This space provides brief details of practitioners and academics working in a variety of situations within the realm of Children’s Spirituality. All are available for consultancy and can be contacted through this website.
Karen-Marie Yust is Professor of Christian Education at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia and has been studying children’s spirituality for over two decades. She is the author of Real Kids, Real Faith: Practicing for Nurturing Children’s Spiritual Lives and edited Nurturing Child and Adolescent Spirituality: Perspectives from the World’s Religion Traditions. Karen-Marie is also a co-editor of the International Journal of Children’s Spirituality. She has published numerous articles and book chapters, including essays on toddler spirituality, the spirituality of children with autism spectrum disorders and the spiritual lives of adolescent girls who are survivors of physical and sexual abuse. Some of her publications have been translated into Korean, German, and Swedish.
Karen-Marie has directed three major grant projects funded by the Lilly Endowment. The “Faith Formation in Children’s Ministries” project sought to identify and explore barriers to and effective methods for communal spiritual formation of children from birth through age 12. The “Indiana Camp Ministries Enhancement Program” assessed programs for spiritual formation in Christian camping organizations and provided education and support for camp directors, as well as graduate level courses for seminarians interested in new approaches to camp-based spiritual formation. The “Disciples House for Youth” project focused on educating young adults as faith mentors and leaders of a summer spiritual formation program for adolescents. Karen-Marie also wrote and implemented a grant to establish a chaplaincy program at the Germaine Lawrence School, a residential treatment program for adolescent girls, and served as the first chaplain in that program.
Karen-Marie’s current research interests include the effects of digital culture on children’s spirituality and the development of intergenerational faith formation structures and practices. In her work, she weaves together scholarly research, personal experience as a mother of three now young adult children, and 25+ years of work as an ordained minister with dual standing in the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).