Essential Skills for Youth Workers

August 2-4, 2018 (registration closes Friday, July 27)

California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California

YMTE group pic

Cost: $250 (includes program, meals and housing)
Commuter fee: $200 (includes program and meals)
There is a $50 non-refundable deposit included in your registration fee.  If you need to cancel before July 15, $200 will be returned to you. After July 15, your $250 registration fee is non-refundable.

Volunteer? Full time? Part Time?  Paid?  We've got a personal and professional development program for you or your youth workers!

  • Connect more deeply to your own context or ministry setting
  • Go home with resources and plans
  • Find space for renewal and rest
  • Build relationships and a network

The format of the event will include three rounds of:

  • TED-style talks on aspects of work with children, youth and families
    • Round table discussions with the speakers
    • Small groups of participants to "translate" content from speakers to your context
  • Workshop space to draft and collect resources to use in your context
  • Large group coaching to develop action plans


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Register by credit card.

Register by check:  Send registration form and check made payable to Cal Lutheran and mail to: California Lutheran University, Congregational Relations, 60 W. Olsen Road, #2125, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Schedule (if viewing on your phone)

 Thursday  Friday  Saturday
   8:30 a.m. worship - Samuelson Chapel  8:30 a.m.. worship - Samuelson Chapel
   8-9 am. Breakfast  8-9 a.m. Breakfast
   8:45 a.m. 1st person faith  8:45 a.m. 1st person faith
   9-12 a.m. Session TED talks, breakouts, follow-ups

 9-11 a.m. Insights to Actions Steps, Wrap-Up,

 2-4 p.m. Registration  12-1:30 p.m. Lunch   11:30 a.m. Dismissal
 4-5 p.m. Group Coaching session with Dawn  12-3 p.m. Freetime  
 5-6:30 p.m. Dinner  3 p.m. 1st person faith  
 7-10 p.m. Session TED talks, breakouts, follow-ups  3:15-6:15 p.m. Session TED talks, breakouts, follow-ups  
 10:15 worship - Samuelson Chapel  6:30 p.m. worship - Samuelson Chapel  
  7:15 p.m.  Dinner at Desta's  



Guests will be housed in residence halls.  Most halls have private  bedrooms with shared bath.  Linens (sheet, pillow, light weight blanket, towel and wash cloth) are included. *Please note these are empty dorm rooms which basically include just a bed.


Most meals will be in Ullman Dining Commons where there are a variety of options. Some will be catered buffets.


Airport: What airport should I fly into? How will I get from the airport to the Cal Lutheran campus? Flying into LAX is often cheaper, but Burbank Airport is way smaller and closer to us…sometimes worth it if the cost isn’t that different. There are shuttles (Prime Time, SuperShuttle, Roadrunner) you can take from the airport to campus. Uber and Lyft pick up from both airports and that costs about $60 one way from both airports. There is a train station at Burbank Airport that you could catch a ride from (Amtrak) and then take Uber from there which is only about 15 minutes from campus so it would be less money.

Do I need a car? You can rent a car, but you don’t really need a car for the time you are here unless you are hoping to do touristy stuff. Often people share vehicles and get around just fine. 

For more information contact the Office of Congregational Relations at or 805-493-3936.


Juanita Hall
Juanita Hall

Topic: What are micro-aggressions and how to avoid them.

Dr. Juanita Hall is the Senior Director of Multicultural and International Student Services and the Chief Diversity Officer at California Lutheran University. She hold a doctorate in Education from UCLA and is also a Cal Lutheran alum, having earned a master’s degree in Education Counseling and Guidance.  She studied business at USC and CSUN. Dr. Hall enjoys her blended family of six adult children and nine grandchildren as well as traveling.  She is the executive director of the non-profit, SSAFE, a business partner in FireStarter Entertainment, a weekly blogger, and a 40-year active member Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Diana Hernandez
Diana Hernandez

My work with Cal Lutheran has been to help our undocumented and DACAmented students. There is no hiding the fact that the students have had to overcome obstacles that most of us don't even know about. The talk will illustrate who DREAMers are, their obstacles and struggles, how to best assist them with institutionalized programs and support networks.

After attending Cal Lutheran, I decided to come back and work for the university I called home for four years because I wanted to be able to help open doors for students, like they were opened for me. As an admission counselor, I have the opportunity to work with students that come from all backgrounds and stages in life. My passion has always been to help students that come from underrepresented areas and help them achieve their goals.

Rev. Cynthia Jew

Development of Resiliency through the Cultural Proficiency: A framework for Spiritual Conversations and Practices.

Dr. Jew is an Episcopal Priest called to Pastor and lead the blended (Episcopal and Lutheran) congregation in Santa Paula CA.   In addition, she is a Professor and Chair of the Counselor Education Department in the Graduate School of Education, California Lutheran University. Her passion and work revolves around the framework of Cultural Proficiency.  She is a co-author on two books on Cultural Proficiency and works with developing programs aimed at intergrating the Body, Mind and Spirit in spiritual contexts. 

Ginny Maril
Ginny Maril

Topic: Dr. Maril will discuss the growing trend of young people’s perfectionism and fear of failure, as well as the importance of developing a self-compassion practice to combat against their damaging effects.

Dr. Ginny Maril is a licensed psychologist and serves as the Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at California Lutheran University. She completed her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Psychology at the University of Dallas, a small, Catholic liberal arts college, not unlike Cal Lutheran (but also very unlike Cal Lutheran).  She earned her PhD in Counseling Psychology at Texas Woman’s University and joined Cal Lutheran in 2012.  Dr. Maril’s professional and research interests include living with chronic illness, caregiver stress, trauma recovery, existential theory, and social justice.  She routinely speaks across the country in advocacy for those living with chronic illness.  In addition to her role at Cal Lutheran, she also teaches, provides supervision, and has a private practice.  

Adina Nack
Adina Nack

Topic: "Sex, Drugs and Youth Culture": This talk will explore how today's tweens and teens are experiencing pop culture and technology in ways that challenge their abilities to lead healthy lives. Parents, teachers and faith leaders benefit from a deeper understanding of rapidly changing social norms and values. Sociological strategies can empower Youth Leaders to more effectively collaborate with young people in achieving positive goals for mind, body and spirit.

Stacy Swanson

Stacy has spent the majority of her 25+ years of professional life in the non-profit and not-for-profit sector including 15 years with Thrivent Financial and 6 years with Habitat for Humanity. In January 2013, Stacy accepted the opportunity to join the Advancement Division at California Lutheran University, where she serves as the Senior Director of Development for the Graduate Schools & Seminary.  Cal Lutheran’s mission is to educate leaders for a global society who are strong in character and judgment, confident in their identity and vocation, and committed to service and justice. Stacy earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Cal Lutheran and her Master’s Degree in Christian Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary.  She is married to Krister Swanson and they have three sons.

Dawn Trautman

Dawn Trautman coaches Lutheran leaders through her business, Big Picture Big Purpose, and as co-leader of the MainStage team of the ELCA Extravaganza for Children, Youth, and Family ministers. She holds two master's degrees, one in Youth and Family Ministry (Luther Seminary) and another in Organizational Psychology (New York University). She is passionate about helping girls and women take up more space in the culture by empowering individuals to pursue their calling and by creating more film, television, and theater that lifts up the stories of female-identifying people. In the weeks leading up to “Essential Skills for Youth Workers,” you’ll find her on the road performing in a professional musical called “Church Basement Ladies,” producing a comic web series, and leading an online group of Lutherans through a six month process called “Discern By Doing.” Find her on social media @DawnTrautman.