A Letter from the Director


Allow me to briefly introduce myself: My name is Daniel White Hodge, I was born and raised in a small rural town called Menard in West Central Texas, I then moved to the Bay Area (Oakland & Seaside) where I attended high school and later completed my undergrad at Cal State Monterey Bay. I’ve worked in urban/ city youth ministry since 1994. How I got into youth work was by a strange act of God; a good friend of mine was shot and killed right in front of me, his last words to me were, “Dan, teach this new generation that the way we grew up was sh*t. Teach em better…” Those words have rung in my ears and heart since then and I realized, after a confirmation from God, that working with youth was, in fact, my life mission.

I’ve worked with organizations such as Young Life and World Vision and countless local non-profits. For the last decade I’ve been living in the City of Angels in Southern California doing work with undocumented youth and advocacy. My wife, Emily (who is also a Young Life alum and did work in Minneapolis, MN), and daughter, Mahalia (5), are excited to be in Shai Town and look forward to getting to know the community, school, and local ministries.

My goal is plain and simple: to develop and foster excellence in the study of youth & adolescence culture. This center, over the next few years, will become a leading voice, resource, and space for that excellence. I truly hope to partner with you and other organizations. If you have not yet figured it out, I am a collaborative individual and in this post-industrial information age there is an urgency for us to be collaborative and interdisciplinary; particularly within youth work.

The Center exists to serve and to build the Kingdom of God. Let us go and do just that!

I am excited to meet you and your ministry! Feel free to contact me or Alison Burkhardt, the associate director of CYMS, to find out how we can partner for our Kingdom work.

Peace & Blessings,
Daniel White Hodge PhD

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Daniel White Hodge