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International IASYM conference, Atlanta. January 6th-9th, 2022


After much consideration and a review of current travel and health restrictions, the IASYM exec has decided to postpone the IASYM International Conference in Atlanta until July 11th-14th, 2022. At the time the decision was made, most international travelers were prohibited from entering the U.S. without mandatory quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, the surge of COVID in the U.S. and campus restrictions at Emory University made a face to face conference challenging and inadvisable. And while the U.S. anticipates lifting travel restrictions in late fall, it will not be in time for those who require visas to enter the country.

We anticipate coordinating with the Religious Education Association (REA), whose conference also takes place in July. In the meantime, we are planning for an online symposium in January to share research and gather onscreen – stay tuned for details!

We will soon reach out to all who had papers accepted and those who have already signed up for the January conference.

Registration is open.

The conference will be held both on location in Atlanta on online. Only IASYM members can register for on-location participation. The membership has to be active (paid). Please notice that there is a limited number of seats available.

Non-IASYM members (Free affiliation) can register for online participation at a higher rate.

For registration and prices use this link.

Question about the Atlanta conference can be directed to Elisabeth Corrie by e-mail.  

Questions about the registration process can be directed to Christian Noval by e-mail.

Corona precautions

The current pandemic still affects both the planning and execution of an international conference. At the moment we have the following restrictions due to the policies of Emory University and IASYM:

  • We are limited to 85 on-location participants. Which means the number of registrations is limited (60 full residential and 25 non residential). 
  • There will be a waiting list when we reach 85 participants.
  • On-location participation requires full covid-19 vaccination.
  • It's possible to cancel your registration and receive a refund according to Cancellation Policy mentioned below.
There precautions will be updated when the situation changes.

Cancellation policy

First of all we understand that the global pandemic may drastically change travel plans. In the event of last minute, wide-spread travel restrictions, the Host Committee will consider alternative options for the conference.

In case you have to cancel your registration the following refunds are possible:

  • Cancellations (full residential, non-residential, and online registrations) before September 28th: full refund
  • Cancellations (full residential and non-residential registrations) before December 15th: full refund minus 45 EUR which is converted into an online participation.
  • No refund after September 28th for online registrations and after December 15th for full and non-residential registrations.

No other refunds are possible.

Current travel restrictions

We hope there will be fewer travel restrictions in January. But please keep updated on the current regulations through one of these sites and be sure to check with your local US embassy concerning travel protocols and visa requirements.


February 24th, 2021 Call for Papers is published. Download as pdf here.

May 1st, 2021 Deadline for proposals. Extended until May 14th

July 1st, 2021  Acceptance notification and feedback will be sent by the academic committee

December 6th, 2021  Deadline for completed full-text paper submissions

December 15th, 2021  The compendium with the submitted papers will be sent electronically to the conference participants.

January 6th - 9th, 2022 The bi-annual International IASYM Conference is held at Emory University, Atlanta, US

While the conference will be held in Atlanta there will be a possibility to participate online for those who are unable to travel to the US. More on the online element of the conference will be presented later. We also hope soon to open for registrations.

Questions to the organizing committee can be send to Helen Blier at

Questions to the academic committee can be send to Christian Noval at

Call for papers for the bi-annual international IASYM conference

Atlanta, Georgia, USA

January 6th - 9th, 2022

Engaging With the Prophetic Voices of Young People

In Acts 2, Jesus’ friends are emboldened by the Spirit to leave their locked room and engage the market place.  There they find a wildly diverse community gathered – and the sudden, miraculous ability to speak different languages. Peter quotes Joel’s prophecy:

…I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh,

and your sons and daughters shall prophesy,

and your young shall see visions,

and your elders shall dream dreams.

The IASYM 2022 conference will gather in the city of Atlanta, the heartland of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement – a spiritual movement seeking justice, guided in dialogue with the black Church and the visions of young people.  This conference meets as the world emerges from the pandemic and, as after the Pentecost, we know there is no way we can go back to life as it was before.

Today, we find ourselves surrounded by the voices of young people, calling us all to attend to the injustices of the world.  From student-led actions in support of democracy and human rights to their call for climate action to world leaders … our sons and daughters are prophesying, and our young see visions – often outside the context of traditional religious structures and faith-informed contexts.  

When the voices of young are raised in the public square, many questions are relevant for youth ministry. How can youth ministry research contribute by creating opportunities for the voices of young people to be in dialogue with the wider Christian community and faith tradition? How should we engage with young people's search for justice and change in the context of God’s mission in the world? How can we bring together the prophetic voices of the young and the dreams of the elders? Taking a cue from the inspiration of Pentecost and the legacy held by our host city, this conference will invite presentations that interact with this theme.

We also invite papers on other themes that meet the IASYM’s stated aim to further the academic study and research of youth and youth ministry to raise the profile of youth ministry as a calling, career and/or professional enterprise, and to encourage the reflection on youth ministry and academic disciplines that will support the practice of youth ministry. These papers could come from a sociological, practical theology, systematic theology or historical perspective.

In the program there will be space for different kinds of presentations:

  • Keynotes in plenary sessions
  • Research Papers presentations of original research in adolescent, youth and young adult ministry submitted by conference delegates. In each session, a prepared response and group discussion will follow the presentation.
  • Emerging Research sessions provide an opportunity to share ‘works-in-progress’ and developing thoughts as well as completed ideas not yet established in a formal paper. These sessions provide an opportunity for new or emerging researchers (whether engaged in formal study or as a thoughtful practitioner) to road-test ideas and receive feedback in a constructive environment.
  • Alternative presentations. If you intend to lead your session in an alternative way (e.g. roundtable discussion, workshop, masterclass) please explain how you propose to do so and describe your rationale for the proposal.

Timeline for submissions

May 1st 2021: Deadline for proposals. Extended until May 14th.

July 1st 2021: Acceptance notification and feedback will be sent by the academic committee

November 15 December 6th 2021: Deadline for completed full-text paper submissions

December 15th 2021: The compendium with the submitted papers will be sent electronically to the conference participants.

Submission of proposals:

Proposal should be submitted to the academic committee not later than May 1st(extended until May 14th).   Your proposal should include all of the following information:

  • 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). If relevant please include your methodology and bibliography
  • A qualification by answering: What do you believe this presentation will contribute to the conversation on youth ministry research?
  • Specify the category that your paper fits into (research paper, emerging paper or alternative presentation). If you propose an alternative presentation please specify how and why.

Please submit your proposal by e-mail to Before you submit ensure all of the above elements are included. You will receive a confirmation by e-mail within a few days.

The academic committee:

Dr. Helen Blier, Pittsburgh, USA

Dr. Amy Peacock Jacober, Arizona, USA

Dr. Paul Kelly, Los Angeles, USA

Dr. Ruth Lukabyo, Sydney, Australia

Rev. Dr. Nathan Chiroma, Nairobi, Kenya

Rev. Dr. Christian Noval, Copenhagen, Denmark (chair)

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