Recommended Practice for Age Range in Youth Ministry

​​The UUA defines “youth” as any young person currently in high school (or the equivalent for home-schooled youth or other uncommon schooling situations). "Youth" also includes minors of the same age who have left school without receiving a diploma. Youth fitting this definition may or may not be minors. This standard is a shift from an older age-based definition to a new life-stage definition. Here is a breakdown of how this terminology works in real-life situations:

  • Under 18 and in high school = youth
  • 18 or 19 and in high school = youth and a legal adult
  • Under 18 (of high school age) and in alternate schooling or not in high school = youth (requires discernment by religious professionals)
  • 18 or older and not high school (college, work, dropped out) = not a youth
  • Under 18 and in college = not a youth (but still a minor) ​​

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