Cusick DeVries Syllabus

THEO 60930     Young Adult Ministry


Ministry to women and men in their20s & 30s, married and single

Notre Dame – July 29 & 30, 2013
July 30 class meets at Old St. Patrick’s Church in Chicago


Fr. John Cusick                               Dr. Katherine F. DeVries


                        312-965-1970                                                  312-915-7459 or


Young Adult Ministry Office – Archdiocese of Chicago



  1. To deepen your understanding of who young adults are by exploring their needs, desires, level of faith formation, and the gifts they bring to the world.
  1. To develop pastoral and theological skills for inviting young adults into greater participation in the life of the church.
  2. To consider “something do-able” to benefit young adults in a given setting.


Text: The Basic Guide to Young Adult Ministry by John C. Cusick & Katherine F. DeVries, Orbis Books, 2001.  Also, the Bishops Pastoral Plan:  Sons and Daughters of the Light.


Course Requirements:

1.         Class attendance. 

2.         Active Participation. 

3.         Read The Basic Guide to Young Adult Ministry - prepare to discuss the following:

  1. How does this information relate to your experience? 
  2. What did you learn or find particularly helpful?
  3. Any comments, questions or areas of disagreement with the text?
  4. Moving beyond the text, what “could be” in your current/future situation?

4.         Consider “something do-able.”   Design and prepare to discuss an idea or outreach to young adults, a program you might host for them, an educational brochure (e.g., Signs & Symbols in your church), or an opportunity for young adults to gather for a specific purpose.


Course Outline:



Monday, July 29…



Part 1: The Current State of Affairs


  • Who (and where) are our young adults?
  • Why are young adults (or the lack thereof) such a problem for us today?
  • Statistics on young adults, including affiliations with parishes and organizations
  • General information on what young adults are seeking
  • Working off the data, a practical look at what to build so they will come


Part 2:  Integrating Young Adults into the Life of the Parish - Related Reading:  Pages 3-64


  • A seven stage plan for a parish to re-generate its congregation, liturgy and organizational life
  • Strategies for organizing a young adult group
  • The wisdom behind offering occasional activities
  • Brainstorming “what could be”


Part 3:  On the Pastoral Side - Related Reading:  Pages 65-79, 161-175


  • Connecting with this age group through preaching, teaching, and celebrating moments of return
  • The role of a young adult minister – or at least a sympathetic staff member
  • A pastoral plan for dealing with our young people – moving them from youth ministry, through campus ministry and into young adult ministry
  • The importance of good worship
  • Volunteerism at its best


Part 4:  Young Adult Ministry Beyond the Parish - Related Reading:  Pages 83-132

  • Regional young adult ministry
  • Diocesan level young adult ministry
  • A look at various outreaches to young adults led by religious communities
  • Let’s get personal:  what is your interest in young adults, and what would you love to create?


Part 5:   Pulling It All Together - For those involved in Diocesan Planning:  Pages 133-160


  • Recap - the components of an effective outreach to young adults
  • Questions and comments
  • An opportunity to converse with some young adult friends
  • Beginning steps for your ministry
  • A challenge


Tuesday, July 30 in Chicago…


Directions to the Young Adult Ministry Office in Chicago:  Take I-80 to the Skyway; I 90 will become the Kennedy (90/94).  Exit at Madison, and turn east (right). At the corner, DesPlaines, turn right.  The next corner, Monroe, is ¼ block from Old St. Patrick’s Office building: 711 W. Monroe, but proceed one block further the Adams.  On the right is our beautiful Church, Old St. Patrick’s.  On the left, Adams & DesPlaines, is the parking lot.  Park the car, and walk north on DesPlaines to Monroe and turn left to get to 711 W. Monroe. We will meet on the second floor at 10 AM Chicago time.


Guest presenters will address various pastoral issues:

Review of Yesterday / A quick look at Theology-on-Tap


Ministers in the Chicagoland area will address:

  • Multi-cultural concerns
  • Regional YAM
  • Social justice projects / Volunteerism
  • Being a young adult friendly parish
  • More practical, pastoral strategies


Closing session:           Pulling it all together / Look at requirements for your projects / Final Comments


Thanks for making Young Adult Ministry a priority this Summer!

Best wishes for success in all of your endeavors!!