Fortress Press

Youth Ministry as Peace Education: Overcoming Silence, Transforming Violence

Youth Ministry as Peace Education

Overcoming Silence, Transforming Violence

Elizabeth W. Corrie (Author)


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Young people can be peacebuilders--citizens who address the root causes of hatred and abuse of power to build more just and peaceful communities. Indeed, young people are already leading movements to change policy and culture--most prominently, the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the Climate Strikers, and the originators of the Standing Rock protests and Black Lives Matter movement. Yet churches are notably absent among those who support and mentor such leaders.

Drawing on the deep wisdom of Christian tradition and practice and the latest insights in educating for peace and civic engagement, Youth Ministry as Peace Education offers clergy, students, and practitioners a new approach to youth ministry--a way to equip young people to transform violence and oppression as part of their Christian vocation.

In this theologically robust and pedagogically innovative and tested resource, Elizabeth W. Corrie takes seriously the capacity of young people and shows how to integrate new tools and insights into the typical facets of congregational youth ministry: building community, learning theology, reading scripture, going on mission and service trips, engaging in worship and prayer. The final chapter suggests an additional facet of congregational youth ministry needed for young people to overcome silence and transform violence: preparing and planning for engaging the world nonviolently.

Youth are not the future; they are the present. Youth are not meant to accept injustice and violence passively. Like all of us, they are meant to work actively to establish God's shalom--peace, justice, and well-being--on earth as it is in heaven.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9781506469454
  • eBook ISBN 9781506469478
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 199
  • Publication Date July 13, 2021


"This is a much needed resource. It presents varied forthright, creative, usable, theologically supported and biblically informed practices for use in youth ministry to affirm the role of youth and empower their engagement."

Anne E. Streaty Wimberly, executive director, Youth Hope-Builders Academy and Connecting With Hope Innovation Hub, Young Adult Ministry Initiative, Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, Georgia

"This is the very best book on youth ministry I have ever read. Richly biblical, deeply formative, and beautifully written, it is also brilliantly educational and utterly practical. Absorb its wisdom and it will change your lives."

Craig Dykstra, former senior vice-president for religion at Lilly Endowment, Inc.; former professor of Christian education at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Duke Divinity School

"Deliberate, liberative, intentional, democratic, and gospel-informed youth ministry. Rarely do books on youth ministry provide such profoundly captivating and pragmatic guidance for youth ministry."

Patrick B. Reyes, senior director of learning design, Forum for Theological Exploration; author of The Purpose Gap

"Youth Ministry as Peace Education brings together Corrie's deep respect for young people and her commitment to what Paulo Freire called 'education as a practice of freedom.' A remarkable, practical, and readable volume."

Joyce Ann Mercer, Bushnell Professor of Divinity, Yale Divinity School

"Through all the years I've worked with youth, this is the book I've been missing. Corrie guides readers in the practical cultivation of ministry that holds the potential to form youth and transform communities in the shape of compassion, peace, and justice. I've never read anything like it."

Cody J. Sanders, American Baptist chaplain to Harvard University; author of A Brief Guide to Ministry with LGBTQIA Youth

"I cherish most the clearly outlined strategies to aid educators, ministers, and parents who seek to create spaces for hard, heartfelt conversations with youth."

Gregory C. Ellison II, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling, Candler School of Theology

"Corrie's Youth Ministry as Peace Education is a tour de force. She raises questions about the underlying assumptions many have about young people and reminds us to see youth in their rightful, prophetic, and peacebuilding roles. Corrie builds on years of peacebuilding justice work with youth and critical reflection on theology and culture to offer parents, pastors, and youth workers practical wisdom for a new vision of youth ministry that is hopeful and excited about the future with youth and young adults as engaged leaders in the struggles against violence and injustice."

Almeda M. Wright, associate professor of religious education, Yale Divinity School; author of The Spiritual Lives of Young African Americans

"It is rare to encounter a book on youth ministry that doesn't position young people as a problem to be solved or a population to be saved. Corrie instead takes as her premise that young people are companions, citizens, and co-conspirators in working actively to establish God's shalom. Through Corrie's stories and examples, we capture a vision of how young people might be actively entrusted with the most important struggles, questions, and responsibilities of a life of faith."

Katherine Turpin, professor of practical theology and religious education, Iliff School of Theology; author of Nurturing Different Dreams: Youth Ministry Across Lines of Difference

"Corrie has worked hard to become the master of many apprenticing youth ministry workers, and this guidebook to her work is both travelogue and hitching post for anyone attempting to do the work. Corrie knows the heart of young people and the heart of God--and she recognizes those two are often co-mingled and intertwined. You would do best to sit, read, and learn from the best of the best."

Robert W. Lee, pastor; author of A Sin by Any Other Name: Reckoning with Racism and the Heritage of the South

"Corrie's Youth Ministry as Peace Education challenges youth ministry leaders to reimagine the capability of young people to become prophetic peacemakers. It illuminates the theological foundations and practices of one of the foremost practical theologians in the country. Every church and every youth leader should have a copy of this book."

Jeffrey Kaster, Saint John's School of Theology and Seminary

"Drawing on over two decades of her own experience teaching and leading religious education with young people--along with fresh biblical scholarship, political theology, and cultural studies --Corrie has given the church a map for genuine accompaniment with youth as full members of the body of Christ. This book will be a tremendous asset for parents, youth workers, ministerial leaders, and seminary educators."

Erik Christensen, pastor to the community and director of worship, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

"Corrie provides the field guide we need for ministry with youth in the twenty-first century. She helps us notice, name, and nurture what young people--our fellow citizens--truly care about, and what they're already doing with their lives that matters now. Each chapter is a gem of Christian practical wisdom and bold teaching strategies that inspire gospel-shaped civic action for the common good. A must-have book for cultivating a community of disciples of all ages!"

Don C. Richter, author of Mission Trips That Matter: Embodied Faith for the Sake of the World

"Youth Ministry as Peace Education is a biblically inspired and theologically robust guide and resource to equip youth for the life changing experience of being co-learners, fellow citizens, and members of the body of Christ in ministries of love, peace, and justice in their congregations and communities."

Charles R. Foster, professor of religion and education emeritus, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

"Youth ministry in 2021 looks very different from in the past. Impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic; fights against racism, homophobia, and sexism; and technology and the rise of misinformation, our young people are living in a world they are expected to shape while they fight to survive. Corrie is not only a guide for those of us in the midst of the work, but a friend with whom to travel these uncharted roads with. I highly recommend this book for anyone in the youth ministry field at any point in their career. All will find useful insights here."

Nina Jonson, director of children and youth ministry, Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis, MN

Table of Contents


Introduction: Shaping Images

Building Community Democratically

Learning Theology Deliberatively

Reading the Bible Cacophonously

Doing Mission Intersectionally

Practicing Worship Prophetically

Acting in the World Nonviolently

Conclusion: Images that Guide Our Work

Works Cited