Christina Baillie, Youth Officer for Connor Diocese, gave a presentation on research she did for a recent Masters’ Degree at the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry (IASYM) Regional European Conference on April 8.
This was due to take place in Helsinki, Finland, in April 2020, but due to Covid-19 was rescheduled to an online conference in April 2021.
IASYM works to ‘further the international study, research and teaching of ministry and work with youth, rooted in the Christian theological tradition.’ The IASYM hosts conferences regularly both internationally and regionally.
All presentations at the European conference were given in English, with a huge range of contributors from across the world. Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Belgium, Georgia, USA, Canada, Norway and Australia were all represented, as well as participants like Christina from the UK.
“It was encouraging and challenging to hear a variety of presentations, including examining the connection between confirmation and youth camps in Norway, analysing the impact of young people who self-injure on the family system, and seeing the benefit of a leadership programme arising from a partnership between the Diocese of Manchester and the Diocese of Tampere,” Christina said.
“The IASYM academic community are marked by their encouragement and welcome. It truly did resemble the values of youth ministry!”
Christina’s presentation summarised the research she had completed as part of her Masters at Belfast Bible College.
“The research involved focus groups with young people from across Connor Diocese. My research focused on how young people connected their faith and understanding to God, to the difficulty they faced in life,” Christina said. “Engaging in the research and discussing the topic with those young people was a true highlight of my study.
“The conference was a great opportunity to present my research, having academics from across Europe give feedback and discuss my findings. I am considered whether to continue this research as I would greatly enjoy hearing further from young people and letting their views inform my practice.”
Anyone interested in hearing more about Christina’s research is welcome to contact her at email@example.com.