Meet the Faculty

Andrew Root

Andrew Root

Associate Professor and Carrie Olson Baalson Chair of Youth and Family Ministry

  • PhD (Princeton Theological Seminary)
  • M.Th. (Fuller Theological Seminary)
  • M.Div. (Fuller Theological Seminary)

Biography

Andrew Root joined Luther Seminary in 2005 as assistant professor of youth and family ministry. Previously he was an adjunct professor at Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington D.C., and Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, N.J. 

Root received his bachelor of arts degree from Bethel College, St. Paul, Minn., in 1997.  He earned his master of divinity (2000) and his master of theology (2001) degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, Calif.  He completed his doctoral degree from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2005.

Root's ministry experience includes being a gang prevention counselor in Los Angeles, youth outreach directed in a congregation, staff member of Young Life, and a confirmation teacher.  He has also been a research fellow for Princeton Theological Seminary's Faith Practices Project.  

Root has published articles in the Journal of Youth and Theology, The International Journal of Practical Theology, and Word and World.

He is a member of the International Association for the Study of Youth Ministry and the International Bonhoeffer Society.

Featured Work

Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross

Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross

Fortress Press (April, 2014)

Finding practical theology not always able to present frameworks for understanding concrete and lived experience with divine action, Andrew Root seeks to reset the edifice of practical theology on a new foundation. While not minimizing its commitment to the lived and concrete, Root argues that practical theology has neglected deeper theological underpinnings. Christopraxis seeks to create a practical theology that is properly and fully theological, post-postmodern, post-Aristotelian, and that attends to doctrines such as divine action and justification.

Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross

Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker: A Theological Vision for Discipleship and Life Together

Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker: A Theological Vision for Discipleship and Life Together

Baker Academic (2014)

The youth ministry focus of Dietrich Bonhoeffer's life is often forgotten or overlooked, even though he did much work with young people and wrote a number of papers, sermons, and addresses about or for the youth of the church. However, youth ministry expert Andrew Root explains that this focus is central to Bonhoeffer's story and thought. Root presents Bonhoeffer as the forefather and model of the growing theological turn in youth ministry. By linking contemporary youth workers with this epic theologian, the author shows the depth of youth ministry work and underscores its importance in the church. He also shows how Bonhoeffer's life and thought impact present-day youth ministry practice.

Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker: A Theological Vision for Discipleship and Life Together

Courses

CY 0515 01THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORKS FOR MINISTRY WITH CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILY IISummer Term 2015-2016

Ministry is a theological task done with and for living persons. Students in this course explore a theology of ministry that helps children, youth, and their families interpret God's action in their actual lives. The course assists students in thinking about ministry from the location of divine action, recognizing how the leader's own theological conceptions fuel his or her imagination for ministry with children and youth. Students are asked to construct their own "theology" of ministry. Each student is encouraged to focus on his or her own area of specialization (children's ministry, youth ministry, etc.) but is also moved into examining a theology of ministry that explores the centrality of God's action in intergenerational dimensions of human communities.

CY 4525 01CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN CHILDREN,YOUTH AND FAMILY MINISTRYSummer Term 2015-2016

This is a directed reading/seminar collaboration course. Each year a contemporary topic in the area of Children, Youth and Family ministry is chosen. Students will then read from the bibliography associated with that topic and a guest lecturer will be invite to present to students. The student will seek to integrate readings, discussions, and the idea of leading thinking. Because topics change, this course may be repeated for credit.

CY 0510 01THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORKS FOR MINISTRY WITH CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILY IJanuary Term 2015-2016

Ministry is a theological task done with and for living persons. Students in this course explore a theology of ministry that helps children, youth, and their families interpret God's action in their actual lives. The course assists students in thinking about ministry from the location of divine action, recognizing how the leader's own theological conceptions fuel his or her imagination for ministry with children and youth. Students are asked to construct their own "theology" of ministry. Each student is encouraged to focus on his or her own area of specialization (children's ministry, youth ministry, etc.) but is also moved into examining a theology of ministry that explores the centrality of God's action in intergenerational dimensions of human communities.

CY 4570 01RELATIONAL MINISTRY-FUTURE OF CHURCJanuary Term 2015-2016

A course that examines the theological, historical and sociological bases for relational/incarnational youth ministry. The course is designed to look at popular understandings of relational/incarnational ministry, assessing them through a theological understand of relationships. Students will be given the tools to use a relational/incarnational approach to youth ministry engendered from theological and strategic perspectives.

CY 4564 01CULTURE AND EMERGING GENERATIONS Fall Semester 2015-2016

Ministries with emerging generations and their families require deep understanding of young people’s cultural engagement. Students learn to read the agency and structures of younger generations in culture. Drawing on this work, and work from other courses, students integrate text and context in developing effective practices in youth and family ministry.

CY 4564 02CULTURE AND EMERGING GENERATIONS Fall Semester 2015-2016

Ministries with emerging generations and their families require deep understanding of young people’s cultural engagement. Students learn to read the agency and structures of younger generations in culture. Drawing on this work, and work from other courses, students integrate text and context in developing effective practices in youth and family ministry.

CY 0515 01THEOLOGICAL FRAMEWORKS FOR MINISTRY WITH CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILY IISummer Term 2014-2015

Ministry is a theological task done with and for living persons. Students in this course explore a theology of ministry that helps children, youth, and their families interpret God's action in their actual lives. The course assists students in thinking about ministry from the location of divine action, recognizing how the leader's own theological conceptions fuel his or her imagination for ministry with children and youth. Students are asked to construct their own "theology" of ministry. Each student is encouraged to focus on his or her own area of specialization (children's ministry, youth ministry, etc.) but is also moved into examining a theology of ministry that explores the centrality of God's action in intergenerational dimensions of human communities.

CY 4525 01CONTEMPORARY ISSUES IN CHILDREN,YOUTH AND FAMILY MINISTRYSummer Term 2014-2015

This is a directed reading/seminar collaboration course. Each year a contemporary topic in the area of Children, Youth and Family ministry is chosen. Students will then read from the bibliography associated with that topic and a guest lecturer will be invite to present to students. The student will seek to integrate readings, discussions, and the idea of leading thinking. Because topics change, this course may be repeated for credit. Collaboratory: Turning Hair-Brained Ideas into Sustainable Ministries (with Kenda Creasy Dean).

LD 0520 01SENIOR LEADERSHIP SEMINAR-PROJECT Spring Semester 2014-2015

Students will demonstrate their ability to integrate theology, theory and practice in the creation and defense of a capstone project centered on a current issue in their concentration area. Capstone projects might include: a thesis, a practical ministry project or an article for publication. (INDIVIDUAL SESSIONS AND SMALL GROUPS WILL BE ARRANGED BY THE INSTRUCTOR).

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