New Directions for Youth Development: Spiritual Development

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Edited by Peter L. Benson, Eugene C. Roehlkepartain, Kathryn L. Hong
142 pages. $23.20. Subscriptions $85 (1 year, 4 issues).

Spiritual development is a crucial building block in adolescents’ search for identity. In the opening chapter of this Summer 2008 issue of “New Directions for Youth Development,” its editors, all from Search Institute, propose that spiritual development be integrated into youth work, because it happens to everyone, “whether secular humanists, atheists, Muslims or Methodists.” They define spirit as an “intrinsic capacity that propels young people to embed themselves in something larger than themselves.” Is there a way youth workers can support young people’s spiritual growth without imposing their own beliefs?

This spirited conversation opens up an overlooked aspect of youth development and forecasts a revolution in youth work. (888) 378-2537,