What Young Adult Ministry Is and What It Is Not

Here are a few things to keep in mind – so that you don’t limit yourself before you begin:

  • Young Adult Ministry doesn’t need to be all things to all people. With such a large demographic and such a diversity of sub-groups, Young Adult Ministry can seem daunting and overwhelming. Even though the boundaries of Young Adult Ministry are vast, we can be more specific in how we carry it out...

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What Next?

When starting a Young Adult Ministry initiative, the best first step is to take a good look at the population you’re trying to reach. Read Who Are Young Adults and Assessing the Situation to help you decide what your next steps will be.
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Sons and Daughters of the Light Summary

Sons and Daughters of the Light: A Pastoral Plan for Ministry with Young Adults

A Summary of the USCCB’s 1996 document on Young Adult Ministry Goal 1: Connecting Young Adults with Jesus Christ To foster the personal and communal growth and education of young adults toward a relationship with Jesus Christ leading to Christian maturity. Objectives:
  • Spiritual formation and direction: To help young adults develop their spiritual life rooted in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as their redeemer and savior...
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Defining ‘Young Adult’


The term “young adult” is widely used to describe everyone and, simultaneously, no one at all. It has been used to describe kindergarten kids and pre-adolescents, teenagers, middle-aged singles, and just about anyone else who considers themselves young and an adult. The U.S. Catholic Bishops can offer us some help. Their 1996 document on Young Adult Ministry, Sons and Daughters of the Light, defined young adults as “people in their late teens, twenties, and thirties; single, married, divorced, or widowed; and with or without children.” The bishops were quick to note that “more significant than age, the young adult years are best described through the various developmental tasks undertaken” and that the term “Young adult” has various meanings in different cultural traditions. It is the bishops’ definition above that should help you settle any argument from here on out...
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A Variety of Experiences

Generations in Transition

Being a young adult means navigating the tumultuous years beyond high school graduation and emerging into the adult landscape. There’s a whole lot of transition, mobility, and movement happening at once and very fast. Jobs change, relationships come and go, money ebbs and flows. A young adult doesn’t often stay in one place for too long -- sometimes by choice, sometimes not...
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This Essential will move you from general young adult ministry to your specific setting. It will help you consider the young adults in your area, and your own parish’s strengths and weaknesses when it comes to establishing a ministry to and with young adults...

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Who Are YOUR Young Adults

Who Are YOUR Young Adults?

“Who Are Young Adults” explained who young adults are in general, but who are your young adults? The ones who are already connected in some way and the ones you have the potential to reach. When you think about starting ministry with young adults, who do you have in mind? Do you have a group of youth ministry “alumni” who are still hanging around? Are there several college-age singles who regularly show up at 6 p.m. Mass? Is your area a hotbed for young professionals? Perhaps you rarely see young adults around, but there’s a wedding or baptism scheduled nearly every weekend. Maybe you don’t have a specific group of young adults in mind...
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