Principles for Addressing Diversity Issues in Youth MinistryCourse Level: Intermediate

Course Summary

This course provides an introduction to the importance of inclusivity in Youth Ministry in two important areas of diversity: intercultural ministry and the involvement of persons with disabilities. The course involves:

  • An exploration of the concepts of intercultural ministry and culture; the challenges caused by the influx of diverse cultural communities in the Catholic Church, especially in the United States, and how the inclusion of multiple cultural and ethnic groups impacts effective Youth Ministry.
  • An examination of ways to promote intercultural awareness and understanding as well as some necessary skills for intercultural ministry, and a review of pastoral principles for effective Youth Ministry in a culturally diverse parish.
  • A review of the conclusions of the national Encuentro, a process that identified the needs, aspirations and pastoral commitments of Hispanic youth in the United States and a rationale for focusing on one ethnic group, Hispanics.
  • A brief review of Church directives and documents that provide a rationale for the inclusion of persons with disabilities into Youth Ministry programming.

Successful completion of this course earns 2.5 CEU's. Click here for more information about CEU's.

General Course Objectives

  • Identify the issues and deepen an understanding of the terms and definitions that highlight some key principles for ministry in a culturally diverse Church
  • Review ramifications of the impact of an influx of multiple cultural and ethnic groups on Youth Ministry in parish settings and explore skills needed for effective intercultural ministry to and with young people in parish settings
  • Articulate ways to promote intercultural awareness and review techniques that develop deeper understandings between intercultural groups
  • Explore the ramifications of the conclusions of the national Hispanic Youth and Young Adult Encuentro (Encounter) on parish Youth Ministry
  • Examine ministerial principles for the inclusion of persons with disabilities in parish Youth Ministry

Course Materials

  • Required Book: East, Thomas Leadership for Catholic Youth Ministry New London, CT: Twenty-Third Publications, 2009. ISBN: 1585957321, ISBN-13: 978-1585957323
  • Required Book: Barone, John A Place for All Winona, MN: St. Mary's Press, 2008. ISBN: 0884899721; ISBN-13: 978-0884899723

Course Structure and Highlights

  • Week 1: Understanding the Impact of Culture on Effective Ministry
    • Understand the difference between the term and concept multicultural and the term and concept pluricultural/intercultural in reference to ministry
    • Define culture and understand that everyone is shaped and formed by the culture(s) in which they are immersed
    • Learn the differences between enculturation, acculturation, assimilation and inculturation and explain how an understanding of each enhances the Churchs ministerial work in intercultural settings
    • Understand the differences between people from tribal cultures and people from industrial cultures and how ministerial efforts among them must adapt to the operative characteristics of those varying cultures
  • Week 2: Intercultural Competency
    • Explore web sites of national organizations serving ethnic communities to determine issues impacting pastoral needs of these groups
    • Understands the need for intercultural competency in all forms of parish ministry
    • Learns some key insights for a competency for intercultural ministry
  • Week 3: Youth Ministry in Culturally Diverse Parishes
    • Grow in an understanding that throughout history, parish ministry for adults has changed to respond to the needs of different cultural and ethnic groups and Youth Ministry must do the same.
    • Review pastoral principles for Youth Ministry in culturally diverse parishes.
    • Learn the stages for building effective Youth Ministry in culturally diverse parishes.
  • Week 4: The Growing Presence of Hispanics
    • Consider the explosive growth of Hispanics in the United States Catholic Church.
    • Learn about the first national United States Encuentro (Encounter) process for Hispanic Youth and Young Adults.
    • Review the objectives, theological grounding and conclusions of the Encuentro process.
    • Determine some implications of the process on Youth Ministry among Hispanic young people.
  • Week 5: The Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Parish Youth Ministry
    • Consider directives from the Vatican and USCCB statements on the inclusion of persons with disabilities in parish programming.
    • Understand that the value of inclusivity applies to persons with disabilities.
    • Explore ministerial web sites that reinforce this value.
    • Consider critical issues and techniques for ministry for youth with special needs