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Thriving Ministry with Young Adults: Holy Yearnings, Holy Listening, Holy Partnerships

Thriving Ministry with Young Adults A Four-Week Webinar Series

September 18 - October 9, 2019

Registration Fee: $60 (includes 0.5 CEU)
Registration Deadline: September 16, 2019

Click Here To Register Now

In 2016, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary received a $1.5 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help churches launch new ministries that will attract young adults – a population that congregations today are struggling to reach. With this financial support from Lilly Endowment Inc., Garrett-Evangelical became one of 12 innovation hubs around the country that have been helping churches create innovative and meaningful ministries that appeal to millennials. 

In this four-week webinar series, Garrett-Evangelical's Young Adult Initiative will share the findings from the first phase of our work through engaging, thought-provoking, and challenging webinars designed to encourage you to actively support and engage the young adults in your congregations, and attract young adults to your community. The Church needs a paradigm shift that centers young adults as vital members of the congregation, and our webinar series can help you make that shift!

Webinar Information

Webinar Dates and Times

  • Wednesday, September 18th, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT)
  • Wednesday, September 25th, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT)
  • Wednesday, October 2nd, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT)
  • Wednesday, October 9th, at 11:00 a.m. (CDT)

There will also be one introductory video provided to watch before the series start date.

Webinar Recordings

Everyone who registers for this series will receive an email, within 24 hours of each live webinar, that includes a link to access a recording of that week's webinar. This means as long as you are registered, you can miss the live webinar(s) and be able to view the recording(s) when you are able to do so. The benefit of attending the live webinar is that you will be able to ask question(s) of the instructor. Since we recognize not all registrants will be able to attend the live webinars, we will provide information to all registrants closer to the start of the first webinar to enable you to submit questions you may have prior to each webinar.

If you are unable to attend the live webinars and would still like to receive the 0.5 CEU, you will need view the recorded webinars between September 18 – October 16, 2019. 

Technology Requirements

We use Zoom for our webinars and have found it to be very accessible for participants. To participate in a webinar, you will need the following:

  • An internet connection – broadband wired or wireless (3G or 4G/LTE)
  • Speakers and a microphone – built-in or USB plug-in or wireless Bluetooth
  • A webcam or HD webcam - built-in or USB plug-in

For more detailed information, including the list of computer system requirements, supported tablet and mobile devices, and list of supported internet browsers, please visit here.

Webinar Topics

Creating a Culture of Radical Hospitality with Young Adults

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount

How can congregations create a congregational community culture where young adults feel accepted, free to be themselves and experience love, warmth, joy, belonging, openness to diversity, but more importantly, a place where they are fully seen and heard? This webinar will explore the work leaders (both clergy and lay) can engage to create a congregational culture that is welcoming, accessible, relevant and relatable to young adults.

Justice Evangelizes, Brunch Heals: Finding Our Way to Young Adults Through Social Action and Spiritual Practice

Presenters: Rev. Dr. Dori Baker and Gina Robinson

What role can the church still play in the life of young adults? How can congregations create pathways to connect with the holy yearnings of people between the ages of 18-24? When we listened deeply, we heard that justice evangelizes and brunch heals. Holy partnerships can result between young people and traditional congregations. This webinar will lift up stories of congregations connecting to young adults through social justice ministries and through re-interpretations of age-old spiritual practices, like breaking bread together. Young adults in our study found homes in faith communities who were actively involved in dismantling racism, creating LGBTQ inclusive worship, and becoming part of collective solutions to stubborn paint points of their lives. You’ll hear about faith as a tool for supporting young women of color who experience racial micro-aggression, brunch as a new form of church, and how one young adult “prays without ceasing” with his Spotify playlist.

Alienated and Ambivalent

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Karen Mosby

This webinar highlights two themes from the first phase of our Young Adult Initiative: “Painful Past Experiences of Church” and “Ambivalence toward the Christian Label.” Admittedly, Millennials are not the first generation of young adults to have negative encounters with Christians congregations or have tentative feelings about what it means to be called Christian. However, their current position as the largest young adult generational cohort coupled with their escalating departure and turning away from traditional mainline denominational churches heightens their impact on the religious landscape in the U.S. Their experiences and responses point to trends in the relationship between youth/young adults and congregations that will not change without intentional intervention. This webinar will discuss the YAI findings; situate them within the larger religious landscape; make connections with biblical precedents; consider implications; and offer recommendations for moving forward.

Relationships, Connection, and Community

Presenters: Dr. Jennifer Moe and Bri Crumbley

Young Adult Initiative assistant director Dr. Jennifer Moe and Bri Crumbley of Gilead Chicago will present on young adults' need for relationships, connection, and community and how Gilead Chicago is rethinking how congregations create and sustain community with innovative practices toward building genuine, supportive friendships within their community.

Webinar Leaders

Rev. Dr. Dori Baker

Rev. Dr. Dori BakerRev. Dr. Dori Baker is a researcher, writer, and pastor whose work lies at the intersection of young adult culture, innovative leadership, and spiritual practices that sustain activism. She is the lead researcher on the Holy Yearnings, Holy Listening, Holy Partnerships project at G-ETS and serves as Senior Fellow at the Forum for Theological Exploration. She is the author of Doing Girlfriend Theology: God Talk with Young Women and The Barefoot Way: A Faith Guide for Young Adults and the People Who Accompany Them.

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount

Rev. Dr. Reginald BlountRev. Dr. Reginald Blount is the assistant professor of formation, youth, and culture at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has spoken nationally and internationally at numerous conferences and workshops helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with, and on behalf of young people. Blount earned his doctor of philosophy degree from Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University's joint program in religious and theological studies, focusing on the areas of Christian education and youth ministry.

Dr. Jennifer Moe

Dr. Jennifer MoeDr. Jennifer Moe is a graduate of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary with a PhD in Christian education and congregational studies, and a cognate area of practical theology. The focus of her work is the myth of the "good Christian woman" and the expectations put upon Christian women in a variety of church subcultures. She lives in Chicago, Illinois, and has lived in the Chicagoland area for the past 18 years. She serves as the assistant director of the Young Adult Initiative at Garrett-Evangelical, and also serves as adjunct faculty at Garrett-Evangelical. In her free time, Jennifer enjoys reading; hanging out with her friends and family, including her beloved niece and nephews; sewing; and spending time in the (indoor) pool.

Rev. Dr. Karen Mosby

Rev. Dr. Karen Mosby

Rev. Dr. Karen Mosby currently works as the part-time chaplain for Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She is also a PhD student in the Christian education and congregational studies track at Garrett-Evangelical and the pre-doctoral fellow with the Garrett-Evangelical “Holy Yearning, Holy Listening, Holy Partnerships” Young Adult Initiative. Over the course of her 30+ years in ordained pastoral ministry, she has served as the pastor of pastoral care and administration at Second Baptist Church of Evanston, Illinois; pastor of Good News Community Church United Church of Christ (Chicago, Illinois); director of contextual education at Chicago Theological Seminary (Chicago, Illinois) and an executive director of programs at Good News Partners (Chicago, Illinois). Additionally, she has done adjunct teaching through the Garrett-Evangelical Course of Study and served as a teaching assistant from several masters-level courses. Her published writings include, “Black Millennial Encounters with God through the Coloring Book of Chance the Rapper,” Religious Education (2018) and "Our Sons and Daughters Shall Prophesy”: P(r)eaching with Millennials (DMin Dissertation, 2014). She received a bachelor of science degree in journalism from Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) and the master of divinity and doctor of ministry degrees from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. In 1985 she was ordained at Second Baptist Church of Evanston.


Please visit the Connectional Learning Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for the full list of our frequently asked questions.

Cancellation Policies

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Course Cancellation Policy

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary reserves the right to cancel the course if a minimum participation level is not reached. If we cancel this offering, participants will be notified of the cancellation 7 business days before the offering’s start date and will receive a full refund.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Policy for Participant Cancellation

Participants can withdraw from the course in writing via e-mail to

Refunds will be provided according to this schedule:

  • Withdrawals received more than 30 days prior to the course's start date will receive: 100% refund.
  • Withdrawals received between 29 to 16 days prior to the course's start date will receive: 50% refund.

No refunds will be issued for withdrawals received 15 days or less before the course starts.