It can be difficult for a youth worker who identifies as “progressive” or “liberal” to find a tribe. Most events, conferences, camps, and curricula cater to evangelicals. But as progressive theology gains more of a foothold in the church, we need a place to gather as well — a tribe to meet with, and new ideas to stoke our imaginations.

Progressive Youth Ministry was founded by veteran youth workers John Vest and Tony Jones. They wanted to create a space in which progressive and liberal youth ministers could gather for three days of challenge and inspiration. They endeavor to bring an assortment of speakers and to catalyze conversations that will advance the field of youth ministry. But mainly they want to hold open a space for youth workers to meet one another, laugh, worship, and share ideas.

The fifth annual PYM Conference took place March 7-9, 2018, at the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, North Carolina with plenary sessions on doubt, mental illness, disability, and gender. We’re excited about our plans for 2019 – check back soon for updates. You won’t want to miss it!

John and Tony


Crucible Creative is owned by Tony Jones, an entrepreneurial theologian, author, and speaker. Since 1999, Tony has been a featured speaker at national and international events. He began planning events shortly thereafter, including the Emergent Theological Conversation and the Emergent/YS Convention. The author of over a dozen books, Tony began producing conferences in 2008 with the Church Basement Roadshow. The work of Crucible Creative then branched out to Social Phonics Bootcamps, Christianity21, The Great Emergence with Phyllis Tickle & Friends, and Progressive Youth Ministry. Today, Tony continues to develop innovative events, whether it be for hundreds of participants at the ReKnew Conference, or seven in the Boundary Waters Learning Adventure.