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CER Resources for Youth Ministry

Unitarian Universalist Youth Ministry saves lives during a time of immense pressure and transformation. Youth Ministry creates emotionally supportive space where youth are welcomed as who they truly are, where they can grow spiritually instead of focusing on achievements, and where they can know that their voices and contributions matter.

We hear over and over again the stories of how congregational, regional, and national UU youth ministry is transforming: youth who felt unlovable and now feel loved, youth who have found their calling in life in a particular social justice cause, youth who arrive shy and timid and become a self-confident leaders able to welcome and guide new youth.

Youth ministry comes in many shapes and sizes. Like all ages, youth deserve to both be part of a welcoming multigenerational community and have time with people of their life stage. There are many different models of youth ministry.

What Does Excellent Youth Ministry Look Like?

youth building community

Covenantal, Safe, Leadership

youth meeting

Pastoral Care

Group of people raising their arms in the air.

Multigenerational Relationships

hands holding flame

Spiritual Development

  • Youth and whole community worship

  • Introduction to individual spiritual practices

  • Experience of gratitude, awe, wonder, and “at-one-ness”

  • Justice work and spiritual practice to ground justice work

youth and adults planning

Community Building

  • Peer community

  • Multigenerational community

  • Connections with the larger UU community

  • Interfaith community

script love in lights

Justice Making

  • Learning about injustice and oppression

  • Direct service

  • Advocacy and witness

diverse youth gathering

Identity Formation

  • Support youth forming integrated identities as Unitarian Universalists

  • Exploring racial/ethnic, sexual, gender and other identities

  • Supporting youth in living into all of who they are

rainbow mosaic

Faith Exploration

  • Free and responsible search for truth and meaning

  • Youth as teachers and learners

  • Learning and leadership development

Learn More

The Web of Youth Ministry (PDF) all the elements needed to support youth ministry

Connect with UUA Youth and Young Adult Office

Blue Boat Home Blog from the UUA Youth and Young Adult Office

About the Authors

Evin Carvill Ziemer

Evin serves the Central East Region in the areas of Youth Ministry, Young Adult Ministry, and Intercultural Competency work and as Primary Contact for congregations in upstate and central New York. Evin holds a Masters of Divinity from Earlham School of Religion and Bachelor of Arts from Carleton...

Shannon Harper

Shannon Harper has been serving the Central East Region as the Youth and Young Adult Coordinator since the Fall of 2016. During her time with the UUA she has reimagined youth leadership school to reconnect with nature and created River Rising. Before coming to the UUA, Shannon served the Miami...

For more information contact cer@uua.org.

Evin Carvill-Ziemer and Shannon Harper

Resources Currated by Rev. Evin Carvill-Ziemer (left), CER Program Manager for Youth Ministry and Shannon Harper (right), CER Youth and Young Adult Coordinator.

Youth Ministry Advising A Complete Guide

From inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop

Covers broad-ranging topics including ways to recruit and support youth advisors, the nuts and bolts of youth group management, the role of youth in advisors creating a safe space, leadership training, and programming and project ideas.

Buy This Book

Web of Youth Ministry

By Beth Dana, Jesse Jaeger

From inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop

How to include high school youth more broadly in the life of the congregation.

Buy This Pamphlet

  • YaYA GA New Staffing Structure

    Alex Sherwood

    From Events and Opportunities
    UUA Program staff in collaboration with the current GA Youth and Young Adult staff teams, composed a new staffing program and structure for next year.
  • What Young UUs Want
    From Youth
    The UUntitled design team polled over 100 young Unitarian Universalists to see what they would want from a national online network for and by young UUs.
  • announcing uuntitled
    From Blue Boat
    Imagine a nationwide Unitarian Universalist network led by youth, for youth. Share your voice to shape the future of our connection.

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