TAM321 Youth Ministry as Theory and Practice

All versions:
TAM321 (2024—2025)
TAM321 (2023—2024)
TAM321 (2022—2023)
TAM321 (2021—2022)
TAM321 (2020—2021)
TAM321 (2019—2020)
TAM321 (2018—2019)
TAM321 (2017—2018)

Course code: TAM321

Course name: Youth Ministry as Theory and Practice

Semester: Autumn

Location: Bergen

Academic year: 2017–2018

Language: English

Credits: 15 ECTS Credits

Available for course students: No

Required prerequisite knowledge

The basic educational pathway is an obtained bachelor–s degree with 80 ECTS specialization in theology and with a grade average of C or higher (ECTS). Language requirements apply as for the entire Master program. For details and alternative pathways, see the curriculum for Master in Theology and Ministry.

Recommended prerequisite knowledge

Experience from youth ministry practice

TAM301, TAM302, TAM303, and TAM304

Relevance within study programme

Course in Master in Theology and Ministry


Youth ministry as theory and practice (TAM321) engages with theories and practices of youth ministry on an advanced level. The course applies theories and methods from year one of the Master in Theology and Ministry in the field of youth ministry.

Learning outcomes descriptors


The candidate

  • has specialized knowledge within the academic field of youth ministry (historically and current)
  • has specialized insight in key phenomena in youth ministry in church, public, and the family
  • has advanced knowledge about the role of a youth minister as a practitioner and as a scholar
  • has thorough knowledge of theory formulation and method development in youth ministry research
  • can apply theological and inter-disciplinary knowledge in an innovative manner in the field of youth ministry and as a reflective practitioner in youth ministry



The candidate

  • can analyze phenomena and practices in youth culture and youth ministry and bring this analysis into a wider theological discussion
  • can use and assess practical theological research methods in an independent manner, relevant to the field of youth ministry
  • can analyze and deal critically with various types of sources and use them to structure and formulate scholarly arguments
  • is sufficiently equipped with theory and methodology from the forefront of youth ministry research in order to design a limited research project of his/her own


General competence

The candidate

  • can relate to professional ethical problems relevant for youth ministry in a reflexive manner
  • can apply his/her knowledge and skills about youth and youth ministry in order to carry out assignments
  • can communicate scholarly work and masters language and terminology of the academic field of youth ministry
  • can participate in scholarly discourses in academia, the church, and in wider society about youth and youth ministry
  • can contribute to new thinking and innovation processes in youth ministry and youth culture


In TAM321 the student learns to understand youth ministry from emic and etic perspectives, critical and constructive perspectives, diachronic and synchronic perspectives, cultural/anthropological and theological perspectives, and in the contexts of church, family and public

The course is structured to equip students to observe, understand, and respond to phenomena and practices in youth ministry and youth culture. This course takes as its starting point phenomena open to empirical inquiry and help students analyze critically, understand deeply, and respond constructively to the phenomena at hand. With concepts, theories and methodologies acquired in the first year of study (TAM301, TAM302, TAM303, TAM304) TAM321 will give attention to the following areas:

  • Problems and trends that have shaped youth ministry
  • Child/Youth theology and the young person as learner
  • Contemporary Worship: word and sacrament
  • Ecumenism and Inter-religiosity
  • Engagement in Society: systems of problems and possibilities

The course also aims at working on the identity and reflexivity of the youth minister, both as a practitioner and a scholar.

The course equips students methodologically and theoretically for writing Master Thesis in the field of youth ministry.

Teaching and learning methods

Two weeklong learning sessions on campus comprised of lectures, group-seminars, and case-based classes. Participation in an online learning-program stretching over eight weeks before and between the learning sessions. Each week is comprised of at least one video-lecture, self study of syllabus related to the week–s topic, online office hour (a live-chat with a lecturer), and a small assignment (coursework requirement).


375 h

Coursework requirements

  • 80% attendance at the learning session in each course is a requirement. (Alternative assignments will be provided for students prohibited from attending, often in the form of an extended book report).
  • 8 minor online assignments. (Extended submission deadline can be provided students unable to submit on time).

Grading, coursework requirements

Approved/Not approved

Final assessment

Final assessment in TAM321 is the subject of one Home Exam. This is a written essay comprised of 5000 words (+/- 20%) on a pre-assigned topic. (Duration: 10 working days).The Home Exam is an individual piece of work and is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale. The wording of the assignment and date of submission is announced after the final learning session in the course.

Permitted aids under examination


Grading, examination

The Home Exam is assessed according to the ECTS grading scale, A-F.

Assessment language


Alternatively, one of the Scandinavian languages.

Other languages could be accepted by application.



Course evaluation

Students will be encouraged to evaluate the course module online (itslearning)upon completion. Lecturers will evaluate the course module through mutual conversation, and based on student evaluations.

Available for Course Students



1100 pages:


Roebben, Bert: Seeking Sense in the City. European Perspectives on Religious Education, Church Reform and Leadership of Change. Berlin, LIT Verlag, 2009, 151-168, 201-236. (50 p.)

Root, Andrew: Revisiting Relational Youth Minsitry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Books, 2007 (200 p.)

Kageler, Len: Youth Ministry in a Multifaith Society. Downers Grove, Ill.: IVP Books, 2014 (180 p.)

Norheim, Bård Eirik Hallesby. Practicing Baptism: Christian Practices and the Presence of Christ. Eugene, Or: Picwick, 2014, 1- 53, 153-212, (100 p).

Senter, Mark H.: Four Views of Youth Ministry and the Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2001. (150 p.)

Dean, Kenda Creasy: Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. (200 p.)

Ward, Pete: Selling Worship: How What We Sing Has Changed the Church. Milton Keynes, Paternoster, 2005. (200 p.)

Sonnenberg, Ronelle: Youth Worship in Protestant Contexts: A Practical Theological Theory of Participation of Adolescents. The Netherlands: Gildeprint, 2014. (200 p.)


Additional reading:

             Savage, Jon Teenage – The Creation of Youth Culture. Viking adult (2007).