Helsinki 2020: Biennial European Conference

“Cultivating Youth Spirituality: Faith, Nurturing and Youth Ministry”

Helsinki, Finland. 15-18 April, 2020

The IASYM European biennial conference 2020 will be held in Helsinki 15-18 April 2020. We invite all those involved in youth and emerging/young adult ministry as researchers, teachers, lecturers or thoughtful practitioners to join the conference. This four-day conference provides an opportunity to engage with the latest scholarship and research related to ministry among young people as well as a forum for building stronger networks.

Scholars and practitioners are welcome to submit their papers that may address a wide variety of aspects related to Youth and/or Youth Ministry. The theme of the conference “Cultivating youth spirituality: Faith, nurturing and Youth Ministry” highlights both the role of many actors in the spiritual growth of the youth and the active role of the young people themselves in constructing their religious lives and seeing the youth as active constructers of theology. The topics may include various research related to youth and youth ministry, for example:

  • youth constructing theology
  • religious growth and nurturing in childhood and adolescence
  • families, communities and faith
  • leaving religion and religious distancing in the youth
  • religion, youth and the media
  • children and youth-based theology
  • worship life and youth participation
  • secularization, liquid religion and the youth
  • youth diaconia and young people on the edge
  • religious development in childhood and youth
  • faith communities and their role in youth spirituality and spiritual development
  • youth ministry in public institutions e.g. schools, Universities and hospitals
  • Other topical issues in youth ministry including:
    • eco-anxiety
    • sexual identities and faith in youth
    • digital youth work
    • diversity and pluralism
    • pastoral care in adolescence
    • ethical questions
    • emerging faith communities
    • the aim and the role of youth ministers
    • new innovations in youth ministry
    • people on move and transnationalism
    • crisis and conflicts and youth ministry

We also invite papers on other themes that meet the IASYM’s stated aim to further the academic study and research of youth and youth ministry to raise the profile of youth ministry as a calling, career and/or professional enterprise, and to encourage the reflection on youth ministry and academic discipline that will support the practice of youth ministry.

The program for 2020 offers three formats for engagement and interaction: research papers, emerging research and workshops:

  • Research Papers present new research in children’s, youth and emerging/young adult ministry submitted by conference delegates. In each session the presentation will be followed by a prepared response as well as group discussion.
  • Emerging Research sessions provide an opportunity to share ‘works-in-progress’ and developing thoughts as well as completed ideas not yet established in a formal paper. These sessions provide an opportunity for new or emerging researchers (whether engaged in formal study or as a thoughtful practitioner) to road-test ideas and receive feedback in a constructive environment.
  • Workshops offer professional development opportunities to assist delegates in the craft of research and the teaching of ministry to children, youth and emerging/young adults.

Proposals for Research papers and Emerging research should include a 200-word abstract, along with the author’s name, email address, and academic institution or place of employment.

Proposals for Workshops should include a description of the workshop content of no more than 200 words and may include suggested workshop leader if other than the person proposing the workshop. The proposal should include the proposer’s name, email address, and academic institution or place of employment.

Submit your proposalby October 30th, 2019 using this link: https://elomake.uef.fi/lomakkeet/23006/lomake.html

Venue of the Conference
Kyläsaarenkuja 2
00580 Helsinki
Finland

Academic Committee:

  • Kati Tervo-Niemelä, the chair of the academic committee, professor in practical theology, University of Eastern Finland; kati.tervo-niemela@uef.fi
  • Astrid Sandsmark, Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and director of the bachelor  program Youth, Culture and Faith, MF Norwegian School of Theology
  • Christian Noval, Catholic Diocese of Copenhagen
  • David Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Practical Theology, Theology and Learning Specialist, Oasis College of Higher Education, London

Local Organising committee:

  • Jouko Porkka, chair of the local committee, senior lecture, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
  • Minna Valtonen, principal lecturer, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
  • Sami Ritokoski, senior lecturer, Diaconia University of Applied Sciences
  • Salla Poropudas, advisor, Diocese of Helsinki
  • Jari Pulkkinen advisor, Church Council of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

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