Young Adult Ministry

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Getting Started

Sons and Daughters of the Light - A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults
Sons and Daughters of the Light is the starting point to developing a foundation for young adult ministry.

Who is it for?
SDL is "written to people in leadership positions in church life to encourage them to recognize, support, and motivate ministry with, by, and for young adults. This includes those in parishes, campus ministry centers, dioceses, the military, and Catholic movements and organizations.

It is especially written

to pastors and pastoral associates
to campus ministers
to young adult ministers
to young adults in peer leadership positions within the Church and with the larger community.
to diocesan offices
to military chaplains
to leaders in parishes, movements, and organizations whose ministry connects them to young adults, such as chaplains (in schools, healthcare centers, and in prisons), family life ministers, parochial vicars, directors of religious education, youth ministers, those involved in liturgical ministries, adult educators (especially those who prepare people for marriage, baptism, the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, and lay ministry), and parish council members" ("The Audience for the Pastoral Plan", Sons and Daughters of the Light).

SDL is divided into three parts:

Part One: The Young Adult
Defines who are young adults and the four tasks of young adulthood, which include:

Developing Personal Identity
Developing Relationships
Developing a Meaning of Work
Developing a Spiritual Life

Definition of a Young Adult:

"young adulthood refers to people in their late teens, twenties, and thirties; single, married, divorced, or widowed; and with or without children. They are present in every trade and profession. They live in the many communities that make up our society—from rural areas to small towns to large metropolitan areas. They come from diverse cultural, ethnic, educational, vocational, social, political, and spiritual realities. This diversity is reflected in the large number of people from various nations coming to this  country whose median age is in the early to mid-twenties."  ("Who are Young Adults?", Sons and Daughters of the Light)

Part Two: The Vision of Faith - Accepting God's Invitation
Expresses a vision of faith for young adults and how the Church can offer them the support they need to live out the vision.

Part Three: A Plan for Ministry
Provides principles for ministry with young adults in the parish, Diocese and campus that includes goals, objectives, and practical strategies.

The four goals for Young Adult Ministry:

Goal One: Connecting Young Adults with Jesus Christ
Goal Two: Connecting Young Adults with the Church
Goal Three: Connecting Young Adults with the Mission of the Church in the World
Goal Four: Connecting Young Adults with a Peer Community

Part Four: The Campus, the Diocese and Catholic Organizations
Provides descriptions of how each ministry serves the needs of young adults, how they meet the goals of young adult ministry and strategies to keep young adults engaged throughout the many transitions that they experience from college life to adulthood in the parish.  

Part Five: Implementation of the Pastoral Plan
Gives 10 basic beginning steps to getting started in implementing the Pastoral Plan within the parish, campus, and Diocesan community.



Resources for Young Adults and Leaders in Young Adult Ministry

Finding and Creating Community

National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association
NCYAMA is the national voice for young adult ministry in the United States.

Young Adult Ministry in a Box
A complete young adult ministry tool box with new tips and ideas each week, ministry mentors to guide you along the way, and step-by-step guides to start a young adult ministry from scratch. Made for anyone assigned to minister to young adults or young adults who are volunteering to minister to their peers.

Busted Halo

In Between Sundays: A Catholic Young Adult Podcast

Franciscan Media Productions
“Franciscan Radio, home of Catholic audio features Saint of the Day, Sunday Soundbites, Lenten Radio Retreat, and American Catholic Radio, is a project of Franciscan Communications, from St. Anthony Messenger Press.” (Franciscan Media)

Annunciation Radio
Mission: Annunciation Radio is a Catholic media apostolate.  In response to God's call, our mission is to proclaim the truth in love.  Our goals is to evangelize, educate, and encourage God's people through the use of broadcast and other media.

The Basic Guide to Young Adult Ministry by John C. Cusik & Katherine F. Devries


United States Catechism

United States Catechism for Adults

Research Books and Articles

"Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Young Adults" by Christian Smith, with Patricia Snell

"Lost in Transition: The Dark Side of Emerging Adulthood" by Christian Smith, with Kari Christoffersen, Hilary Davidson, & Patricia Snell Herzog

"Young Catholic America: Emerging Adults, In, Out Of, and Gone From the Church" by Christian Smith, Kyle Longest, Jonathon Hill, and Kari Christoffersen

PEW Research: The "None" Generation
"The number of Americans who do not identify with any religion continues to grow at a rapid pace. One-fifth of the U.S. public – and a third of adults under 30 – are religiously unaffiliated today, the highest percentages ever in Pew Research Center polling"(

Young Adult Leaders in the Church
The Emerging Models of Pastoral Leadership Project - Special Report on Young Adult Pastoral Leadership
The Next Generation of Pastoral Leaders: Their Chips Are All In - A Closer Examination of the Current Reality

Coming soon!

What is RENEW Theology on Tap?
RENEW International’s Theology on Tap is a process of evangelization, a strategy to meet young adults where they are and invite them into the life of the Church.  It is a comprehensive ministry lead by a core team of young adults who seek to be formed in the faith, collaborate to develop a speaker series and personally invite their peers to the event.  The series invites a seeker audience who is curious about the Catholic faith and looking for concrete, applicable answers about faith and life.  An event should take place in an area where young adults feel comfortable.  This could be a coffee shop, restaurant, parish hall, bar and grill, etc.    After the series the core team is encouraged to reconnect with the participants in their parishes and invite them to ministries that would follow-up with the series or to events in their parish.


Theology on Tap in the Diocese of Toledo

Young adults in the Diocese of Toledo, college age to 39, married, divorced, and single have gather to engage in lively conversations about contemorary, moral and current issues in light of the Catholic faith.  The gatherings happen in a variety of locations and cities, normally around dinnertime.  Come join your local Theology on Tap community for food, fellowship, and spiritual growth!


Bring Theology on Tap to your area

Tips and Guidelines

Theology on Tap is a ministry sponsored by local parishes and the Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry Office.  If you are interested in forming a team to bring Theology on Tap to your area contact Kathy Haninger, Coordinator of Young Adult and Campus Ministry, (419)244-6711, ext. 350,

A leaders within a strong core team may share the following skills:

Visionary leadership
Business management
Public relations
Social media
Graphic design
Events planning
Communications/public speaking