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Call for papers for IASYM Africa e-Conference

“Developing Youth Ministry in Africa – Challenges and Opportunities”

2 – 3 September 2021

Africa is one of the youngest continents with nearly half the world’s youth population being African (Gray 2018) and by 2100 will account for 48% of the world’s youth population under the age of 14 (Meriam 2015, Mills 2019). The median age in Africa is 18 (Bunge 2016:92-93). Clearly, Africa is a fertile context for youth ministry, yet, many of the resources for youth ministry originates from the West/Euro contexts. While there, is a growing presence in the academic and youth ministry praxis, much of what happens in Africa remains primarily influenced by Western/European hegemonies? The challenge with employing Western/European resources is that it often misses the African nuances and cultures and does not always acknowledge the many challenges and opportunities that are unique to the African context. It is clear that there is a vital need to develop youth ministry resources and praxis in an African context and from an African context.

It is against this background that IASYM Africa invites you to submit a paper abstract for the upcoming e-conference on the 2-3 September 2021 under the theme, “Developing youth ministry in Africa – Challenges and Opportunities”. There will be a dual focus of the conference. The first focus will be on the praxis of youth ministry in and from an African context. What happens at the local church level that could inform curriculum development that is suitable for the African context in the African university and seminary? Secondly, how can we develop curriculum that will be suitable for an African praxis that can faithfully and truthfully problematize the African context?

We welcome proposals from both academics and practitioners under the above theme. Papers, however, will be considered from various perspectives in youth ministry, and can address any of the following themes:

1. Opportunities for youth ministry in Africa

2. Challenges to youth ministry in Africa

3. Youth and culture

4. Youth ministry in the academy (curriculum development, decoloniality, methodology)

5. Youth and technology (social media, media)

6. COVID-19 and youth ministry (opportunities, challenges, ‘new normal’)

7. Societal challenges (youth development, violence, and abuse)

8. The African youth and spiritual formation/spirituality

9. Youth and sexuality (LGBTQI)

10. The African youth and disability

11. Youth ministry for and with youth

Timeline for submissions:

June 15th 2021: Deadline for proposals

July 10th 2021: Acceptance notification and feedback will be sent by the academic committee

August 25th 2021: Deadline for completed full-text paper submissions

Submission of proposals:

Proposal should be submitted to the academic committee not later than: June 15th 2021

. Your proposal should include:

  • Your full name and country of residence
  • Your e-mail address
  • Your academic background
  • Your institution
  • The title of your paper
  • The abstract (max 300 words).

Please submit your proposal by e-mail to;

Please ensure that all of the above requirements are met before submission.


Bunge, M.J., 2016, ‘Task, sources and significance of theologies of childhood’, in J. Grobbelaar & G. Breed (eds.), Theologies of childhood and the children of Africa, pp. 92–112, AOSIS, Cape Town.

Gray, A., 2018, ‘What you need to know about the world’s youth, in 7 charts’, viewed 20 May 2019, from

Meriam, M., 2015, ‘The young continent’, viewed 20 May 2019, from

Mills, G., 2019, ‘Youth is Africa’s prime challenge – But it could be an asset’, viewed 20 May 2019, from

If you have general inquires about the IASYM regional African conference please contact Garth Aziz.

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