This blog is authored by pastors Brian Kirk and Jacob Thorne, and seeks to rethink the most basic assumptions of youth ministry from a mainline/progressive perspective by offering both theory and practical ideas. You may contact us at brianskirk@yahoo.com

    Brian is an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). His education includes a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of Missouri-Columbia, certifications in elementary education and gifted education, and a Masters of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis. Prior to being ordained, Brian spent eleven years teaching in public schools, predominantly working with and writing curriculum for upper-elementary and middle school students in a gifted and talented program. He has served in congregational youth ministry and in outdoors ministry with youth for over twenty years. Brian has repeatedly been on the writing team for the New Earth Christian Resources for the Outdoors, published by Christian Board of Publication and the Committee on Outdoor Ministries of the National Council of Churches and has contributed numerous articles to YMtoday. He has also served as a youth ministry columnist for the interfaith website Patheos. Brian currently serves as senior pastor at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in St. Joseph, Missouri.

    Jacob is an ordained pastor in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). As an undergraduate, Jacob attended the University of Missouri. Like Brian, Jacob earned his Masters of Divinity from Eden Theological Seminary. In working with youth, Jacob has experienced: both large and small church settings, long-established youth ministries, new youth ministries, and youth ministries in transition. In addition, Jacob's ministry efforts have been focused on hospital chaplaincy and pastoral care. Jacob currently serves as senior pastor of a DOC congregation in Manchester, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis.  As a clergy member, camp director, and alumni of the Bethany Fellowship (an organization sponsored by the Lilly Foundation for young ministers in their first years of congregational ministry), Jacob recognizes the need for dialogue in youth ministry. Hence, this blog “Rethinking Youth Ministry” aims to connect readers from around the world who are passionate about youth ministry.