Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Reconciliation and Intercultural Studies (MA-RIS)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Douglas M. Strong, Ph.D., Paul T. Walls Professor of Wesleyan Studies and Professor of the History of Christianity


Christian leadership; Church work of youth; Church work with teenagers; Church work with youth; Generation Y—Religious life; Generation Z—Religious life; Intergenerational relations—Religious aspects—Christianity; Stanwood United Methodist Church (Stanwood, Wash.); The Spot (Stanwood, Wash.); Teenagers—Religious life; Youth in church work; Youth in public worship; Youth Dynamics (Burlington, Wash.)


The mainline church, present with youth, could begin to recognize the presence of youth in our worship services, prayer teams and leadership teams as adding value and depth to the community of believers. Youth outside of the church are hurting and desperate for belonging. Youth need relationships; youth need Jesus! Despite the church’s history of marginalizing youth, declining numbers and seeming irrelevance amongst the current Generation Z youth, the church can fulfill a vital role in seeing youth as people created in the image of God, allowing God’s church to reach our hurting world by way of the young people in our midst. It will take a repentant church that trusts God to lead us on this journey alongside youth, knowing that our hope is in Jesus and not in the systems and power structures of humans.


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