The Adolescent Journey: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Practical Youth Ministry, By Amy E. Jacober

The Adolescent Journey

An Interdisciplinary Approach to Practical Youth Ministry

by Amy E. Jacober

The Adolescent Journey
  • Length: 183 pages
  • Published: April 05, 2011
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3418
  • ISBN: 9780830834181

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Adolescence is a time of individuation--children are slowly finding their identity as adults, separate from their parents and other adult influences. Such a critical time of psychological development is complicated by cultural influences that shape their expectations of adulthood and color how they relate to other people and even God. The task of the youth pastor becomes to help adolescents navigate this often treacherous journey, helping young people reconcile their experience of childhood to the reality of their impending adulthood, and rooting and establishing them in a faith that can sustain them through their adult journey as well.

Drawing on the insights of sociology and psychology, Jacober reveals youth ministry to be an act of practical theology, and helps youth pastors find their footing as they guide young people through adolescence.

"Dr. Amy Jacober makes a significant scholarly contribution as she provides a keen analysis of adolescent faith formation through a practical theological lens. While many speak of practical theology, Dr. Jacober's book lays out one of the most comprehensive introductions to this perspective in the field of youth ministry education. Thoroughly researched, deeply reflective, intentionally contextual and eminently usable, The Adolescent Journey may soon become the seminal work on examining youth ministry and practical theology."

Fernando Arzola Jr., Associate Dean of Arts Sciences, Nyack College, and author of Toward a Prophetic Youth Ministry

"Anyone concerned with developing a theology to underpin youth ministry will profit from this stimulating book."

Urban Bulletin, Issue 22, 2011


Introduction: Growing Up and So Many Places to Go!
1 Youth Ministry as Practical Theology
2 Practical Theology
3 Overlapping Spheres in Adolescent Development: Healthy Individuation
4 A Clarification of Context: Understanding Youth Culture
5 Theological Influences: Faith with Understanding
6 A Depth Encounter with Central Virtues: Love, Mercy, Justice and Transformation
7 Toward a More Intentional Transformative Youth Ministry
Appendix A: Chalcedon and the Bilingual Conversation
Appendix B: Various Perspectives on Culture
Index of Subjects and Names
Index of Scripture


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Amy E. Jacober

Amy E. Jacober (PhD, Fuller Theological Seminary) is associate professor of practical theology and youth ministry at Truett Theological Seminary. Prior to coming to Truett in Fall 2007, Jacober taught at Azusa Pacific University, Seattle Pacific University, and Fuller Theological Seminary. Prior to her doctoral work, she completed degrees in Social Work (MSW, Arizona State), Divinity (MDiv, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), Church Social Services (MACSS, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary), and Sociology (BA, Arizona). This broad background informs her interests in, and understanding of, marginalized communities, urban issues, theology and disability, and issues of family violence. Jacober's published works include the Youth Ministry Source Book, annually 2005-2009, A Pastor's Guide to Youth Ministry, numerous articles in the Journal of Student Ministries, Youth Worker Journal, and the Journal of Youth and Theology. Jacober serves on two national boards: the Association of Youth Ministry Educators (AYME) and YoungLife Capernaum (YoungLife ministry for teens with disabilities). She also serves on the international board of the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry (IASYM). Dr. Jacober is also invested in issues of fair housing, serving on the board of Agape Life Change of Pasadena, CA. Jacober's professional affiliations include the American Academy of Religion, the National Association of Christians and Social Work, the Association of Practical Theology, AYME, and IASYM.