity

It is with great pleasure that we now call for papers for next year’s IASYM European conference in Copenhagen.

“Youth are not to blame, but they will need to take responsibility”. This seems to be the way we think about youth, when it comes to church as well as society, climate etc. As necessary as this might be, we still need to question it. Are we making the youth subject or object of our hopes? Is the pressure sustainable? Are the changes we hope for what the youth are calling for? Or do their dreams and beliefs differ from ours? And how about tradition? Is it true that youth in many ways are more conservative than older generations, when it comes to tradition? Or – to summarize: what is a stake when we talk about youth and change in church? This is what we hope to explore further when we meet in Copenhagen.

The theme will be a part of the conference, and we expect the Keynotes of the conference to reflect this theme in one way or another. However, as IASYM would like to encourage students and researchers to present their work within youth ministry, the conference is open to all papers within youth ministry, no matter what their theme might be,

We would also like to suggest, that you invite colleagues and scholars to participate who are not directly in youth ministry, but who have included youth in their theological research e.g. liturgy, intercultural studies, ecclesiology, dogmatics, history etc.

If you are interested in presenting a paper, please send us a proposal following these requirements:

  • The title of your paper
  • An overview of the paper (Max of 300 words)
  • Make a note about research type (literature, qualitative, quantitative, action research or others)
  • Make a note about research field (e.g. cultural studies, liturgy, media etc.)
  • Make a note about primary theories used in your research (methodology as well as bibliography)
  • Make a note about which type of presentations you would suggest as relevant for your paper (options are listed below)
  • Remember:
    • Your name, country of residence
    • Your email address
    • Your academic background and institution

Please note the dates (listed below) and be aware that you will need to submit a full paper in advance if you are presenting. This applies for all papers / session types.

Send your proposal to:

Not later than November 12.

Looking forward to hear from you

The Academic Committee:

- Patrik Höring

- Mark Scanlan

- Ronelle Sonnenberg

- František Štěch

- Berit Weigand Berg

Important dates:

  • November 12, 2022: Deadline for proposals
  • December 12, 2022: Deadline for response from AC
  • March 12, 2023: Deadline for papers
  • April 12, 2023: The conference begins

Types of papers:

  • Keynotes/Key paper: Academic work, which has been finalized (or are very closed to be)
  • Research papers: Work in progress
  • Discussion/emerging: Early Stage Research
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