Over the course of this last year I have become increasingly more interested in the topic of Positive Youth Development or PYD, both from a theoretical and practitioner standpoint. This concept can be found in many arenas of study, but I have been most exposed to it from a theological and psychological standpoint and I’m very attracted to it. The idea that in working with youth (i.e. youth ministry, community mental health, etc.) we emphasize the positive aspects of development, rather than focusing on youth and their problems is very appealing and helpful. We too often see the youth in this country and many cultures looked upon as having problems that need to be fixed, rather than encouraging positive developments and helping kids achieve.
I know that Fuller Theological Seminary has been on the forefront of much of this study in the theological and psychological fields. You can find this concept in the work of practitioners such as Chap Clark who is a very influential voice in youth ministry.
Yesterday in one of my classes we had a great lecture and conversation with Cynthia King-Guffey who is the Executive Director of Thrive Foundation for Youth. It was great to hear from her and the work that they are doing.