Compelling and Credible Witness: The Church and Youth Mental Health
It is no secret that youth mental health remains a major challenge in our society. Loneliness, substance abuse, gender identity questions, social media, intellectual disabilities, and many environmental factors continue to erode mental wellness. Between 2017-2021, youth suicide soared, reaching record numbers by 2021. While suicide is now slightly decreasing, most challenges to youth mental health remain.
Churches bring young people into their doors every week, and while staff are committed to addressing the spiritual needs of their youth, they are often ill equipped to address these broader challenges. Schools face escalating mental health challenges, and not all are equally prepared. Parents struggle to understand the world of their children and teens, and some struggle with mental health issues themselves. Meanwhile, our young people will not all outgrow their symptoms of unhealth.
How should Christians respond to this youth mental health crisis? Can the Church take a more proactive and positive approach to mental health? How does youth psychology relate to the gospel? What are the skills and virtues youth need to cope with our society’s challenges? How can those who care for youth be salt and light in this cultural moment? How can Christian educators, youth pastors, nonprofit leaders, and families think holistically and intergenerationally about promoting wellness? Join us as we explore the contours of creating a compelling and credible gospel witness to our youth.
- February 9, 2024
- 8:30am – 3:00pm Mountain Time
- Denver Seminary (6399 South Santa Fe Drive, Littleton, CO 80120) and Online
For more information, contact Jason Woodman, Director of Public Engagement for The Gospel Initiative
- Free parking is available for conference guests in the guest parking spaces in lot A and in select spaces in lot B. No parking pass is required.
Map of Parking.
Dr. Stephen Grcevich
Dr. Stephen Grcevich is a child and adolescent psychiatrist serving as president and founder of Key Ministry, a nonprofit organization that helps churches welcome families of children with hidden, developmental, and physical disabilities. Dr. Grcevich is the primary spokesperson and vision caster for Key, leads efforts to build collaborations with pastors, leaders, and other ministry organizations, represents the ministry as a speaker at major conferences throughout the year and serves as program chair for Disability and the Church, Key’s national disability ministry conference. He earned a medical doctorate from Northeast Ohio Medical University. His writing on disability ministry-related topics has been featured by the ERLC, D6, Outreach Magazine, the American Association of Christian Counselors, and the National Association of Evangelicals. His book, Mental Health and the Church (Zondervan, 2018), presents a strategy for evangelism and outreach with individuals and families impacted by mental illness.
In addition to his work on behalf of Key Ministry, Dr. Grcevich is an experienced clinician, researcher, and medical school professor with over 35 presentations at major medical conferences. He is a past recipient of the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and was a participant in the 2019 White House Summit on Mental Health.
Dr. Julia Sadusky
Dr. Julia Sadusky (PsyD, Regent University) is an author, speaker, and licensed psychologist. She owns Lux Counseling and Consulting in Littleton, CO., where she offers individual, family, and couples therapy in addition to consultations for individuals and families around sexuality and gender. She also serves as a youth and ministry educator, offering trainings and consultations to counseling centers and faith-based institutions on sexuality, gender identity, mental health, trauma-informed care, and the intersection of sexuality, gender, and theology. Other areas of focus include work with those experiencing complex trauma and eating disorders.
Dr. Sadusky obtained a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in theology from Ave Maria University and completed her doctorate at Regent University in Virginia. Her dissertation focused on the experience of loneliness in Christian sexual minorities navigating permanent singleness. Dr. Sadusky completed her pre-doctoral internship at Biola University Counseling Center in La Mirada, CA and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at a partial hospitalization unit for eating disorders in Denver.
Dr. Sadusky has coauthored Emerging Gender Identities: Understanding the Diverse Experiences of Today’s Youth (Brazos Press) and Gender Identity & Faith: Clinical Postures, Tools, and Case Studies for Client-Centered Care (Intervarsity Press) with Mark Yarhouse, PsyD., and contributed to a four views book titled, Understanding Transgender Identities: 4 Views, (Baker Academic).
Dr. Adam Wilson
Dr. Adam Wilson holds a PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision from Regent University, an MA in counseling from Denver Seminary, and a BA in psychology from the University of Northern Colorado. He serves as associate professor of counseling, the director of the School Counseling Program at Denver Seminary, and as the director of the School Counseling Mental Health Initiative, a research initiative seeking to better understand effective mental health interventions in schools.
Dr. Wilson began his counseling career working with children and families in a community mental health setting. During this time, he worked as a part of an intensive services team, seeking to reduce hospitalization of mentally ill children. He also worked within school systems to coordinate the education and care of his clients. In 2010, Dr. Wilson moved to a group practice in Littleton, where he eventually became the director and supervisor of child and family services. In 2011, Adam began teaching courses in human development, and later psychopharmacology, as adjunct faculty for Denver Seminary.
Dr. Wilson is the co-author of the chapter “The Neurobiology of Stress and Trauma” in the book Treating Trauma in Christian Counseling, edited by H. D. Gingrich & F. C. Gingrich (2018).
He has served on the elder board of Centennial Covenant Church, where he and his family are members. Adam and his wife Katie have three children.
Jason Woodman, director of Public Engagement for The Gospel Initiative, is available before, during, and after the event to answer questions.