Young People and Faith Conference

18 January 2011 — 4 Comments

'Faith Street' by David Gallagher on Flickr

On 27th – 28th June 2011, Youth and Policy is sponsoring the third ‘Thinking Seriously’ conference looking at the theme of Young People and Faith: implications for youth working. I’ve been invited to participate to the event, and am already quite nervous about it! Here’s some more information:

Youth and Policy’s third ‘thinking seriously’ conference will explore recent research relating to young people and faith and consider its implications for practice. The conference offers an opportunity for colleagues from academia and practice to engage in open dialogue about research and practice relevant to work with young people around faith and religion.

The event will be a small residential gathering comprising scholarly papers, workshops and space for informal discussion and debate between participants. To encourage an atmosphere of mutual commitment to learning we are restricting the numbers to around 60 and encouraging all participants to make a commitment to attend for the whole of both days.

There will be four key papers including:

  • Sughra Ahmed (Policy Research Centre) whose research includes ‘Seen and Not Heard: Voices of Young British Muslims’;
  • Dr Phil Henry (University of Derby) a sociologist of religion working in the area of identity and difference and Director of the Multi-Faith Centre at the university;
  • Jasjit Singh (University of Leeds) a doctoral student researching the transmission of religion among young British Sikhs;
  • Jon Jolly (Arun Community Church) a Christian youth worker, writer and key thinker in the field.

The speakers have been asked to stimulate reflection and discussion of practice relating to young people and faith by drawing on the insights of their work and research interests.

We are inviting participants to offer practical or academic workshops which will foster debate and new thinking about young people and faith.

I’m not sure about being described as “a key thinker in the field” (unless I’m looking for my keys in an actual field), but it will a challenging and useful conference to try and better understand the broad nature of faith and young people in the UK.

You can find full details and booking information on the Youth and Policy website here. It is £205 for a residential place, but if you work in a faith-related role, it will be a worthwhile investment.


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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

4 responses to Young People and Faith Conference

  1. Are there any programs like this in the US?

    I think it is very important to instill the faith in the youth of today. With all the violence and deviation from the Lord, getting children involved is a serious matter. I have read other blogs reflecting on their faith based programs and how effective it is on the youth of today.

    I will follow this blog more to find out about events in the US or Texas area, specifically.

    • Hi Mary Beth, welcome and thanks for the comment!

      I don’t know a great deal about faith based events in the US, but I believe there are a huge number of organisations that run training and support for Christian youth workers – far more than the UK in fact!

      You should take a look at Youth Specialties as a starting point.

      I hope that helps!

    • Mary Beth and Jon

      Not sure but I am hoping to be at the conference, which is important, particularly in the context of the significant ‘renaissance’ of ‘faith -based youth work’. I’m uncertain as to whether my faith in humanity without gods allows me to participate. And Mary Beth your notion of instilling faith is at odds with my understanding of youth work. This aside the debate is much needed. Cross fingers I can make it.

      Best Wishes

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