A History of Mennonite Youth Ministry 1885–2005

Published: December 3, 2021

This volume explores attempts of the Mennonite Church and its predecessors to nurture the faith of youth, with the intent that the history will serve as a witness for this ongoing task. It begins with an historical survey of Mennonite youth ministry and moves on to eight essays on specific topics.

Bob Yoder, DMin, campus pastor and assistant professor of youth ministry at Goshen (Ind.) College, began this research as part of his doctoral studies. He is a former conference youth minister and congregational pastor and camp worker in United States.


PART 1 – Overview of Mennonite Youth Ministry Efforts

Growing faith in Mennonite youth: 1885–2005, Bob Yoder

PART 2 – Congregational Efforts

A brief history of Mennonite involvement in Christian Endeavor and Youth for Christ, Randy Keeler

A program, an organization, and a movement: MYF 1948–1968, Jonny Gerig Meyer

Bible quizzing as youth ministry, Barb Draper

Called to youth ministry, Susan Allison-Jones

PART 3 – Efforts from Outside the Congregation

Why camping?, Josh Hertzler

Short-term work for long-term change: An early history of SWAP, DOOR and Group Venture, Matt Harms

The Mennonite Young People’s conference movement, 1919-1923, Anna Showalter

Getting Outtatown, Dana Honderich


Joined at the heart: The intergenerational path, Anna Rehan

Let me explain…no wait, too long. Let me sum up, Kent Miller