On Wednesday, May 11, we welcomed back Sarah Weaver with ELCA Young Adults, who hosted Sacred Playgrounds director and lead researcher Jacob Sorenson, PhD. A recent survey of rostered ministers in the ELCA has revealed exciting findings about ministry spaces that are especially influential in faith formation and call to ministry. These include Sunday school, camp, campus ministry, and the ELCA Youth Gathering. We explored why these ministries are so important and how we might strengthen the church through deeper focus and partnerships with these ministries.
Jake served in congregational youth ministry and year-round camp staff before shifting his focus to scholarship and research aimed at enhancing the ministries of camps and congregations. Sacred Playgrounds emerged out of this ongoing work. He has authored numerous articles on camping ministry, has taught in colleges and seminaries, and has presented at camps and conferences across the country. He is a contributing author to the book Cultivating Teen Faith, and his newest book is Sacred Playgrounds: Christian Summer Camp in Theological Perspective. He has a PhD in practical theology from Luther Seminary, an Mdiv from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an undergraduate degree from Wartburg College. He continues spending time with young people as a coach, Sunday school teacher, confirmation instructor, and (most importantly) as a father of two wonderful boys. He and Anna live in rural Wisconsin, where they enjoy gardening, running, board games, hiking, and hauling their children to various activities.